Thursday Interview: “Beverly Hills Nanny” Amanda Averill

Amanda Averill

I had not expected to be drawn into the new ABC show Beverly Hills Nannies. I’m not on their payroll. But something about the series struck a chord with me and ticked all of the proverbial reality TV boxes. Primarily it’s about entertainment but subtly viewers are given a peek into the tangled world of domestic caregiving. And because of the show Nannies have gone mainstream. I requested an interview with one of the actors and nannies, Amanda Averill obliged. This is an exclusive interview for the Nanny Time Bomb, all rights reserved. 

I took some time out looking over your (Amanda’s) reels and
content sites and I was struck with how versatile you are. Do you think being
so extroverted helps when working with children?
Absolutely!!!  Children are so full of energy and fun,
I try to match that same attitude when I am working with children.  Bottom line, kids want someone to have
fun and play with.  Nannies have to
provide that along with a safe environment.  Who wouldn’t want to run around as Superman all day?  I’ll take that over a bartending job
any day.
‘You’re a long way from home Dorothy’ 😉 what made you
leave Wisconsin?
There is no place like home!  That is definitely the truth.  I grew up in what may as well have been
“Pleasantville”, a lovingly, community driven city.  I am blessed with a very supportive and
loving family, so when I got the itch to move away and discover a new city,
they were right by my side. 
However, there are those few days where I wish I could click my ruby red
heels together, take a break, and go home!
Some nannies may feel that the Beverly Hills ‘nanny’
lifestyle is far removed from their own daily experiences, what do you think
are the common (universal) experiences of all nannies? And was bringing a sense
of ‘reality’ to the show, important to you, your cast members and to the
network?
Children are universal.  In my experience, all children have
very  basic needs. They want to be
loved, they want to be happy. 
However, Beverly Hills is very different than many other cities across
America. Beverly Hills is iconic for being a very wealthy community which is
run by so many different types of people, families, and industries.  I believe that children and families in
Beverly Hills are exposed to many more things and experiences.  In a lot of ways, that can be a very
beneficial thing.  For instance,
there is great culture, great schools, great jobs, etc.  But on the flip side, that can mean
over exposure.  Bigger, better,
faster, stronger.  there are more
pressures that kids might face here in Beverly Hills.  In fact, while I was nannying a two year old showed me how
to use an IPad…a TWO year old.
Bringing a sense of
“reality” to the show is very important to me. All of the nannies are
truly wonderful and experienced nannies. 
I have been a nanny a long time, however, I have not been a nanny a long
time in Beverly Hills, so everything I am experiencing here as a “newbie
nanny” are truly first hand accounts.  I am learning everything new right along with the viewers
watching.  I almost have an
outsider-looking-in point of view, which I hope really resonates with a lot of
our viewers!
On your personal site you speak about the need for
nannies to organize and participate in support groups. Why do you feel this is
so important?
Mother’s have support groups, why shouldn’t
nannies?!  Children will have a
temper tantrum in front of anyone, mother or nanny.  It’s important for the growth of a nanny to be able to share
stories, get advice, and form a community.  Nannies get sick too sometimes, and having a list of
qualified nannies in your back pocket is a great
resource!
On your ABC Family bio page you share an awkward story
(husband’s infidelity). Most nannies hopefully won’t have to deal with
situations that extreme, but what other situations or conditions can arise from
working so closely with families?
There is a fine line as a nanny
that you learn how to politely dance around.  Nannies become part of the family, however, a nanny is
providing a paid service so there always needs to be a strong sense of professionalism
while staying very personable. 
It’s a catch 22 because if someone is inviting you into their home they
want to be able to trust you, but they also might not want you to move in
tomorrow.  I like to be able to
take my nanny hat on and off at the end of the day!
In your opinion how can
nannies maintain professional boundaries?
I always think the best way to
stay professional and do a great job as a nanny is being very clear about what
the family and children need right away. 
This way there are no surprises. 
(Fingers crossed, because there are ALWAYS surprises as a nanny.)

What advice would you give to any young person
considering becoming a Nanny? (perhaps an aspiring actress or otherwise
multi-talented individual)
Nannying in my opinion is one of the most rewarding jobs
around. Although hard work, it is such a blessing to be able to work with
children.  However, it isn’t a walk
in the park.  Families want nannies
who they want their children to look up to.  Nannies are not only pseudo on-call parents, they are also
role models. Nannying has a lot of responsibility, so my advice would be to get
as much experience you can with all different ages and groups of children. Ask
a lot of questions, and do your baby/child homework.  Whenever I nanny I like to be prepared before I even step
foot in the door in the morning as to how I will plan the day.  Games, activities, naptime, meals,
bedtime, and bath time.  Each
family is like a snowflake, you wouldn’t show up to an interview unprepared,
same goes for nannying!
Some viewers of Beverly
Hills Nannies have expressed the opinion that the 
show is staged, in other
words, it’s not ‘real work’ – how would you counter 
such critics?
Everyone will believe what they
want.  Children cannot EVER be
scripted.  They will be reading a
book one minute and then peeing on their sibling the next.  (I guess that is why they make great
reality television!)  In my opinion
this show surprised me as to how much it was NOT scripted.  On or off camera I will always give the
families I work for 100% of my attention. 
When children are involved, you cannot play around.
(Ok fun question) Who is your favorite TV Nanny and why?
Mary Poppins of course!!!  Who wouldn’t want a nanny with a magical purse!?  A close second:  Mrs. Doubtfire.  Not explanation needed there.
Catch the show here ABC Family Wednesday 9pm. Watch previous episodes online.