The thing about dreams is that they sometimes come true. As it did for Calgary girl Lisette Xavier. The talented musician and animal lover just got her big break as the host of Lopii Productions’ upcoming show, Bestest Day Ever With My Best Friend. The show premieres on CBC Kids and CBC Gem on July 31st.
Here’s a quick recap for those not in the know. So, Lopii Productions is a Canadian Screen Awards, Kidscreen and Banff Rockie Awards-winning production company. Started by twin sisters Georgina and Rennata López (hence, Lopii, plural of López), the company is known for its all-female unit. They also have a reputation for being an equitable and inclusive workplace, championing diversity.
With a conscious intention of creating content that reflects the company’s core values, Lopii Productions put out a casting call a few months ago. The goal? To search for a fresh new face for their new show. Those auditioning need not have experience or celebrity status. All they needed was to be Canadian and have a little bit of charisma and a whole lot of love for pets. The call ended up receiving hundreds of applications. And the shining star from these turned out to be Lisette.
Given that this was an unexpected dream come true for Lisette Xavier, we decided to have a chat with her. Not just to know more about Lisette but also to get her take on the show that’s touted to be one of the cutest shows on TV.
Below are excerpts from our fun convo with the upcoming star.
As a talented musician with a love for animals, what are some key experiences that influenced your journey to becoming the TV host for this show?
It’s funny how we can be preparing for opportunities we don’t even know exist! For YEARS I’ve been asking pet owners if I can meet their companions. Whether it’s a dog on a sidewalk, a lizard at the skatepark, or a pig being walked on a leash downtown. I have also spent the last 8 years working with youth directly as a private music coach, basketball coach, and mentor for programs like Girls Rock Camp Calgary.
As isolated as these experiences always felt to me, it was fascinating to be on set and realize I was pulling from each of these past environments to help navigate an unfolding event. It’s been my personal experience that when we can keep love and fun at the foundation of what we are doing, magical things happen. I think I’m drawn to sharing space with both children and animals because they are unapologetically fuelled by these two emotions.
It’s fascinating to see someone land their dream job without any prior experience in the field. What was it about this opportunity that made you feel like it was the perfect fit for you, and has your musical background contributed to this role?
Bestest Day Ever with My Best Friend really excited me because it was fully aligned with everything I love (Kids + Animals + CBC). I had a clear vision of what my audition tape would look like. And I poured my excitement into my audition tape. I surrendered to how excited I felt at the possibility of working on this.
As for how my music contributed to the role, well, my live music performances have always been 50% music and 50% improv. I love to connect with people, and when I am on stage, talking to the audience is a huge part of that. I love making my fans laugh between songs and creating real moments so that each performance is a completely unique experience, even when the songs are the same in many shows.
On the set of ‘Bestest Day Ever, ‘ it felt like 97% of the show ended up being improvised because kids and animals rarely stick to the script. I quickly realized that improvising on set felt exactly like improvising on stage, and it instantly felt like home.
Can you give us a sneak peek into what viewers can expect from the series? Any exciting highlights or memorable moments you’d like to share?
Viewers can expect the most outrageously outrageous fun! As someone who has never been on a TV set before, I was surprised to discover that every single person I came across was truly excited to be living their best life creating ‘Bestest Day Ever’. One of my favourite parts of filming was watching the exceptional talent behind the scenes create massive moments of awe that I know viewers are going to love. Because of all that hard work, viewers can expect each episode to be filled with fun crafts that you can re-create at home and epic-sized surprises.
What unique and captivating aspects does it offer that makes this highly-anticipated show a must-watch?
One thing I love about this show is really the balanced focus on individuality and connectedness. Each of our human guests is so uniquely creative with varied interests and backgrounds. On top of that, each of their pets has completely different personalities and needs. I think viewers will love to see how so many different pairs of best friends live their lives and share their love! But more importantly, how similar we are all in our need and desire to connect. The one thing all of our guests have in common is their passion for life and each other.
What message or feeling do you want the viewers to take away after watching each episode, and what is one thing that most excites you about the show?
I really hope that viewers leave each episode feeling inspired and happy. We live in a society and in a time where ‘happiness’ is not always prioritized, despite study after study showing us that feeling good and laughing have measurable benefits on both our mental and physical health. I hope that this show can be a small pocket of time where families can come together for quality time and simply laugh together. My 6-year-old nephew is just as excited about this show as my 80-year-old grandmother. I am so proud that we created something so many people will be able to enjoy together in the community. And maybe even inspire families to adopt a pet.
Just as you followed your passion, how do you think the show can inspire kids to pursue their dreams? What message or values do you hope kids will take away?
Follow fun. Always! Feeling safe in our environment allows us to feel good in our bodies, empowering us to conquer challenges. Surround yourself with people who fully SEE YOU and celebrate your success. I’ve spent years curating supportive spaces for my family, enabling personal growth without fear of change or failure.
Every child watching should remember they deserve safety and love. When you find something that makes you feel like you can fly, hold onto that feeling and let it grow within you. Give those positive emotions more space, and the negative ones will diminish. If you ever need a friend, ‘Bestest Day Ever’ is here to remind you that I’m cheering for you. Excited for the wonderful things you’ll achieve!
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