It’s been an exciting year for Hi-5’s Courtney Clarke—from youth band to volunteering in Cambodia to landing her dream job, writes Holly Reed.
Can you tell us about the moment you learned you had the Hi-5 gig?
After jumping around in shock and excitement, I called my parents to let them know. There wasn’t too much time for celebration as I was on a flight to the first rehearsal literally the next day. So it was all very full on, but the most exciting few days ever.
Can you describe the first time you and the new Hi-5 cast members came together?
We all met each other at the auditions on various days, but when we first met up as ‘The New Hi-5’ there was such an amazing vibe. The ‘family’ feeling clicked instantly.
What is a typical working day for a member of Hi-5?
We all have so much fun and are so silly with each other that it never really feels like work. We are just living the dream, singing and dancing and playing all day long.
How has your life changed since joining Hi-5?
New people and places, mainly. I’ve moved from the Blue Mountains to the city, so the Hi-5 gang have become my new best friends and family. I’m also loving all the travelling that we’ve been doing. Travelling is my favourite thing to do.
What do you love most about the role?
It’s very hard for me to pick one favourite thing. I really do love kids and just working and playing with them. Live shows and hospital visits are so much fun because we get to perform with the kids, but then we also get to go and meet them.
Can you describe what a Hi-5 concert feels like from the stage?
Lots of smiles, laughs, and sweating! There’s so much energy, none of us can sit still backstage. We all love the live shows. We never know what to expect because each show is always so different.
I love seeing all of the kids’ faces as they figure out how to do the dance steps with us, but the most fun part is knowing that we all get to be like big kids on stage.
How long have you been playing music and how did you discover your talent?
I’ve been singing and dancing since I could talk really, and I think I fell in love with it far before I was any good at it. I was always told I had a lot of talent. But for a long time I never saw it that way. I just knew I loved how music made me feel!
What role has your faith in God played in your music career?
God has always been like a dad to me. If I wasn’t sure about things, I’d talk to him. I always knew that he was the one that put music in my heart.
When I got a bit older—I’d say 15—I started to run youth band with some friends from my church. It opened up a whole new world of music to me. When I was writing songs I’d talk to God about my lyrics and write to him.
When I auditioned for Hi-5 I just gave it up completely to faith. I asked if this was where God wanted me, and I really felt in my heart after the first day of auditions that this was what he wanted for me, to really share his love through this opportunity. I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am now.
Can you tell us about your time volunteering in Cambodia?
My time in Cambodia has been the best time of my life.
I worked with a program called Raw Impact, building a school in a small remote village and then doing some agricultural work in gardens and farms. After that I travelled and saw the country, and then spent four days in another remote village with a friend who runs a church ministry there. The ministry is based on God’s love for his people, so they spend time with the kids, teaching English classes, running food programs and, of course, running the Christian Church.
Spending those few days helping with the church ministry changed me so much I knew instantly I wanted to go back. I went back over for another five weeks and that was a trip of a lifetime.