“If you were president of the United States, what would you do?”
“I do like tacos, so maybe on like Tuesdays I’d gather some people and have a feast.”
“Well, I guess I would inform laws about brushing your teeth ‘cause I have a lot of cavity issues.”
“I would make candy free and no more cutting trees down.”
Children say the darndest things, Julian Shapiro-Barnum knows this.
After the pandemic interrupted his senior year of college, Shapiro-Barnum had been feeling low. Rather than bask in his sorrow, the twenty-two-year-old took to the streets for some well-needed life advice. Whom did he ask? Children.
His interviews cover a wide range of topics, from animals and movies to climate change and life after death. No matter the topic, the show’s interviews result in funny, charming, and insightful responses.
“What do you think the meaning of life is?”
“Having lots of friends, and punching them if they suck.”
“Where do you think money comes from?”
“The dollar store.”
“Why do you think you are here on this Earth?”
“So I can save my planet.”
More than Childs Play
According to Shapiro-Barnum, the birth of the show was somewhat unintentional, having filmed his first episode as part of his senior thesis project.
“The piece I decided to do for the ‘Historical Figure’ aspect of my thesis was children. My friends and I were so tortured by having to be inside so much that we’d be at the playground all the time, and we got really used to seeing all the neighborhood kids. They always seemed so happy. We were all so miserable, and they were in a similar situation to us, all doing online school. The first hot day, I suggested we talk to them to see how they were able to keep such a positive outlook.”
In Shapiro-Barnum’s words, he deemed it a “cathartic” experience.
“They were also unhappy but had better coping mechanisms than we did. They could be really sad, really angry, but also put it aside and play – something that I have a hard time doing. If I’m feeling something, it goes into all areas of my life. I remember walking home and thinking, ‘Whoa – that was very therapeutic.’ And that was the beginning of Recess Therapy.”
After six months, the show has developed into a professional operation. Thanks to it’s popularity, the show has allowed Shapiro-Barnum to attract more willing interviewees. The show has even granted him trust and recognition from New York City parents.
Fans of Recess Therapy can praise the show for its funny and wholesome content. Meanwhile, first-time watchers can appreciate the show for reminding us what it was like to see the world when we were younger.
In the end, if you’re looking for some therapeutic content, Recess Therapy will surely make you smile.