Monday, February 7, 2011

My Four Sex Tapes

Okay, they aren't real sex tapes, but they are sort of the equivalent---to me. There are four tapes in existence, the fourth having been made this evening, which would prove highly embarrassing for me should they ever come to light.

In no particular order, the first tape is my Real World: Boston audition tape from 1996. If I ever become famous, Jonathan Murray and Mary Ellis-Bunim will totally be searching their archives for my awkward but earnest attempt at becoming a reality television star. Somewhere I have a copy of this ill-considered idea, but I think this is one skeleton I'd rather not uncover. Let's just say I don't think the producers bought into my pitch about how they needed a regular looking nerd type to balance off the rest of the too-hot-for-real-life cast. Stupid producers. What do they know. Luckily, chances of me becoming famous dim with each passing day. Increasingly, this is a good thing.

The second tape is actually an older tape, one made in 1990 and whose whereabouts remain, mercifully, unknown. After a long and accomplished career in high school speech and debate (see tape #3 below), the wannabe star in me cried out for yet more attention. Seeking to expand my personal branding, I ventured Jon Lovitz the Master Thespian might say, "Acting!" It was not my first foray into theater arts, but it had been five years since I'd given it a go and ultimately decided to eschew drama for debate. One of the events I competed in that year was Duet Acting, basically a 10-minute long performance with another partner. That partner, who shall remain unnamed since he's now a high-ranking staff member under the new Governor of California (not the old Governor, though that would be appropriate), was basically the worst actor in the history of the world. My partner made Tommy Wiseau seem like Sir Lawrence Olivier.

Our dramatic selection was Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon. I mean, we were two nerdy Jews who were both awkward with girls. What else were we going to pick? Driving Miss Daisy? Actually, that would have been genius, but I digress. As is "somewhat" allowed by the rules of the event, I proceeded to chop the play into bits and pieces...carefully editing and piecing together all the references to boobs, sex and masturbation. I basically rewrote Neil Simon into Porky's. We also gave the performance a few modern flourishes. At one point in the play my partner was required (as I wrote it) to perform a little touchdown celebration. The Ickey Shuffle was kind of a big thing in 1990, so I had him do that. Here's a video of the Ickey Shuffle for those too young to remember that titan of Cincinnati Bengal football.

We performed this piece probably 6-7 times in competition, each time gaining a slightly larger audience. Despite being a crowd favorite, the Rudy of the duet acting circuit as it were, we failed to ever advance past the preliminary round of competition. Still, before we hung up our sides, we reunited for one more performance at our speech team's Christmas party. Not gonna lie---NAILED IT. Someone shot video of this epic performance, one which ended with me pantomiming the squeezing of an imagined girl's breasts, but the video is lost...likely never to be found again until we're all just dust in the wind. Thank. God.

My third sex tape is from just a few months later. I had made it to the 1991 UIL Texas State Finals in an event known as Informative Speaking. This was a deeply ironic event for me to have been entered in as any of my teammates will gladly testify that I was anything but an informative speaker in those days. While I would splash a few facts around here and there, I was far more style than substance. I had a nice suit, I had a nice smile, and I had more confidence than I had any right to possess. Politicians make a living off of this, and high school speech was no different. I have boxes and boxes of trophies, plaques and gavels attesting to my "brilliance." Don't tell me Sarah Palin can't be elected President.

For the final (taped) speech in this particular competition, my semi-random topic (random in that I chose it from three other random topics) was about how Americans can deal with "the credit crunch." Folks, I tell'ya, I did not for the life of me have even an inkling back then as to what this so-called credit crunch was. Not. At. All. The seven-minute speech I ultimately gave, one for which I had 30 minutes of prep time, had NOTHING to do with the credit crunch. Not. At. All. My recollection is fuzzy, but for seven minutes I talked about the topic without saying ANYTHING about the topic. I probably repeated the words "credit crunch" a dozen emphasize that, of course, I knew what the credit crunch was. Why define it? It's so obvious. It was the most ignorant I'd ever felt. When I see Sarah Palin dance around a question she clearly doesn't understand, THIS is the memory that comes to mind. Oh, and I also got first place and became the Texas State Champion for Informative Speaking. We're all fucked.

The latest addition to my growing list of "sex tapes" happened this evening. Unfortunately, due to disclosure agreements and the need to keep things a little hush hush, I can only speak about it in non-specific generalities for the time being. It is, however, a very cool project. In short, I was asked/volunteered to be interviewed for a feature-length documentary, one being made by a well-known documentarian. Given the breadth of the material they'll be covering for this film, there's a high probability none of my footage will even make the final cut---but that, of course, doesn't mean the tape goes away! I'll leave the overall theme of the movie also as a mystery, but my 35-40 minute interview ended up being a mini-therapy session as I looked directly into the camera and answered some very personal questions. It was fun, but I was nervous...and the experience was surprisingly intense. I responded to queries such as, "on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself on looks?" I won't reveal my answer here, but I will say I opted to use decimals. Whole numbers are so non-specific. There were questions about my self esteem. Questions about my clothes, and so on and so forth. The kicker---and this weaves in very nicely with my preceding two posts---is that the producer and question-asker is...a girl I also dated briefly. Of course, that's the main reason I was even there in the first place. This wasn't another grand coincidence like the speed dating adventure. But still, it's getting to the point where I can't throw a rock in this town without hitting a girl I've dated.

Now, if only I had a rock...


Blogger TN said...

Murray/Ellis-Bunim be damned! What if I told you that my mother traveled with us that year and had those tapes, except the first one, on archive? Not just of you, but myself (as though there's any market for that, no matter how good looking my mom says I was) and ... egad... Mr. John Williams! the Tournament of Books judge himself!

You're in luck though. She's promised to keep the tapes on hold until the release benefits me, suc h as next year when my book comes out and will, obviously!, win the tournament. Yes, this was a way for me to acknowledge you and to talk about myself.

February 10, 2011 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...

I'm glad you commented, but I don't know who you are and am dying to know!

February 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous JMW said...

I think I know who this is, Kraig. The initials should give it away...

February 11, 2011 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...


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