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Remember that time I was a puppeteer?

Ten years ago this weekend, I was the host / emcee of The New York Infringement Festival, a series of plays and one person shows held over Labor Day weekend in Greenwich Village. Someone (I forget who) had created this large puppet called Bushiva to parade around Washington Square Park. I don’t know if they had any specific performance planned, at least, I wasn’t given any direction when I was asked to help operate the puppet.

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that weekend, and if you remember, the initial government response to the crisis was far from adequate. Consequently, there were a lot of activist groups and politically minded individuals demonstrating when we arrived with this giant George W. Bush head. I decided to give Bushiva a voice right there on the spot and started fielding questions from pedestrians, offering satirical commetary on the policies and practices of our then president.

I’m not sure who shot and edited the video below, which was posted to YouTube some years ago and I came across recently. Even though the general public’s questions prompting the responses aren’t included, you can still get the idea. It would be great to have a look at the raw footage since I’ve never seen it, but I’ll take what I can get.

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Bushiva at YouTube.


It’s not easy being a working Dad

Well, technically, Mickey is Cilla’s older brother, but not every Dad is a father. Anyway, in this episode of the UK series, Shameless, Mickey is feeling pretty overworked and underappreciated by the rest of his family in his role as Cilla’s caregiver until he devises a money making scheme that is simultaneously noble, reprehensible, brilliant and utterly fucking daft. Happy Father’s Day!

[hulu width=420]

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Shameless Series 8, Episode 8 at Hulu.

Dare To Be Stupid

“Weird” Al Yankovic is best known for his parodies of specific songs, but he’s had a few originals over the years, generally poking fun at musical style or genre. The song and video, Dare To Be Stupid, was inspired by the music of Devo and is such a dead on balls accurate facsimile that even Devo thinks it’s a great Devo song. In case any of you youngsters don’t remember them, Devo was basically Daft Punk of the ’70s. I’ll post up one of their songs tomorrow, since I already threw up Daft Punk earlier in the week. Some of you might recognize Dare To Be Stupid from The Transformers 1986 movie; even “Weird” Al himself acknowledges that more people know the song from that movie than from its original release.

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“Weird Al” Yankovic – Dare To Be Stupid at YouTube.

If you want to work in entertainment

In the last couple of years, I’ve been embracing this whole social networking, internet shit, and making contacts on various social networks. A lot of young people have been following me, and if they have something interesting or cool, I’ll follow them back. A lot of them have videos showing off their various skills: singing, playing music or sports, skateboarding, freestyle BMXing, doing gymnastics, dancing or any other number of things that kids do. I try to pass along an encouraging comment from time to time; to keep developing their talents, be mindful and safe, and so forth. I get the sense that many of them hope to pursue careers in entertainment, and it’s with that in mind that I write this. It’s not meant to be an end all, be all guide to the entertainment industry; it’s just my thoughts based on my experience. I’ll get to the advice, but to put it in context, let me tell you about Will.

Today’s Song of the Day is dedicated to a childhood friend of mine, Will. Will always dreamed of being a standup comedian. He still dreams of it, I suppose. Will’s problem is that he never really wanted to do the work involved in being a standup comedian. He just always assumed, incorrectly, that if he met the right superstar, that person would be like:

Yes, Will, holy shit, you’re the cat I’ve been looking for my entire life! You’re the sword, the stone, the holy grail and the whole enchilada!! How many millions do you want to star in my blockbuster franchise?!?

Don’t get me wrong, networking is definitely a part of the entertainment business. The thing is, you can’t just walk up to someone of stature, a total stranger no less, and ask them to just put you on without any track record, resume, samples of your work and so forth. You gotta show ’em what you got. It’s one thing to audition or invite someone to check out your show if you got one; it’s quite another to beg for the keys to the kingdom. Here’s some examples, right from Will’s Twitter feed:

This next one is the all time classic:

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Doctor 420

Just playing around with my iPhone about a year ago. Shot it with the ‘Super 8’ app; cut it and added titles & music with iMovie. Even used iMovie to upload it directly to YouTube from my iPhone. Thanks for watching. Hope you enjoy it.

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Doctor 420 at YouTube.

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