Remember Mel & El? From celebrations past?
Well these days, in addition to their monthly residency at Comix, they are shooting a Web Series about their ongoing musical attempts to save the world from tedium and stupidity. It's an uphill battle.
I started a full day yesterday by shooting a scene for one of their episodes. Without wanting to give away too much (these episodes are full of surprises) I'll say that I play an extremely high-powered doctor in high society. Yes, you should quake in my presence.
Well, in addition to my line (yes - line, singular. But that one line contains multitudes.) we engaged in some improvisation. Some of which went really well. But at one point we had an exchange that went something like this...
C: So what hospital do you work at?
B: (Supressing a laugh) Grey's??
C: Nice hospital...
Me: I mean Grace. Seattle Grace.
C: Oh yes, I've heard of that one.
B: You had some trouble there recently.
C: A pretty bad shoot up, I heard.
C: I guess you weren't there for that.
B: (supresses another laugh)
Me: Oh right. That. Yes. No. I wasn't there when that happened. They called me in to help with the aftermath.
C: I heard there's a fiery lady there who really stirs things up.
C: A black doctor, I think.
Me: Oh, yes. Chandra... something.
B: (cracks up)
C: (looks at me like I fell off the short bus for remedial
Ok, ok. This was a rehearsal, not a real take. So no harm, no foul. And, as I wrote, some of our other improvisation went quite well, and I think they may keep some of it.
But still... It was a little embarassing.
And I have actually watched Grey's Anatomy for the last couple seasons. I was thinking of Chandra Wilson, who is the actor who plays the doctor that C was referring to. Which is a thing I do (more real dialogue from my life - watching an episode last night: "Wait, who is Hunt?" Cory: "Owen. Head of Trauma." Me: "Right! Sandra Oh's husband.")
But the lesson here is - be ready for an improv at all times. If there's a camera around, it could be rolling. And once you've signed that release, they can use whatever you give them.
By the way, click here to check out Mel & El's Kickstarter campaign! It's a fun read, with lots of good video links, whether or not you can donate. (But of course I think you should give generously...)