"Being a nanny enables us to chase our dreams while having a fulfilling job."
I was fortunate to interview Shaun Sturz, a nanny and a cast mate of the new reality series Beverly Hills Nannies (ABC Family Wednesday 9pm/8c). Here's what I learned about the reality television star who is helping redefine the image of a man working in a female dominated field.
Since his teenage years Shaun has been paving his path to working as a professional nanny. He has always loved working with children as a swim instructor, lifeguard, tutor, art teacher, and sports coach. But, over the past 13-years he has also been working off-and-on as an in-home childcare provider. I am also impressed that he has authored two children's books and he is currently working on a third.
The first children's book Shaun authored is called, Baxter Bu. The story is about a boy and his best friend Baxter Bu, an English bull dog. They do everything together including skateboarding and surfing. The moral of the story can best be described in a Dr. Seuss quote "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Shaun reveals, "This book was inspired from a true story and has been my passion for quite a long time now."
His second children's book is called, Sammy The Manny. The story is about a Manny and is cleverly the modern day twist on Mary Poppins.
The reality TV star is currently researching his third book about his grandmother, who he describes as the real life female version of Indian Jones. He explains, "She is so freakin' insane to me. This lady has was an archaeologist 50-years ago and did secret spy stuff, while raising a family at home."
One of the most controversial comments made on the show was when another nanny, who wants to open a nanny agency, says she only wants to place young and fun nannies. So, I thought it only fitting to ask Shaun if all nannies in Beverly Hills are as young, fit, and good looking as he and his fellow cast mates are. In response, he admitted, "I am blushing!"
"To be quite honest nannies do come in all shapes and sizes in Beverly Hills -- there is someone for everyone. But you know the saying 'birds of a feather flock together,'" adds the nanny.
Then, I asked him if there is any truth behind the rumors that the nannies that are on the show are just wannabe actors and actresses. He concedes, "It is not a rumor. Some nannies do want to act, but some also want to be singers, TV hosts, stunt doubles, entrepreneurs, or children's book author and illustrators."
Shaun isn't ashamed to admit, "Being a nanny enables us to chase our dreams while having a fulfilling job."
When I asked if being a man in a field dominated by women has helped or hurt his career he feels it has definitely helped him. He not only prides himself on being willing to get down and get dirty, literally, with the kids he also points out that celebrity parents often feel a man can protect their children. Shaun says celebrity parents have hired him because they feel their kids are more secure from the Hollywood spotlight when they can hire a man to act as one part caretaker, one part secret service.
Shaun says his pride and joy when working as a nanny is, "When the kids are smiling I know have done my job well."
His advice to other men interested in working in a female dominated industry is to, "Learn as much as you can from the families, and don't ever try and apply for my job!"
Finally, the Beverly Hills Manny says, "It is amazing to see the journey that it has taken me on when I really sit down and think about. I ask myself, 'Is this really happening to me? Is this my reality?' Reality TV that is."