Remember Salute Your Shorts? 7 Kids. Picked to live in a camp. See what happens when people stop being nice and start getting awful waffled. If you watched Nickelodeon in the 90’s, you’re probably no stranger to Salute Your Shorts or as I like to call it –  Real World: Camp Anawanna. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the stars of the show, Venus DeMilo Thomas. You may know her as Telly Radford.


Telly Radford not having ANY of what Ug has to say.

Venus recently reunited with her fellow campers for the show’s 25th anniversary and watched the Zeke the Plumber episode with an audience of superfans. In our interview, she shares some amazing stories about making the show, seeing the old crew, and debunks some Salute Your Shorts myths.

Michael, Z.Z., Dina, Ug (in the back?), Telly (Venus), Sponge, and Donkeylips. We’ll assume Budnick is taking the photo.


Venus started her acting career at just six years old, and then dominated the 90’s.  In addition to Salute Your Shorts, she appeared on Family Matters, Sister, Sister, Party of Five, My So-Called Life, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch…just to name a few. (Her first on screen kiss was with Stefan Urkel!)

Keep in mind these are just from her child star resume. Venus is still out there doing her thing in film and television. (You can check out the rest of her resume here.)  Plus her new commercial out with Kristen Schaal!

Venus was a personal hero of mine growing up. Seeing her on television inspired me, and doing this interview with her only elevated that admiration. Talking with Venus feels like talking with an old friend. She’s so open and honest about her experiences in the industry and “the double life” she leads as both an actress and a senior coordinator at Paramount Studios.

Venus’s philosophy on life seems to be simple

Do what you love until the day you die – and maybe join a dodgeball league in between.


I hope you enjoy the interview and if you’d to see more of Venus you can check out her acting reel here.


Think Anawanna-wanna

Speak Anawanna-wanna

Live Anawanna-wanna UG!