The “Bossy Bear” show has preschoolers joining the adventures of Bossy Bear and Turtle in Nickelodeon’s new animated preschool series, which debuted at the beginning of the month. We had the opportunity to speak with Jayden Ham, who voices Bossy, Jaba Keh who voices Turtle, and Viva Lee who voices Bissy, Bossy’s older sister and talk about the show and much more. “Bossy Bear” is based on the book series by David Horvath and the Nickelodeon series has 30 episodes for the season, following the friends in all of their adventures in Pleasantburg. Lance Bass and Michael Turchin are also featured in recurring guest voice roles as the parents to Ginger, who is Bissy’s bestie, this season.
BSCKids: Tell us all about working on “Bossy Bear”. How did you get the role and were there any fun behind the scenes stories that happened during filming?
JAYDEN: I love working on “Bossy Bear!” The entire team is super supportive and so nice. I really enjoy taping days when we get to do “wallas”, which are sounds effects. I love food, so when I have to tape while eating my favorite snacks I am in heaven!
JABA: I started with submitting an audition and then getting invited for many rounds of callbacks over a few months. Behind the scenes, I once recorded with Jayden on Zoom at the same time, which is amazing because he was in LA and I was in NY. We were so happy to finally meet each other and to hear each other’s voices.
VIVA: Working on “Bossy Bear” is one of my favorite things to do. Being in the booth is my happy time. I can’t pinpoint anything per se because it was always so much fun. I think though without a doubt, my favorite parts are doing the songs with Sir Ed and Mr. Craig. Everyone has a great sense of humour and we all obviously enjoy our work.
Do you have anything in common with your character?
JAYDEN: Like Bossy Bear, I am an extrovert, always excited and like to use my creative side. Bossy Bear collects Super Satang cards and I collect Garbage Pail Kids cards.
JABA: I can definitely see myself in Turtle. I am an extroverted introvert and that quality is very similar to Turtle, who is an introvert but also loves to hang out with his friends. Like Turtle, I am also an avid toy collector and always try to be kindhearted, cautious, and a problem solver.
VIVA: I have a lot in common with my character Bissy. She is an ambivert like me. One minute she is totally all out there and the next she can get into her own head. I like her a lot because she’s authentic. Here’s an insider thing–I love working at Nickelodeon because it is not common to cast as authentically as they do. Often adults voice kids roles because it’s easier logistically. But Nick really celebrates us as artists and so we get the unique opportunity to really represent ourselves.
Describe the show in your own words in one sentence.
JAYDEN: “Bossy Bear” is about an extroverted blue bear and his introverted bestie turtle who goes on silly adventures in a Korean town inspired city of Pleasantburg.
JABA: “Bossy Bear” is an adorable comedy about two besties, Bossy and Turtle, who learn many important lessons together on their adventures with family and friends.
VIVA: “Bossy Bear” is a witty show about friendship, community and having lots of fun! (I also love that the writing is so clever that it’s not dumbed down for teens or adults).
What was a normal day for you while working on the show?
JAYDEN: School from 8:00 to 2:20, taping starting at 3:00 to 5:00 via Zoom 2-3 times a week for the past 18 months, then its homework, dinner and bedtime.
JABA: I’m really grateful that I could record this series from home. I have a makeshift studio in the basement, so usually I come home from school, do my homework, eat dinner, and then hop on a Zoom call for about 2 hours of insanely fun recording.
VIVA: A typical day working on Bossy Bear would be finishing up school, heading over to the studio and having some really amazing sessions in the booth with our “Bossy Bear” team. I love working with Sir Ed, Mr. Bob, Miss Elly and Mr. Jordan, Mr. Cody, Mr. Craig, our writers, coordinators and everyone else. And it takes all of us working together to make Bissy come to life! I don’t think people really understand how many people it takes to create a show like this and being a pretty social person, I really enjoy it.
If you could guest star on any other Nickelodeon show, which one would it be and why?
JAYDEN: I would love to be a guest star on “SpongeBob SquarePants,” it’s one of my favorite shows and I still watch it all time. Is there any such thing as a blue sea bear????
JABA: “PAW Patrol.” When I was younger, I loved “PAW Patrol,” so my parents tracked down all the figurines and found someone to make me a “PAW Patrol” cake and a Ryder vest for my 4th birthday.
