Imagination Movers is a children’s band that’s been performing for more than 15 years. Their Emmy Award-winning eponymous television program aired three original seasons on the Disney Channel and is still available on the Disney Now app. Their 10th album, “10-4,” recently dropped.
“Mover Scott” Durbin (that’s the one with the “wobble goggles”) spoke with Chicago Parent blogger and columnist Matt Boresi and his “The Paternity Test” co-host Todd Mielcarz about the dad-friendly new album, how being an Imagination Mover has affected his role as a father, about Scott’s recent health scare, what to expect at their Chicago concert and how to help your kids deal with heartbreaking football losses. (Answers have been edited for length.)
Matt: My family and I have seen you live, and not only is the music great, real rock music, there are parent-friendly musical Easter eggs throughout: Led Zeppelin, Blink 182, Curtis Blow and more. How did your music get so dad (and mom) friendly?
Mover Scott: We have 10 kids between the four Movers, and we’ve attended children’s concerts, be they concerts or shows “On Ice” and we know that you don’t want to be looking at your watch. We want our shows to be a shared event. When a 5- or a 6-year-old can look at their dad and mom and maybe their 11-year-old sibling and have everyone finding something in the show that speaks to them, it’s the reason we continue to do what we do.
Todd: For anyone who hasn’t been to a Movers concert—what can people in Chicago expect?
Mover Scott: First of all, we play live music. We want children to know they can pick up a guitar or a drumstick and become music creators themselves, so we model that. We don’t go over a certain decibel level because we respect our audience, so it’s an age-appropriate rock concert for ages 5-7, but you can be younger and you can be older. There’s going to be flying toilet paper, there’s going to be ginormous balloons, there’s going to be vortex smoke cannons, there are going to be interactive songs where you’re dancing, there’s tons of confetti and streamers—dance contests for the parents to win a DVD where we’ll have kids teaching their dads and moms how to do the robot. That’s the bottom line—it’s tons of fun and it’s a family dance-a-thon concert. [In the Vittum Theatre], there’s not a bad seat in the house. And we’re always in the audience, so even if you’re in the back row you’re probably going to get a high five from one of the Movers during the show.
Matt: How has being an Imagination Mover impacted your behavior as a father?
Mover Scott: Maybe I’m only speaking for myself but I’d say we’re more patient. We do meet and greets, and there might be a shy person who is hiding behind their mom who wants a high five but is super shy. We’ve learned patience because it takes a little warming up. If you’ve seen us on TV and then you see us in real life … that’s a process [a child] has gotta deal with and we’re respectful of that. I’m definitely more patient with my kids as a result.
And we’re looking at our kids and encouraging creativity in them. Rich couldn’t make a show and his son who is a junior in college played with us. My son is one of the guests on the new album, he does the last rap on the song “Tow Truck” [Nota Bene: This song is incredible. -Matt]. Dave has a daughter who can sing like a bird. We have a creative crop of kids and maybe modeling that creativity has lead to their appreciation of music and their life as creators themselves.
Matt: You had a harrowing health issue that began in a very public way. What happened, what have you learned from the experience and how is your recovery coming?
Mover Scott: We were playing in Richmond and in the middle of the show I got the worst headache I’ve ever had. To make a long story short I flew home and my wife said, “you need to listen to your body,” so I drove to the emergency room and checked in. They did a CAT scan and the doctor came in and said, “You had a brain bleed.” One day I’m jumping up and down performing for kids, and in the next two or three days, I’m walking up and down an IC unit with a physical therapist. I’m fortunate that it wasn’t a hemorrhage. It wasn’t a stroke. They see it periodically with athletes and musicians where there’s a lot of pressure. But the prognosis was excellent—I won the bad luck lottery.
But I posted on Facebook at 3 in the morning for whatever reason, and had a moment of clarity, I shared what I shared, and I was really amazed at the range of responses and the number of responses, it brings to you to your knees, it’s so humbling, to think that what we’ve created and what we do has been so meaningful in people’s lives. I feel like I’m leading a good life.
What it taught me is to sometimes yearn for the ordinary. When you have an ordinary day where you’re reading a book and the kids are playing a video game. I take a little bit more value now at those days where things are just normal. I’ve come to appreciate the ordinary a little bit more.
Todd: The Movers are sports fans (particularly the New Orleans Saints), and you were very active on Twitter after the non-call kept the Saints out of the Super Bowl…
Mover Scott: I was irrational! [laughing] I don’t understand why I’m so irrational about it! I’m a fanatic! It was one of those things I couldn’t let go. I think one of the reasons the Saints fans were so upset is because of what the Saints mean to the city post-Katrina. For us, the Saints are an extension of the city.
Todd: My son is a huge sports fanatic, and when the Bears lost in the playoffs with the Cody Parkey double-doink he was inconsolable for a couple of days. I try to downplay those moments for his sake…
Mover Scott: It’s a teachable moment. I’m right there with you! My son was hard to console. He was inconsolable, as well. But you grow from it – it’s the only thing you can do!
Matt: How can Chicago Parent readers and our podcast listeners hear your new album, “10-4”?
Mover Scott: If you want an autographed copy, you can purchase one at ImaginationMovers.com, but if you want to listen on a service provider like Spotify or Apple Music you can listen to it there. Ask Alexa to play some Imagination Movers “10-4” and she’ll cue it up. There’s a lot of different ways to listen and we just thank you if you do!
More questions and answers with Scott are available on this week’s new episode of The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast.
If you go
March 30 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago
Tickets start at $20
Find more information at imaginationmovers.com.
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