I will probably not be America’s Next Top Swordfighter

If I’ve seemed more preoccupied lately than just a trip to Missouri would warrant, there’s a reason for that. I, along with other members of the Viking Age Club and Society of the Sons of Norway, have been slogging through the logistics of a television audition. I didn’t want to talk about it until I actually understood what was going on, but now I think I can. Because it’s probably nothing.

Our club president was contacted a while back by a representative from a Hollywood production company that specializes in reality programs, among them several I’m sure you’ve heard of. They wanted to arrange to meet with us and do some filming, intrigued by the fact that we have whole families (three generations in one case) involved, and by the “live steel combat” we do.

It took some time and some scheduling, but we finally met with one of the executives, a camera man, and a sound man, yesterday afternoon at one of our members’ homes. They interviewed us on camera and filmed our combats and drills.

Does this mean we’re going to be celebrities? Probably not.

As I understand it, what they’re doing is blitzkrieging the genre. They’ve located a large number of people and activities across the country which they think they might conceivably make a show out of (tomorrow, the executive told us, he’d be filming the biggest strawberry shortcake in the world). Then they’ll cut the footage into teasers, and submit them to the networks in batches. Most, obviously, will be rejected. I have no reason to think we’re likely to make the cut.

But it was a fun experience, and the executive was not at all what I expected a TV producer to be like.

I’ll tell you if anything more happens.

Which I doubt.

3 thoughts on “I will probably not be America’s Next Top Swordfighter”

  1. Lars, have you ever been involved with a TV series? If not, a warning. I assisted with the filming of several documentaries at the museum i worked for in England. TV folks are pleasant, laid-back people – until filming starts. Then…

    I’m prepared to believe its a necessity of the business. I’ve never been involved in any other enterprize that had so little time and so much money. Time really is money to a tv crew- 1000’s of $ of money. Especially if they’re filming outside, racing the daylight. They expect things to happen NOW, and that’s what they’re used to.

    In other words, if you have serious problems being treated like a slave or servant boy or watching other people treated that way, you may find tv problematic…

  2. It’s a question of marketing. If I get the opportunity to make my books known to a large audience, I’m almost obligated to take it, unless it involves moral compromise.

    But as I said, I very much doubt this will lead to anything.

  3. One time, a videographer told me had worked for a few weeks on a reality show concept that seemed to have potential. I don’t remember it beyond the focus on a black family with several kids. There were a couple more details that added appeal, but the idea fell apart because the family was the salt of the earth. When the kids acted up in a grocery store, the mother or father took the trouble-makers aside and dealt with the issues. They were probably a family anyone would be proud to know, and thus, they made lousy reality TV.

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