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Monday, December 8, 2008

Interview - Animal Trainer

Mindy interviewed Bill Berloni today. He trains animals for Broadway, including the dogs in "Annie", "Wizard of OZ" and "Legally Blonde." He also trains animals for Sesame Street. Bert's pigeon Bernice lives with Bill when she's not filming.

Bill started his career at age 2 when he told his mom he didn't want a brother or sister, but that he wanted a dog. When he was nineteen, he wanted to be in a play and was told that he could have a part if he would train the dog for free. So he trained the dog Sandy for the original production of Annie. He thought if he could make the animal think that the theater was the animal's home and the cast is the animal's family, then they couldd get the dog into a "routine."

Bill's motto is "Be Kind to Animals." You make the animal want to work with you. Animals do have feelings.

Callers asked questions about their animals. His advice is to treat the animals when they do good things and to treat them with respect. He suggested that you could apply this to kids as well (But I personally would NEVER withhold affection from my child because they have misbehaved. That sounds terrible to me. My kids know that I love them unconditionally.)

His wife takes care of the birds -- he doesn't train birds. He trains animals from shelters and rescues animals. At his house he has tons of animals that he has rescued, such as 21 dogs, a pony, and more. He also said that he wouldn't want to work in the circus since wild animals belong in the wild, not in the circus.

An animal has to be able to deal with stress and not be aggressive in order to be in showbiz.

He has also written a book Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars.

He suggests if you are looking for a rescue pet.

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