Rudolph Gets “Royal” Treatment
Look at me!!! I’m blogging!!!
I have zero blogging experience but when Jeff asked me if I’d be interested in guest blogging on the site to share my collaboration experience with Asiansploitation, I couldn’t say no. I had so much fun with the troupe that a blog entry was the least I could do.
If you don’t already know, I approached Asiansploitation last week and asked them if they’d be interested in recording my holiday parody of Lorde’s song, Royals. Thankfully, they said yes! If you haven’t seen the end result watch here.
Basically, this blog entry is about how the parody came to fruition. If you enjoyed the video, read on! I’ll try my best to provide you with some insider information that will warm the cockles of you heart. When I informed my wife that I was going to write a blog entry it was met with a sense of skepticism. According to her, there a lot of crappy blogs out there and mine better not be one of them. Pressure! My wife is my toughest critic!
Let’s get started!
I play the ukulele in a hula band (and no, that’s not a joke. Lana Carillo of Asiansploitation is actually our lead singer!). Sometimes we like to mess around and reggae-fy music. That is, we take songs that have no business being played on the ukulele and convert them into reggae songs. One day you’ll have to hear our rendition of “On my own” from Les Miserables.
Last weekend we were reggae-fying Royals. We happened to be playing in my living room and the first line of the parody was probably influenced by the presence of a large Christmas tree situated close by – I’ve never seen Santa in the flesh. The band chuckled and I was quick to add the next line. I’ve never heard reindeer on the roof, how do they do it? More chuckles. The next line, How do they get to my address? Fell into place. Hmmmmm? I fumbled through the next two lines and did not come up with anything clever. But then I got to the bridge. And every year it’s like Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall the most famous one of all? Sweet Jesus! I was onto something!!! I decided to drop the reggae-fication and the rest of the night I continued to add lines. I also have to give props to my band mates for throwing in some suggestions!
I was so stoked (that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word stoked) about the parody that the next day, I sent a message to Byron A., Jeff, and James asking them if they’d be interested in performing my parody with me at their upcoming Comedy Lab. They answered with a resounding YES, despite the fact that they had no idea what the parody was about. I was so excited I told Lana. I think she was pretty happy for me. She advised me to, “OWN IT!” I told her I’d try.
I’m not going to bore you with the details of the comedy lab performance because I/we didn’t “own it”. At best, we kind of… “leased it”. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that me, Byron, and James had but ten minutes to rehearse together.
The next day I woke up with an empty feeling. It’s like the feeling you have when you tell a joke but you don’t quite get the reaction you had been hoping for. I have to admit, a lot of my jokes bomb (see my earlier comment about my wife), so I was used to letting jokes go and moving on to the next but… I BELIEVED IN THIS JOKE (parody). I could not let it go. So, I sent the fellas another message asking them if they’d be interested in recording it. To my surprise, Jeff said that he was thinking the same thing! Cool!
A few days later we assembled again and this time Lana and Jeff were able to join in :). But sadly, James couldn’t :( In the hour that we worked together we: figured out harmonies, threw in some jokes, added a few instruments, rehearsed, and probably did about ten takes or so. Since time was not our friend that night the video recording I envisioned turned into a audio recording only. Interesting.
After we were done Byron said that he would take care of the song from there. I had no idea what he was going to do with it. I’m not even sure he knew what he was going to do with it. Plus, I thought Franco (who was there to help with the recording) was the techie guy in the troupe. I went home that night feeling much better about the parody. The fact that the troupe was willing to meet up and record the song was…fulfilling? No, that’s not it. The fact that they were willing to record the parody with me gave a feeling of… acknowledgement, that’s better. My parody had been officially recognized by the comedic community. I was cool with that.
The next day, Byron sent us a teaser on what he was working on, maybe a sixth of the song put together with pictures from the internet. Brilliant. Now I had an idea of what Byron had in mind. After watching the teaser, I was giddy with excitement. I knew that Byron’s take on the final product was going to bring the parody to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!!! Hopefully you thought it did, too.
There you have it, folks. That’s how the parody came together. I hope you had as much fun watching the video as I had watching it come together. I want to thank Asiansploitation for believing in me and my little idea. Let’s do this again some time, shall we? I also want to thank them for running their Comedy Lab and creating a safe place for us to make funny/fun happen. If you haven’t been, you gotta check it out (shameless plug)!
Oh, and to my beautiful wife, who thinks that a good blog should always have a point… The point of this blog entry is to inform everyone that good things happen when you play the ukulele and turn every day songs into reggae.