Day 118. Necessity is the Mother of Embarrassment

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I was desperately looking for a job, it had been several months. Now, they say that necessity is the mother of invention, but it is also the mother of embarrassment. I was in Springfield, having just recently moved there chasing Michelle. I was living in her parent’s basement while she lived somewhere else. Sounds awkward, doesn’t it? I was about to make it more so.

I saw a couple of job listings (in a physical paper, how quaint) for the position of reporter for a couple of the local news stations. I did not have any experience as a reporter, or being on television, but at that point I would apply for anything. The unique thing about applying for a television position is you have to have video of yourself being a reporter. Obviously, I did not have this. This did little to slow me down.

First, I wrote a news story. I chose to write about a local event called the Blues Society of the Ozarks Picnic and Jam. I had gone to it a couple of weeks before, and it is held in a wooded park where hillbilly blues is played and people bring food for a potluck.

Next, I got my 1980s VHS camcorder, I had bought in college from my uncle for $50.

My next task was to create a news studio in Michelle’s parent’s basement. I dragged a desk in front of a wall, set the camera on a small trash can, on a chair, on a table a few feet away. I grabbed a lamp and put it on the table and took the lamp shade off. Boom. News studio.

I put on a button down, blazer and tie and went to it. I pushed record, then scurried around behind the desk. I looked into the camera with a serious face and started in.

“Thanks Denise. Hey, those in the mood for some blues with their casserole gathered today at Ritter Springs Park for the annual Blues Society of the Ozarks Picnic and Jam. Participants were treated with music from the Trouser Kings and Life Ravine, but more than that, they were treated with food brought by those with more of a hand for cooking than a hand for guitar. All in all, it was a good time had by everyone. Whether there to enjoy the food, or there to enjoy the music, it’s safe to say, everyone enjoyed the jam.”

Then, I stood up, revealing I was wearing shorts below my blazer and tie, walked up to the camera and pushed the record button off.

I made a couple of duplicates by hooking up two VCRs, unfortunately leaving in my shorts revealing walk to the camera. I then put them in an envelope with a note saying, “I know this is not very good, so if you don’t want to hire me, at least you got a good laugh.”

I was not hired.

I did however, later, become friends with local TV reporters and always asked them to look and see if they could find it. They could not and I haven’t seen it since.

Today, I did a similar thing, only they wanted me to. Some auditions want you to videotape yourself, and send that in as your audition, especially if you are far away. So, today, I set up my flip video, put on a nice shirt, took the lampshade off a lamp, and proclaimed the script I memorized like I believed it in my soul. It was for a community college.

Here is the script:

“Retail. It’s everywhere and were talking about trillions of dollars a year. So who orders all this stuff? Who manages it? Well … What about you? You could earn a degree in Retail Merchandise Management. From product presentation, to buying and negotiation … Learn about this exciting field. Call Today!”

It shoots in Spokane, WA over one day and pays actual money. We’ll see. Hopefully, my pure passion for Retail Merchandise Management comes through in the video.

Other highlights of the day:

-I had my showcase show for my UCB Level 2 Intensive class. It was fun and felt a little clunky to me. It’s such a different, almost formulaic approach to improv that it has been a lot of learning, and I started the class just two weeks ago. It was fun to be in front of an audience, and I think I’ll stay in touch with a few people from the class.

-I took a great nap. I can sleep when Michelle is here.

Well, that’s the news. For Denise Hendrickson, I’m Jeff Houghton, hoping your tomorrow is just as great as your today. Good night.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Day 118. Necessity is the Mother of Embarrassment

  1. Jessica Landis

    I hope that sign off line catches on in a really big way.

  2. Rob White

    …and that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

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