An Interview w Laura Bruce of WE TV's "Downsized"

August 2, 2011

Premieres August 16th at 9pm EST.

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Downsized on WE TV is entering it's second season this month and we asked the matriarch of the Bruce family, Laure Bruce a few questions about fame, family and being downsized...

MK: How has the recent fame with the show affected your daily life?

LB: The only thing that can be tough is going to work after something really personal was just on tv.  More specifically, when I announced that I had MS on the show I felt like people looked at me differently and it took getting used to.

MK: Do you feel that the fact that you had to "Downsize" brought you closer as a family unit?

LB:  Absolutely.  When you are on TV you say things that you would normally keep inside and our communication skills with each other has improved.  The show can be therapeutic in that regard.

MK: What is your funniest memory during the filming of the show?

LB:  We always laugh when we watch the show because there are things we missed that we pick up on TV like, in one episode , Todd drops a loaf of bread and then blows off the germs and puts it back on the table.

MK:  How long did it take your children to adjust to the marriage and what advice to you have for step parents with multiple step children in the home?

LB: I would say it took a good few years and we are always adapting.  It's a constant process and just like with biological kids there are times when certain kids/step parents are closer with each other.  My advice would be to have regular family meetings where they can feel safe to express their feelings.  Getting things out in the open helps to move things forward.

MK:  What are some of the challenges you have come across with raising 6 teenagers that are not economically related?

LB:  Definitely rules!  There are times when Todd thinks the kids should be allowed to do certain things that I don't approve of and vice versa.  When he doesn't consult me and allows "his" kids to do something (and vice versa) that I wouldn't have allowed then a new standard is set for all of them.  An example of this is driving.  During the first driving year I am more conservative and would rather the kids not drive into town without one of us but Todd allowed his kids so my kids expected the same rule.  I wasn't comfortable with that and so issues grew between the kids.  Communication between parents is imperative and without it the family will crumble!

MK: Do you get support from your viewers as they may be experiencing some of the same challenges your family is?  Can you give us an example?

LB: That is one of the most rewarding things about doing this show.  It is so gratifying to get emails and comments from people that are thanking us for putting our story out there.  The main reason why we wanted to do this show was to connect to people and share our experience.  I pray that message is still conveyed in season 2.

MK: What advice do you have for families that may be experiencing the same economical set backs are you are?  How can they keep their family unit intact?

LB: Form a team and attack it TOGETHER.  Kids start to sway when they feel helpless and by nature they love to be empowered.  Let them contribute (not just monetarily); kids are wise beyond their years.  Remind each other that this is temporary and learn from it.  In the end, you will all be stronger and better prepared for the future as long as you remember to stick together.  Be grateful for the blessings that you have.

MK: What can we expect from the second season?

LB: This season was a little more conflicting than last.  Like most families, we also have our ups and downs.  It seemed like anything that could've happened, happened during the 10 weeks that the cameras were there.  Many things were so unexpected so we were dealing with some pretty profound issues on national TV and we were not always sure about the right way to handle them. We are hopeful that people will learn from our mistakes or learn from ways in which we somehow got it right!  More than anything, I think the message is consistent; With a family's love and commitment you can overcome life's obstacles together (even though the road seems long and bumpy most of the time).  It's harder but it's better!

The second season of Downsized on WE TV premieres August 16th at 9:00pm EST.  For more info visit http://www.wetv.com/shows/downsized