jacqueline riley thatcher goes by jac february 22nd, 1989 & 28 sister to karl & sheri zoo educator @ the austin zoo
- born in australia but grew up all over the place while her parents filmed their wildlife show.
- started having brief appearances on the show when she was two years old, but by five had her own miniature segment, "jac facts!", where she shared facts about the featured animal in a way that would appeal to kids.
- much to her and her parent's surprise, "jac facts!" took off, and by the time jac was seven she had been offered her own spin off series, "adventure kid!". under the watchful eyes of her parents the show was produced, starring jac as well as karl in his own segment. it focused on animal facts and often featured jac going to zoos to meet with zookeepers and animals, as the network thought a child interacting with wild animals could be a dangerous influence.
- the show managed a fair bit of success, but after six years the network saw the numbers slipping. jac was now fourteen but was still expected to act as she had when she was eight, which understandably didn't read as genuine. after many talks between her parents, her agent, and the network it was decided it was time for a mild rebranding. the show was renamed to "adventure teen!", but ratings dropped even further. in a last ditch effort the show was given to karl (the unexpected heart throb) and jac was sent to los angeles to try and sell "adventure teen!" to american networks.
- jac lived in los angeles with her grandparents for two years. the first was spent exclusively (and unsuccessfully) trying to sell "adventure teen!", and the second was spent going to auditions for various shows, movies, and commercials. she found that only having "deliriously happy" and "childlike wonder" in her repertoire just wasn't good enough to get her hired anywhere else, but surprisingly... she was okay with it. she'd never really wanted to be an actress, being in the public eye had fallen into her lap and she ran with it because it had been fun... but she had realized it wasn't the path she wanted to keep going down.
- her grandparents returned to their home in austin, while jac moved back to australia briefly. she found herself getting stopped on the street, but more frustratingly - job interviewers for normal, every day jobs would ask her about her time doing the show rather than questions that would get her hired. she considered that part of her life over and done with and wanted to move forward as a normal sixteen year old girl, but realized quickly that might not happen for her in australia, or at least not for a long time. she found herself missing the states, where she got to live in relative obscurity, and by seventeen was back living with her grandparents in austin.
- she began attending college and graduated later with a masters degree in zoology, but struggled to figure out where she wanted to go from there. she was stuck between wildlife rehabilitator and wildlife veterinarian, two similar yet vastly different positions. rehabilitator was the easier goal, as veterinarian would require many more years in school... but she didn't want to choose based on what was easy, she wanted to choose based on which she really wanted to do. she applied for a position as a zoo educator in the meantime, hoping it would give her time to sort it out while also working close enough to the field she wanted to be in. she quickly fell in love with the work, however, and has made no steps forward towards the other careers in four years. one day she might figure it out, but for now she's happy exactly where she is.