March 20, 2004

Acting is Hard

Okay, like I said before, I had kind of a long day today, but it was pretty interesting, so I'll do one of my stream of consciousness (read: long and disorganized) posts and go through it.

Today, I helped shoot a sketch for the next episode of Syracuse Live, the HillTV show I've mentioned a couple times before.

First of all, I had to get to the studio at 11:30 AM. That's not right. It's against the College Codeā„¢ to get up before noon on Saturday for anything other than a football game or a fire drill. Apparently, our producer agrees, because she didn't get there until frickin' 12:05 or so, even though it was HER IDEA to meet at 11:30. Fortunately, the day got better.

The sketch we shot today is the opener for the next show, which we're putting together tomorrow. The basic idea is that Josh, our head writer/co-host, is missing, and the cast comes up with a bunch of bizarre theories about where he could be. Then, we show a dramatized version of their ideas. Why does this warrant a blog post, you ask?

Well, the reason we did this sketch is because Josh is actually in New York City right now, so he can't participate in this week's opener. Obviously, he also can't participate in the little vignettes we created to illustrate the theories, so we had to get a "stunt double" to take his place.

Guess what I did all afternoon?

That's right: They decided that I should be Josh's "stunt double" in the sketch (actually, they decided that "this guy" should do it, because they apparently can't take the time to learn that my name is Chris), so I got to do a bunch of really weird acting all day. I may have mentioned before that I wanted to be an actor until I was about 15, so I figured I could handle it, but this was still one of the strangest days I've had in a while.

(NOTE: If you don't want to read about all this now, I will be linking to the sketch when they put it online, and you can see it then...if you have a Windows Media Player, that is. Anti-Mac wankers...)

The first theory was that Josh got "deported to Wyoming." To represent this, we went to a park right off campus, found the most pathetic tree we'd ever seen, and shot. Did I mention it was cold and rainy this afternoon? It was.

The joke is that there's nothing in Wyoming except this one tree, so my part was basically walking around in front it, looking confused, and occasionally saying "hello" or "anybody here?" I also did a really dramatic part where I spread my arms, looked up at the sky, and yelled "WHY??!!!" at the top of my lungs, but we probably aren't using it (I think we should use it).

Yeah. So, that was the first theory. The next was that Josh was going cross-country following the band "Hanson." I don't even know if they're still recording, but I guess it's a funny idea nonetheless.

For this shot, I got behind the wheel of a car (which was technically illegal, since I don't have a license) with a big photo of Hanson and lip-synced "Mmm-bop" a bunch of times while I drove through a parking lot. That actually wasn't the most ridiculous thing I had to do today, but it was close.

Yet another theory was that Josh just went through a really bad break-up, and he had to leave and try to get her back. We decided to show this by re-enacting the boombox scene from "Say Anything" (yeah, this one), so I had to stand in the rain holding a boombox over my head for about 5 minutes while literally biting my lip to avoid laughing at the sheer absurdity of the situation (they're adding the Peter Gabriel song in editing).

Of course, I tried to make it completely authentic with the whole "open trenchcoat" thing, but the best I had was my nylon jacket, and of course, the zipper got stuck so I couldn't even get the "open" part, but they tell me I looked kind of like Cusack. They might have just been trying to make me feel better about standing in friggin' freezing rain for 5 minutes though.

The next one was definitely the most ridiculous. The theory is that Josh was abducted by pirates, but he eventually learned to love their lifestyle. To illustrate this, they had me put on an eye patch and bandana and carry a plastic sword. Of course, that's not funny enough, so I also had to jump around on a bunch of tables in a dorm lounge while shouting "Yarr!!! Shiver me timbers!!!"

I dare you to picture that without laughing. Seriously. Try it.

The guy who was shooting made it even worse, because he kept saying "one more time," but then he took more and more shots from different angles. I was ready to stab him with my plastic pirate sword by the end. Luckily, I did coin a new phrase while shooting this: "Lounge pirate." Heh.

The final theory was that Josh went to compete in a Pokemon tournament. I don't know why they came up with this, but we had to find a way to show it. We couldn't find a pokeball (which I guess is a good thing on a college campus), so we had to use a beach ball instead. I basically just had to say "Jigglypuff, I choose you," and throw the ball toward the camera.

That was pretty embarrassing too, but it was hilarious because I couldn't actually hit the camera, so the camera operator kept saying "aim for my crotch." Payback for the multiple pirate shots! HA!

...Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

So, that's how I spent my day today. The sketch should be online within the next week, so you'll get to see the result of my crazy day (again, you need to be able to play streaming Windows Media). I'm sure you're all looking forward to that.

...As if you managed to read all the way through this.

Posted by CD on March 20, 2004 11:26 PM
Semi-Intelligent Comments

Sadly, I have a friend who would follow Josh on his Hanson-hunting journey. Indeed, they are still recording and performing - and she has remained a diehard fan for at least 5 years now. I was just teasing her about that tonight... and then I read this. That is just about the highlight of my day.

Posted by: Katherine at March 20, 2004 11:46 PM

That reminds me of the conversation a couple people in the studio were having about editing that shot. It was something like:

"Does anyone have a Hanson CD we can use?"

"Would they ADMIT to having it?"

We did eventually find one, fortunately.

Posted by: CD at March 21, 2004 06:44 PM
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