Stars Create LifeCHANGING ExperienceBy SOD Posted: Aug 19, 2011
When Arianne Zucker (Nicole, DAYS) approached former co-star Jason Cook (Matt, GH; ex-Shawn, DAYS) about a project she and her brother, Todd, were working on, he jumped on board right away. Nearly two years later, the trio has created LifeCHANGE, a documentary series that they hope will drastically change lives. "We're taking six young adults, between the ages of 18-25 and we're going to put them through a leadership mentor program through Derrick Boles and his L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P 1st organization and then send them off to the St. Benard Project in New Orleans to help rebuild homes in the ninth ward," says Arianne. "This gives kids who have maybe even never been outside their neighborhood an opportunity to find who they are, meet new people and also build and give back. They'll also be able to go off and experience New Orleans on their own and really see beyond what is right in front of their nose."
Jason recalls the pitch he got from Arianne. "Ari called me one day, I guess it was a year-and-a-half ago, and I had just gotten through a really frustrating meeting," he says. "Ari called me and said she had this idea where she wanted to change people's lives and pay it forward and the idea she came up with with Todd. Three sentences in, I was absolutely hooked. I thought it was awesome and I was instantly wracking my brain to think of other shows that might exist already that were like this and they were few and far between and really nothing was to the scope of what I was imagining and what Ari was conveying. The more we talked about it, we realized this show has limitless upside potential, so I immediately wanted to do it. I think it's going to make riveting TV, because these people are at a critical juncture and we're going to put them on a stage they've never been on before and give them the opportunity to reach out and really affect people's lives. Not pretend affect. They're going to really get in environments that are completely unfamiliar to them and there's no doubt that there's going to go on this amazing change and they're going to become better people. You don't have to be Snooki from JERSEY SHORE to have an entertaining show."
Todd says the discussions with his sister go back to their childhood. "Ever since we were kids, we talked about doing something, so we started throwing ideas around about a television show based on philanthropy, doing good because there's so much garbage and trash TV on, so we thought it would be nice to see something productive," he notes. "We wanted something more than a show, something that was more of a movement. Bringing Jason on board was awesome. He has done a really good job of interjecting different ideas and different ways to go about it. But the premise is helping people give back and learn that by becoming a mentor and helping others, they'll find their inner strength and be able to go back and help their own communities."
The trio is in the process of looking for the 6 young adults and their first stop is Boise State University on August 30. "We're going to set up shop at some high schools and colleges, because we're not going to do the actual project until next July," says Arianne. You can also submit yourself online. For more information head to the Web site, lifechangetheshow.com.