Fri, 8 May 2015
For this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Post Modern Vaudevillian, Michael Rayner about his career in juggling, mayhem, and on doing audience warmup shows! Yeah, he's one of the guys that entertains live audiences between takes during TV show filmings!
To call Michael just a juggler would do him no justice, because his hilarious stunts range everywhere from balancing various objects on his face to spinning a cheeseburger on an umbrella.
As an actor you may have seen his appearances on Judging Amy, Sesame Street, Late Night with David Letterman, numerous appearances on Nickelodeon, and on countless commercials. He’s also a TV writer having written for The Game Show Network, E! Entertainment Television, and Nickelodeon.
Finally, he also warms up audiences watching filmings of sitcoms, but something tells me this is just scratching the surface of Michael’s world.
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Anarchy! He really likes a show where literally anything can happen!
This is a specific area of performing where you warm up the live audiences watching the taping of a sitcom.
• Tells how he broke into this particular arena of entertaining.
• It's not about you or how funny you are, it's about making the sitcom look as good as possible.
• You have to scale your own performance so you're not funnier or more entertaining than the show.
• Read the script to make sure you're not "stepping on any jokes or bits" or other material from the show.
• How to break into doing warmup shows.
• Targeting your resumé to warmups. What looks best on a resumé?
• What to do for your audition.
• How to prepare for your first night performing.
• Being able to estimate how long it will be between takes.
• Having enough material.
• Knowing the cast and the production team.
Splitting up the Olsen Twins when announcing them during a warmup gig. You NEVER split up the Olsen Twins. Never.
Biggest Professional Challenge
Realizing that he doesn't have to be a "big name" to be successful. The fact that he's making a living means that he's won! (Plus, he married Mo from Nickelodeon's Guts, for the WIN!)
Other Topics Covered
• "Taking the offer" in improvising.
• Found Object juggling show.
• You don't need a lot of money to start performing.
• His approach to creativity.
• The science and finer points of spinning a hamburger on a parasol.
Figure out how you can make things a little different and be open to new experiences.
Recommended books and resources:
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True & False by David Mamet
Where can we find Michael Rayner?