VIVA: It would be “SpongeBob” because I’m a huge fan and for live action I would love to do “Young Dylan” because I love Tyler Perry and comedy! I’ve been told I am funny but usually get cast in super dramatic stuff. I like fun! If Nick were to come up with a new show, I hope they do something with action because I’d love to be a part of it.
What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
JAYDEN: I am actually pretty good at playing Fortnite. I started when the COVID pandemic began and have been playing since then with my dad.
JABA: Something people may be surprised to learn about me is that I love drinking tea, especially bubble tea (boba)! I’m only disappointed that I did not try it sooner. I think it is the most amazing drink ever, and my favorite flavors are brown sugar milk tea, matcha, and strawberry milk tea.
VIVA: Something people would be surprised to learn is that I starred in an action feature film at the age of 11. I did it in extremely cold weather and I got to do a lot of stunts–which I live for.
Who do you feel has taught you the most in your career so far?
JAYDEN: My mom, she taught me the value of working hard and doing your best no matter the task. If you can’t give your 100% then what’s the point?
JABA: I don’t think I can say just one person, but it’s many people whose ideas and knowledge over the last few years contribute to my current mindset. What I can say is that the most supportive people in my career would have to be my family.
VIVA: I would have to say, Sir Ed has taught me the most when it comes to voiceover acting. He’s amazing, empathetic and knows how to draw out my performance. And for live action, my feature film director Miss KC Carthew has been a huge mentor to me, guiding me through an entire feature film.
Why should everyone be tuning in to watch “Bossy Bear,” what makes it unique?
JAYDEN: “Bossy Bear” is such fun show to watch, the music is amazing and it’s a new adventure and lesson every time.
JABA: “Bossy Bear” is unique because the characters all have so much personality, and the storylines are all unique. Each episode teaches valuable life lessons through the entertaining adventures, and shares Korean culture in a really fun way that feels natural. I also loved singing all the songs – they are so good and always make me smile.
VIVA: Everyone should watch “Bossy Bear” because of the visuals, the K-Pop, the culture, the friendships and frankly Bissy Bear and her keytar instantly makes you cooler.
Is there anything else you are working on that you can tell us about?
JAYDEN: Not currently… doing lots of auditions but crossing fingers for season 2, 3 and beyond for “Bossy Bear”
JABA: There’s nothing I can tell you about right now, but I hope to be able to share news in the future.
VIVA: In this industry everything is top secret but I can tell you a few of my projects will be coming out soon, so keep an eye out for that.
After our group questions, we had the opportunity to ask some specific questions for Jayden, Jaba, and Viva.
We spoke to Jayden first.
Tell us about your work with the Boys & Girls club.
JAYDEN: I’ve been attending Boys & Girls Club after school program since I was in 2nd grade. I enjoy the activities and hanging with my friends in a setting that is more relaxing while being at school
We play sports, work on fun projects and complete our homework.
How was it being on such an iconic show like “Sesame Street?”
JAYDEN: I taped a small segment about the weather, it was an honor just be attached to such a well-known show.
Tell us about your pixelated animation.
JAYDEN: It was hobby that I picked in early 2020 and I found that I enjoyed creating animation and connecting with new friends on YouTube.
Next we got to speak to Jaba.
Tell us a bit about your work on “Mecha Builders?”
JABA: I had just turned 10, and it was one of my first voiceover jobs as the recurring character, Timmy. I remember telling my family that I would have loved this show when I was younger because it combines two things I loved most – superheroes and problem-solving.
What is your favorite LEGO set?
JABA: I am an avid LEGO builder and collector. I’ve been building LEGOs for what feels like my whole life. It’s really tough to choose, but I would say my top favorites are: The Office set (based on one of my favorite sitcoms), the Hokusai Great Wave art set, and the Marvel Sanctum Sanctorum (because I am a diehard Marvel fan).
We also get to ask Viva some questions.
Tell us about the types of martial arts that you train in? How has that helped your career so far?
VIVA: I train in multiple practices but mainly Taekwondo, and boxing. I also dabble in MMA and BJJ.
Are you working on any music now that you can tell us about?
VIVA: I am always working on music. I like to pick up instruments and I write songs and raps. It’s just something I do as an artist for the fun of it.
Special thanks to Jayden, Jaba and Viva for taking the time out of their schedule to speak with us and make sure to tune in to Nickelodeon’s new animated preschool series “Bossy Bear”