Nov 30, 2015
Rachel Reenstra’s got a great job: she hosts ABC’s “The Wildlife Docs,” a Saturday morning not-just-for-kids TV series.
RACHEL REENSTRA podcast excerpt: "I got my first gig working with animals in 2006 on the Animal Planet series 'Ms. Adventure.' I thought it was a dream come true. I got to entertain and be in a personality-driven show where I traveled the world and compare animal-to-human behaviors. There was so much comedy material there! You never knew what was going to happen."
Filmed at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa, Florida, she gets to interact with all kinds of endearing and unusual critters as the show presents stories of animal interaction, medical intervention and recovery. The show is sweetly presented and Reenstra gives it an element of amusement and wonder, appearing between segments to make introductions and act as behind-the-scenes ringmaster for Busch Gardens creatures and veterinary staff alike. And that voice of hers – think Téa Leoni or Ellen Barkin -- will keep adults hooked as it announces her arrival even before we see her, slightly scratchy and a little gutural in a sexy but unthreatening manner.
RACHEL REENSTRA podcast excerpt: "The more you discover who you are and what you really love, the more opportunities will find their way to you. This is a hard business, full of rejection. I was always an entertainer, but I always loved animals. I never thought these two could come together."
Reenstra has been in show business for many years as an actress but seems to have found her niche with animals; in addition to “The Wildlife Docs,” she also starred in “Ms. Adventure” on Animal Planet.
• 5:35 Rachel Reenstra recalls her first TV series, "Ms. Adventure" on Animal Planet;
• 15:30 Show business is hard, Reenstra says, but if you stick with it, you'll eventually get your chance to shine;
• 25:20 "There were these mealworms -- like worms on crack -- crawling up my arms..."