Interview with Genni Long

 


Just turn on an episode of Adventures in Odyssey, and there's a good chance you'll hear the chipper voice of Lucy Cunningham-Schultz. Played by Genni Mullen Long, and the longest surviving Odyssey kid character, Lucy Schultz has always been one of the most popular characters. Genni is now married to Don Long (voice of Jack Davis!), and has agreed to share her adventure in Odyssey... and beyond!

Actor Bio | Website
 

How did you get involved with Adventures in Odyssey?

My parents ran the children's choir ministry at our church, and someone in our church (who worked at Focus) suggested that she take a group of kids to audition for the new Children's Radio Broadcast by Focus on the Family. My mom took about 10 of us down to the studio. Donald Long (who played Jack Davis and a few other characters) and I were 2 of them.  We actually auditioned using the script from our first episode "Rumor Has It". I think it was a few weeks later that they called us back to record that show.

 

What was it like playing Lucy Cunningham-Schultz? Do you relate to her in any way?

It was fun!

In some ways. I do like to steer clear of trouble, so in that way I am like her. However, she really is pretty vocally opinionated and outgoing -- although I have my opinions I keep them to myself most of the time.

 

Who is your favorite character and why?

Whit.

He was so full of wisdom, and he always had time for you.

 

Which character do you resemble the most?

I would have to say Lucy.

 

What was your favorite part of working on Adventures in Odyssey?

I loved recording with all those talented actors and actresses. It was such a privilege to work with them.  They were so good, they made us (amateurs) sound good too!  We had so much fun in the studio. There were so many times they would goof off and start singing funny little songs and saying their lines in hilarious voices and accents. It felt like a family reunion every time we would record.

 

Do you wish you could change anything about your acting skills?

Definitely! When I listen to some of the shows I was in, I think, Wow! Why ever did they ask me to come back!

 

What was it like working with the original cast of kids on Adventures in Odyssey and Hal Smith, the original voice of Whit?

It was an honor and a pleasure.I feel so blessed. Hal was so special.

 

Have you seen any AIO sites? If so, which ones?

Just recently I came across a few, but this one really caught my attention. It is very well done!

 

What did you like and dislike about playing emotional scenes?

I like the challenge, but sometimes it can be difficult to turn on the tears, especially since we often record the script out of order (in little sections). We record a scene (a few pages) and then they call a few actors out and a few more in -- It's easy to lose the flow of the story sometimes.

 

What is your favorite aspect of a recording session?

I love it all! It is exciting when a scene evolves. We start with a read through and do it over until it feels right. It is so fun when you actually feel like you are there! Again, I just loved working with Katie, Will, Hal, and all the others -- and the recording crew was like a second family.

 

Were you friends with any of the AIO actors? If so, which ones?

I like to think we were friends, but I was just a pre-teen/teenager at that time. They (all the adult actors) were so good and kind to us -- Helping us through the script and making us feel so comfortable and at ease. They were really patient. I was always excited to see everyone again. It was usually months between recording sessions. I was friends with Don Long (Jack Davis), we grew up in the same church and both started working on Adventures in Odyssey at the same time.

 

What's the story behind you and Don Long and your adventures both inside and outside of Odyssey?

Don started coming to my church when we were seven years old. He actually asked me to be his girlfriend shortly after that. You know, he had a friend pass me a little note that said: "Do you want to be my girlfriend? Check Yes or No."  I knew from that time on that I wanted to marry this boy! He was so cute, sweet, and responsible (he had his own paper route and bought me presents with his own money!).  We started dating when we were 16, he asked me to marry him when were 17, and we got married on May 21, 1994 when were just 18 years old. I know, that is very young, but I think our families knew from the time we were little that we would probably marry. Don is my best friend and I believe God made us for each other. After we married, Don continued on to finish Bible College. When he graduated in 1997, we went to work in Thailand for a year and a half. Don's brother was a missionary there, we went to help him and see if foreign missions work was in God's plan for us. We helped in the church and taught English (in hopes that we could draw our students into the church so they could meet Christ). It was an experience we will never forget. God taught us so many things during our time there. It was amazing to experience living in a culture so different from our own. We are so blessed here in America and we forget it so often! We made some wonderful lifetime friendships over there. After our time in Thailand, we moved to The Woodlands, Texas to help in a small church that was starting up. We are still here, 9 years later.  We now (Dec. 2007) have 2 children, a 4˝ year-old daughter named Dana and a 2 year-old son named Jordan. So, that is "Our Story".

 

What other kinds of things (job-related) do you do now?

I don't work outside the home, I am a full time Wife and Mom---and I LOVE it! I have also started homeschooling my kids.

 

What are your hobbies?

I just enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

 

Do Odyssey fans ever recognize you in public?

No. I think one time a little girl said "You sound just like Lucy on Odyssey".  That was it.

 

What have you learned the most as you played Lucy?

I've learned that God can use the small things you do in big ways. Growing up I never realized how many people listened to the show. Adventures in Odyssey has made an impact in the lives of many young people and I feel so honored that God allowed me to be a small part of its ministry.

 

What is your most memorable moment during your Adventures in Odyssey days?

I would have to say I would get very excited whenever they would cast Don and I in the same show. We would often carpool to our recording sessions—How Fun!

 

How did you react when you found out that Lucy wouldn't be on any future shows when it was time to transition to a new cast of characters?

There wasn't a time when I knew I wouldn't be on any more future shows. When Hal Smith died, a lot of things started to change. The shows were changing and the recording sessions were spread further apart. I don't think anyone was sure what would happen with the show. There definitely had to be some changes, because all the kid actors were growing up (the boys' voices were changing!).

 

During that time, "It's a Wrap" was your last show. Was that a sad show for you to record?

I didn't know that was going to be my last show. I don't think the writers even knew that. Don and I moved to Thailand shortly after that show, and then we moved to Texas. So, it just kind of happened.

 

In conclusion, what piece of advice would you like to leave the Adventures in Odyssey fans who have loved your character throughout the years?

Don't forget about Odyssey. When you have children, remember to share it with them. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to enjoy it!
 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk to us!

 
 

 

 


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