Pet project: Jersey City actor helps bring ‘Urban Animals’ to your living room – The Star

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Aug 12, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

A Jersey City man who has had a colorful career of playing female characters in film will co-produce an animal television show.

Clover Welsh, 50, is the idea man behind upcoming episodes for Urban Animals, a show that depicts how animals contribute to the lifestyle and culture of New York City and the surrounding urban areas of New Jersey. 

“Animals are a vital part of the lives of urbanites. They add fun and adventure, but also relieve the pressures of city life,” Welsh said.

The show will air on the NYC Life channel on Tuesday and Saturday mornings at 11:30 starting Aug. 5. NYC Life is Channel 22 on Cablevision. 

Welsh said animals play an integral role in cities, whether they are pets or unwanted intruders who sneak into apartment units.

Episodes that will take place in Hudson County include a feral cat trapping program in Union City, a family of peregrine falcons that nest under a bridge in Secaucus and a woman who has a playpen for her pet rats in an apartment in Jersey City.

The crew is currently producing a segment about the five goats roaming in Harsimus Cemetery. The historic Jersey City site was abandoned in early 2008 and is being restored by volunteers. The goats are helping restore the cemetery by eating weeds, such as poison ivy.

He is confident that the program, created by Tony Sawicki of East Rutherford, will draw viewers because everyone loves animals.

“People here in Hudson County are committed to their pets, and we believe that they will also be committed to watching Urban Animals on television, because the show focuses on their lives and the animals they love,” Welsh said.

Welsh grew up in Totowa and attended Kean University as a business major in the early 1980s. He left school to work for Liz Claiborne in Secaucus and later worked as a bookkeeper. He then moved to Manhattan before relocating to Jersey City 10 years ago. 

“I studied business and computers because they were the most practical skills I felt were needed to get a good job,” Welsh said, who later developed an interest in television and began attending media events.

He met Sawicki in 2002 at a human rights event at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, and they met again that year at a media awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.

Soon the two began working as correspondents for Under the Pink Carpet, a LGBT-themed entertainment news program on NYC Life. Welsh’s character was a what he called a “drag diva.”

In 2005, Welsh earned roles as drag queens and female characters in films, including “A Four Letter Word,” “The Big Gay Musical,” and “St. Agatha.”

Welsh and Sawicki started filming segments for Urban Animals in spring 2012.

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