Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I *am* on TV!

So I was singing a song at the first Friday song circle at the Beacon Sloop Club and this guy comes bounding over and says, "I want to put you on my TV show! You can have an hour to do whatever you want!" And I was pretty intimidated, because I've never really been on TV and the idea of a whole hour of just me scared me a lot. I asked my pal and co-producer, Vito Petroccitto Jr., if he could do it with me, but he has a lot on his plate right now, and no one else is available days. So I arranged to go yesterday at 2 p.m., since I'm off this week.

It was a small studio. There was Ed Pell, the man who invited me, an engineer named Walter, another guy named Joe, three cameras, and me. The cameras were set up to focus on different parts of me: one, from about the waist up; one, a close-up of my face; and one, a close-up of my right hand. I tried to explain to Ed that guitarists would be more interested in seeing what my left hand was doing, if we had to choose, but Ed picked the right hand.

The cameras did not move, therefore, I could not move. I was instructed to look into whatever camera had a light over it. Then Walter proceeded to turn so many lights on that I could hardly tell which light was on over which camera. There was a TV monitor set up but I was told not to look at it. This turned out to be a bad idea because every time the face close-up camera was turned on me, I turned to face it and wound up moving out of its range. I couldn't really see the monitor anyway when I was facing that camera (I think that was camera 3), because it was on the other side of the studio. So, aside from that and a few awful guitar or lyric mistakes, it went pretty well. I kept thinking about how Jon Stewart asks people to "meet me at camera 3" when he wants to say something "serious."

I got a DVD of the thing right away, and then Ed took me out for a delicious bowl of soup at a nearby pizza place. All in all, it wasn't too painful, but I can't say it was painless either. I'd practiced about an hour or more per day for a few weeks for this. That was great -- definitely improved my guitar and vocal technique. I can make as many copies of the DVD as I want, but I don't think I'll make too many. I'm chalking this up as more of learning experience than a finished product. Nonetheless, a very productive learning experience.

It turned out that every time

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