It is the eve of our DVD shoot. On the cold streets of Portland not a creature is stirring. Not even Pasty. Meanwhile inside the tinted windows of the Gusbus, my mind has begun to reflect on previous experiences in front of cameras. Our Ghosts of Television Past. An appearance or two on all the late-night talk shows. An ill-advised morning show here, a sarcastic local news interview there… nothing terribly exciting.
And then there’s the WB pilot we shot a few years ago in Los Angeles — the big bony skeleton in the Guster closet — the show about the cute girl who works as an A&R person for a record label and hopes to sign our band after a rousing rendition of “Mona Lisa” sends an awkward, ethnically-mixed bar crowd (united perhaps only by their collective ability to over-dance to Guster) into hysterics.
Here’s a photo off the TV from my favorite scene…
In the scene we’re improvising some dialogue with the cute record label lady after our set. Adam is the one in the tank top with his hands in his pockets performing the Jedi mind trick… I am the angry-looking one seated on the left, wondering how they convinced us to replace Ryan with a Kenny G. lookalike wearing a shiny blazer over a v-neck t-shirt. (Wardrobe Lady: “This look worked for years on Saved By The Bell.”)
I realize that with our fancy Macintosh computers it would have been easy to upload an actual moving, talking mpeg of the scene onto the road journal rather than just the still shot. But in an amazing moment of Unanimous Guster Pride, we were all *not ready to laugh at this yet* after revisiting the episode the other day. Somehow our level of comfortability lies between telling everyone that the pilot exists and actually showing people the pilot.
There were a few anxious months between the taping and the eventual phone call with the news that the network had rejected the pilot. And I have not questioned the existence of a great and merciful God since. Not once. Our acting debut would remain on a shelf in the WB archives, and on a shelf in our hearts. Merry Christmas everyone!
Work it, Adam.