15 years ago today, a group of seven preteens jumped in front of a camera for the first season finale of “Zoom” and performed some science experiments for a TV show that would be a hallmark for most of my generation’s childhoods. The show was filmed in WGBH studios in Allston, so most Zoomers were Boston natives. We decided to look into the original cast of the show and see what they’ve been up to since the it went off air, and to see if they still remembered how to speak in Ubbi Dubbi.
|Pablo Velez Jr.|
I caught up with Pablo and Keiko to get a more behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to be a “Zoom” kid. For Pablo, “Zoom” started his career in the entertainment industry. While on the show’s cast, he spent a lot of time following the camera operators and editors of the show where he learned more about the technical side of television. Although he gave up acting, Pablo now works in LA in production roles. His first job was actually at WGBH on another children’s show called “Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman.”
Both Pablo and Keiko recalled being treated like celebrities in their schools after the show aired. Keiko, who now works as a teacher, says that the show’s legacy continues to live on with her. Her students discovered her “Zoom” past and spread the word like wildfire around the school.
While looking back on their experiences with “Zoom,” the two only had positive memories. They both explained that although many people believe they were acting, all of the kids on the show were just put in front of the camera and behaved as themselves. “When you saw us struggling with the science experiments, that really was us,” explained Keiko. She also said that there was no drama among the cast members and that they all got along pretty great.
Pablo also noted that he has been talking to former “Zoom” cast members about forming a reunion. Although there are no definitive plans, he is working on making something “that fans of the show will really enjoy.”
We can only hope!