Drake Bell and The “Quiet On Set” Documentary

Drake Bell and The “Quiet On Set” Documentary

On March 17th and 18th, 2024, the documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV was released. The series looked closely at the working environment on set at Nickelodeon during the 1990s and early 2000s, particularly on shows run by Dan Schneider (writer and producer on All That, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious, and others). The documentarians interviewed several former cast members, parents, and writers who told stories of a hostile, uncomfortable, or unsafe work environment under Schneider. Complaints included alleged sexism, inappropriate behavior, and lack of boundaries with staff, actors, and in scripted scenes.

A large focus of the documentary was on actor and musician Drake Bell (The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh), who told his story of childhood sexual abuse for the first time publicly. In 2004, Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor. This documentary was the first time the identity of that minor was revealed publicly as Drake Bell.

In the documentary interviews, it is clear that coming forward was an extremely difficult decision for Bell to make. You can see in his words, body language, and mannerisms how painful the memories are to revisit, and how hard it has been to move through life after having that experience. It took incredible courage to share his story. 

Pluto in Aquarius is most certainly playing a role in this karmic reckoning for Hollywood and big entertainment companies like Nickelodeon. But for Bell personally, his story could have been shared years ago, or he could have chosen to keep it private for decades more. So why now, 20 years later? Can we look to astrology to understand why Bell may have decided to come forward and share his story now?

Drake Bell’s Birth Chart

We can look at Bell’s birth chart to understand a little more about who he might be, what he might value, and what challenges he may face in life.

Drake Bell was born on June 27th, 1986, in Fountain Valley, CA, at 8:13pm. 

He is a Cancer Sun, which means he may be sensitive, empathetic, kind, and perceptive. Cancer Suns are capable of great emotional strength, for themselves and others, and also great vulnerability. Because they are so intuitive, people with their Sun in Cancer can become easily overwhelmed. They must learn how to have deeper self-awareness and set healthy boundaries in order to protect their sensitivity.

With his Moon in Pisces, he may feel and express his emotions compassionately, imaginatively, and creatively. He may have a deep capacity for unconditional love. Pisces Moons, like Cancer Suns, also need strong boundaries to protect their sensitive energy. They have a core need for spiritual connection, space to daydream, and a creative or artistic practice to help digest their intense emotional world. 

If this birth time is correct (which sometimes it is hard to know with celebrities), Bell is a Capricorn Rising. This would mean that his personality, particularly in childhood, is very mature, polished, ambitious, and responsible. While sometimes serious, Capricorn Risings also have a good sense of humor. 

Given this birth time, Bell’s Midheaven is in Libra. The Midheaven tells us where we might be successful in our career, how we are viewed publicly, and what our legacy might be. A Libra Midheaven may have a career centered around their physical appearance or charming personality. They also may succeed in areas related to justice and equality, the arts, or relationship or partnership. It makes sense that his legacy and public image is closely tied to his acting role and iconic duo in Drake & Josh!

Two other key aspects of the birth chart that can reveal someone’s purpose or journey in this lifetime are the North Node and Chiron. The North Node represents our karmic journey, our soul’s path through this lifetime and what we are here to learn. Bell’s North Node is in Aries, meaning he is here to journey toward authenticity and a strong sense of self-worth. Opposite the South Node in Libra, the Aries North Node must learn to embrace their own desires and wants, and learn to avoid people-pleasing or changing themself to fit the needs of others. With an Aries North Node, Bell is encouraged to embrace his own identity, be true to himself, and find fulfillment from within.

Chiron is a placement that indicates the innermost wounds we may carry from a past life or early life experiences. Throughout this lifetime, our Chiron is triggered repeatedly, forcing us to face the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of ourselves. Along this path of self-healing and journey to acceptance of our wounds, we also learn how to help others with similar struggles. Bell has Chiron in Gemini, which may mean he has difficulties communicating and expressing himself effectively. As an actor and singer, Bell clearly has a mastery of word and expression. What this Chiron in Gemini might represent is a feeling of being misunderstood, unheard, or unimportant to others. There also could be a struggle to put his deepest, most true feelings into words. Through the wisdom he gains from his own struggles, Bell can bring healing to others around their self-expression and help others learn how to speak their own truth.

Transit Aspects with Bell’s Birth Chart

Next, we are going to look at how the planets were interacting with Bell’s birth chart when the documentary was released. I was unable to find the date Bell sat down to give his interview, so I am going to use the date of the documentary release, March 17th, looking at the impacts the documentary release might have on his relationships, career, and public image.

Chiron Transit

First, we can look at how the transits of Chiron, the planetary body representing our deepest core wounds, may have been affecting Bell’s chart. On March 17th, the Chiron transit was at 18° of Aries. Chiron moves through signs on average every 4 years. These Chiron aspects roughly began to form around January of this year and will stick around until May.

At 18° of Aries, this Chiron transit is sextile Bell’s natal Chiron in Gemini. A sextile aspect is often referred to as a “positive” aspect because it brings harmony between the energy of two placements. The ease and gentleness between those two placements forming the sextile can facilitate growth and progress. The Chiron transit forming a sextile with Bell’s natal Chiron brings a gentleness and ease around those inner, core wounds. The deep struggles, which are normally very challenging and painful, begin to soften, and it can be easier to both feel and analyze one’s core wounds at this time. There is an opportunity for more self-compassion and understanding. This also is a great time for making progress in the processing of those core wounds. This sextile is reminding Bell that his wounds and past struggles are a jumping off point for major growth, and that he is not alone in his journey. He has gained – and will continue to gain – strength and wisdom that can heal and inspire himself and others. 

