Jaci Velasquez has been singing professionally for nearly 17 years, selling more than four million albums, scoring three Platinum and three Gold records, charting 16 #1 radio hits, and earning a Dove Award for Song of the Year. The multi-talented singer has also appeared in numerous major motion pictures, including “Chasing Papi” and “Jerusalem Countdown,” is a popular radio personality and is working on a new devotional and writing a new book, Coffee and Concealer. She recently expanded her repertoire of creative endeavors by joining Wayne Brady (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) on the latest episode of the animated series, “VeggieTales.”
Mike Parker – There is something a bit iconic about being a character in VeggieTales. Tell me a bit about your role as “Sadie.”
Jaci Valesquez – The DVD is “Noah’s Ark” and I play Shem’s wife, voiced by Wayne Brady. He’s fantastic. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about Wayne is that he is a great singer, too, and in this film there are seven new songs. It’s been four years since they’ve done a Bible themed video release. The new animation is just awesome. The animals are soo cute! You just want to reach into your TV screen and cuddle them.
Shem and Sadie are just getting back from their honeymoon, only to see the place where they were going to build there house has been covered over by a big boat. Shem has to come to the realization that Noah heard from God. It’s a story about obedience and listening to God. It’s all the values and morals and beliefs that we want to impart to our kids. It seems like there isn’t much good entertainment for our kids these days. It sometimes feels like we’re always rushing to change the channel because of the language or the situations being portrayed. VeggieTales really is safe for the whole family and you walk away feeling like you learned something valuable.
Parker – As a recording artist I know you are accustomed to going into the studio to record your vocals for songs. How was performing the voice for an animated character different?
Jaci – It was definitely different, but it was a blast. It’s hard to be too serious when Larry the Cucumber is in the next room. It is also a bit intimidating when you are in the same studio with professionals who always get it on the first take, and you’re on take 11.
Parker – Are your kids big fans of VeggieTales? Will this make mom a hero in their eyes?
Jaci – You know, people will come up to me in the parking lot and say, “You’re Jaci Valesquez,” and my five year old will say, “Why did they call you Jaci Valesquez? You’re mommy.” My kids don’t care about my music at all. To them I’m just mom. But being on VeggieTales, yeah that kicked it up a notch in their eyes.
Parker – You are a recording artist, actress and radio personality. Are there creative endeavors that you’d still like to tackle?
Jaci – This was a bucket list thing for me – doing VeggieTales. As far as new endeavors, I’m still trying to figure out what to defrost from the freezer for supper (laughs). Seriously, my husband and I are working on a worship album, and we’re doing some touring. But mostly we want to just be really involved with our children. This is really a special and limited time in their lives, and if you miss it you never get it back.
Parker – What’s next on your agenda?
Jaci – I have a couple of films coming out this summer and in the fall. After that… I have a hard time keeping up with everything that is going on. Life just happens all the time, and for me it’s a whole lot of ‘one thing down, move on to the next thing’…which could be cleaning up after the kids.
Parker – Last words?
Jaci – Balance. It’s a tough thing, particularly trying to balance work and creativity and being a wife and mom. Sometimes I do a great job and sometimes I don’t, just like everyone else. But the great thing is we’re all in this together. I think what is important is the time we spend with the ones we love. I don’t think anyone on their deathbed is going to say, ‘I wish I had spent more time working, or cleaning the oven,’ but I think a lot of people regret not spending more time with the people in their lives