Sunday, March 12, 2006

Octopunk gets his Mug on TV

Early this morning I went to KRON in San Francisco for an exhibition build-off. I sat with the other two SF finalists and we spent an hour building a model, just like the audition but without the pirate theme. When I had been looking for those yellow pieces for back of the parrot's head, I had been hoodwinked by a number of the inverse version of the same piece. Knowing there would be a lot of them, I planned the rocket you see here, starting with the fins.

The two anchors had a newsdesk and an informal talk show setup with couches. We were off to the side at a long table, with a boom cam pointing down at us. As we built, they delivered the news, and showed footage of us as they went to commerical. I wrapped it up with some time to spare, and we went over to the couches and talked for a few minutes. Then the two hosts picked the frog head as their favorite (I don't have a picture, but it was made by the guy who made the octopus in his audition).

I admit I wanted the little Lego award statuette, but I feel I did really well where it counted. I finished the model I set out to do and it's got some complicated building going on. As for my performance, I don't really want to go all Gary about how I came off, but my friends say I did well. Even though I wanted to lean forward with my elbows on my knees like the other two guys, I sat up straight -- straighter than I ever do in real life. I made a couple of funnies.

Okay, this one I'll mention because it wasn't my original joke. I said that I had a Lego Room in my house, and the two hosts (who talked over each other a lot) made tandem comments asking if I was married. I said "well, there was a special lady, but she was into Lincoln Logs, so it didn't work out." Broke up the whooooole TV studio (not so much; that sentence is an inside joke).

I have one tape of this already and I plan to order another one from the studio, so those of you not in CA can judge for yourself how clever I am when I next see you.

In order to get to the studio on time, I'd had to crash at A&J's and borrow their car. As I was pulling away from the studio, my phone bleeped that I had a message. It was Adam, saying he'd caught my act on TV. I wasn't sure they'd make it up that early since they'd gone to the Cars wrap party at Pixar, which is a big shindig. We headed over to Meg's where the kids had crashed last night; they'd seen me on TV and Edie had a drawing of my rocket waiting for me. Shortly after that I had two more messages: Sherm demanded a recount; Charlie my next door neighbor said "frogs suck" and that he was gonna toss the frog-depicting "welcome to our pad" doormats from the deck outside, except that it was raining.

They let us keep the models. Mine is on the North Wall right now, my first trophy from this experience. I want to tweak it, make a band of yellow above the little brown window. But I'm going to leave it the way it is until the search is over.

I realize I'd have had a better chance with the morning hosts if I'd remembered to include a hook -- some little point of quirky cleverness to make them go "oh, cute!" Like the eye patch on my parrot head. Good lesson for the day: don't forget the hook.

Several hours later, I looked back on the day and said "I had a good television appearance today." That's a fairly unique morsel.

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