Over the weekend, I achieved a feat that I had yet to achieve in my nearly 24 years of attending sports events. Sitting rink-side at a minor league hockey game, I glanced up at the scoreboard, waffle cone with chocolate ice cream in hand (it was an amazing waffle cone. Seriously, I think they made them fresh right on site), and discovered a strapping young gent looking back at me. Yes, it was I, on the big screen along with various members of my family. I’ve waited many long years for that moment to come, and had rehearsed how I would use my 15 seconds of local stardom. All eyes were on me. I felt like I was a reality television star not unlike those amazing talented thespians on MTV’s ‘The Hills’. Would I raise the roof? Do the Soulja Boy?
The thing is, my improvisational skills are not so great. That is, in my opinion, why I was always cast supporting roles in the elementary and junior high school plays. The real actors can improvise. But I couldn’t. I did the first thing that came to mind: stand up and block as many family members as possible while waving my ice cream cone around. I don’t necessarily know what message I was trying to send (other than the fact I truly did think this was one of the best waffle cones I've had within the decade), but it seemed to suffice for the time being. As if this milestone night in my life wasn’t enough…lightning struck twice. Moments later, there I was again. I was starting to think that the camera man was mistaking me for a younger, slightly more masculine Elijah Wood. But again, I failed to do anything that would earn me a viral Internet video or novelty record deal in the future. Stunned by my luck, I began to gyrate around and mimic the movements of a monkey. While I was an embarrassment to my family and city of Grand Rapids, Michigan as a whole, this series of events helped me sketch up a loose list of 'dos' and 'don’ts' when appearing on the big screen.
DO dance. Generally hirky-jerky dances are what get you on the screen. Stay dedicated to your craft and continue the dance. I hate it when a person is doing something very entertaining for the first split second, and then proceeds to eat the last 15 minutes up by starring at themselves on the screen with a blank expression.
DON’T do any lewd gestures. When the megatron gods find favor in you and display your image on the big screen, you should be nothing but thankful. I waited 24 years and I’ll probably have to wait another 24 years after failing miserably. No one wants to see you make motions to your groin area. That's what cable television is for.
DO kiss your mate on the kiss cam. The kiss cam is one of the ultimate big screen entertainment segments. If you don’t kiss your partner when the camera is on you, that means you hate love and everything it stands for.
DON’T take up all the space. I’m still trying to mend things over with my family for hopping in to the spotlight and covering up some of my loved ones. I’m expecting one less Christmas present next year, with good reason.
Oh yea, the hometown team lost.