Reiterating these themes of wounds as opportunities for growth, the Chiron transit is forming a sesquiquadrate with Bell’s natal Saturn. A sesquiquadrate aspect is when two placements form a 135° angle – or one square (90°) plus one semi-square (45°). A sesquiquadrate acts similarly to a square aspect, creating tension and energetic movement between two placements. For Bell, this Chiron sesquiquadrate Saturn aspect creates a tension between the desire for stability, poise, structure, responsibility, and control, and the need for vulnerability. Vulnerability can obviously be very uncomfortable, and Bell may have felt that deep discomfort as a conflict between sharing his story and maintaining the status quo in his career, relationships, responsibilities, and more. However, it’s possible that the status quo has been getting in the way of his healing. This Saturn transit points directly at that conflict and also asks Bell, “what new responsibilities does healing give you?”

Lastly, the Chiron transit is forming a trine with Bell’s natal Uranus. Uranus is the revolutionary and changemaker in the birth chart. The focus on his wounds at this time may allow him to shake things up, try new strategies, build new opportunities, and let go of things no longer serving him.

Pluto Transit

Another major planet we can look to is Pluto. Pluto transits can be associated with shifts in power, revealing that which was secret, the endings and beginnings of cycles, and transformations. Pluto moves through the signs very slowly, moving only a degree or so every couple of months. Therefore, when a Pluto transit forms an aspect with a placement in the birth chart, it can stay within range of that aspect for a significant period of time. 

On March 17th, Pluto was at about 1° Aquarius and formed a square with Bell’s natal North Node in Aries. The North Node is the point of our karmic destiny, the lessons our soul’s are here to learn in this lifetime. A square is a point of tension that, if worked through and channeled effectively, can create an opportunity for major growth and success. With Pluto and the North Node involved, this tension has a lot of karmic energy stored in it, a lot of power gained from past experiences. Bell has the opportunity to channel this energy toward growth and understanding – if ignored or misused, this energy can lead to self-sabotage or overly controlling behaviors. In addition, Pluto burns away that which is no longer needed, guiding Bell along in his soul’s purpose and karmic journey.

Pluto was also forming a sesquiquadrate with Bell’s natal Chiron, an opposition to his natal Mercury, and a square with his natal Midheaven. Again, these aspects carry the same message of transformation and growth. Bell is being asked to question his own thoughts and belief patterns, release any limiting beliefs, and work on building an internal sense of self-worth. There may be a call to reassess his relationships with money and material possessions. He might struggle with how other people respond to his story, and Pluto may burn away some casual or misaligned friendships at this time.

All this self-reflection and confrontation of deep-seated wounds is going to bring an opportunity to transform his career and public image. He is being asked to shed old layers, confront any power struggles or control issues, and embrace more authenticity. The cosmos are reminding Bell that he is incredibly resilient, and he can ride out this evolution and come out even stronger on the other side. He is being given an opportunity to seek out his deepest passions and values and bring those into his career. 

What might his deepest passions and values be? His 2nd House, the house of value assessment, is in Aquarius, so he may incorporate more innovation, community, or social justice into his career. His Moon in Pisces has core needs for spiritual and artistic connection, so he may bring more spirituality into his career. His Mars is in Capricorn, ruling deep motivations and drive, which could allow him to be a great leader of others. And with his Venus in Leo, also associated with true values, he could embrace more performing in his career and possibly return to acting.

Additional Transits

There are a few additional transit aspects that make March 17th significant for Bell:

The Moon is square with Bell’s natal Moon and conjunct his natal Chiron. The Sun is conjunct his natal Moon and square his natal Chiron. These aspects make this day emotionally intense. The Sun is shining a light on Bell’s emotional world and his core wounds, while the Moon is lending emotional insight to those core wounds and creating tension around communicating big feelings. Bell is being asked, “How have your wounds kept you from diving deep into the waters of your emotions and from shining the fullness of your light onto the world?”

Saturn is forming a sextile with Bell’s Ascendant. This “positive” aspect with Saturn creates an opportunity for building new habits and releasing old destructive patterns. This is a time for Bell to set new goals and get serious about working toward them.

The Sun and Neptune, conjunct together, are forming an inconjunct angle with Bell’s natal Midheaven. This transit can be a time of questioning, doubt, confusion, and fear around career and true purpose. Neptune may be reflecting a longing for spiritual connection and fulfillment in Bell’s career. This is a time to assess where he may be taken advantage of or prioritizing other people over himself in favor of career security. He may gain clarity on where his career could align more closely with his true purpose as this transit passes. 

Lastly, the Lunar Eclipse in Libra on March 24th, 2024, is in Bell’s 9th House of spirituality, religion, faith, travel, exploration, philosophy, and sharing cultures. This period of time between March 24th and the Libra Solar Eclipse on October 2nd, 2024, is a period of time for Bell to explore those very regions of spirituality, faith, and purpose. We may hear some new developments on how he plans to move forward with his career around the time of the Libra Solar Eclipse in October.

Thank you to everyone involved in the documentary creation and to those who shared their own stories from their time at Nickelodeon. I hope the experience helps their own healing journeys, and I hope they and Bell have inspired the healing journeys of those watching as well. I recommend you go watch and listen to Drake Bell’s new song, “I Kind of Relate”, which came out just after the documentary and gives a beautiful glimpse and tribute into his own view of his career and life so far. He is a skilled musician and artist and I hope we get to celebrate him thriving in the future!

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