Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fail's Day 2011

Every April Fool's Day I get my sister Siobhan with some crazy notion. Over the years I have convinced her that the Yankees were moving to New Jersey, that I'd played a private gig jamming with The Replacements' drummer, and in a prank I regret because it worried her, I claimed I had a broken foot and I needed her to come to Los Angeles immediately to drive me around for the next month. She's such a good sister, she agreed on a MOMENT'S NOTICE!

After that one I vowed that my pranks would never be sad or scary again.

But for the past couple of years she has been impervious. I would call her and she would answer the phone already on the defensive..."What? What is it, Bren? What do you have to tell me? What's goin' on???"

I'd almost given up hope.

Then, last October, I had a flash, the kind that all the great geniuses talk about. I saw the whole thing laid out before me. It was like being able to tell the future!

In five minutes I had the whole plan.

Immediately I contacted Nate Shelkey, an old friend of the O'Malley family. Nate and Siobhan went to James Madison University together and have remained close friends. Nate was to be crucial to my plan.

I laid out my dastardly plot to him and he jumped on board. I will now be cutting and pasting from a succession of emails between Nate and I about emails he sent to Siobhan...

Email # 1

November 16, 2010

"I am auditioning for a feature directed by some hotshot kid who went to JMU. He is a sports fan and saw my Santa ESPN thing and asked his manager to find me. What a coincidence, huh? He has only been out here six months but his short films got him a studio job directing a supernatural thriller. I audition next week...psyched."

Nate paraphrased a bit from that paragraph which I instructed him to send. He was worried that she might ask what the guy's name was but, and later this would seem like a sign that we'd missed, she merely took the information in as par for the course in Nate's busy burgeoning acting career.

Email Trail # 2

December 3, 2010

nate shelkey wrote:

it is done!

On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 3:47 PM, wrote:


In this email you will DOWNPLAY your excitement at the callback because it is such a big part and your agent/manager said names might be attached.

The film is not yet titled but it entails a desperate man's search for a shadowy figure from his past. Feel free to elaborate on the horror/suspense acting you are working on for your callback which happens at the end of this week.

Now that she hasn't asked the name of the director you can concentrate on the MOVIE instead of the fact that the guy is from JMU.

Embellish however you see fit keeping in mind that we will be shooting some of what you write.

Somewhere in December Nate actually saw Siobhan in New York City...the big callback in his career was not discussed.

My theory in the next phase was that we would wait until March to continue the lie. This is what Nate wrote to Siobhan that day...

Email # 3

March 8, 2011

Two exciting bits o' news.

#1 I booked my first co-star! It's for Chuck. I play a Super Shuttle Driver. It shoots next week and it is a very funny little scene. Should be fun! I'm totally excited!

#2 Remember that movie I was telling you about? Well, I got that part and we finished shooting. I wasn't really allowed to say anything about it before. But it looks like they are gonna give me some footage so I can put it on my reel before the whole thing is done. I really wanna update my reel so I can hopefully get some sort
of agent interest while pilot season is still going on!

I can't wait to show you my big scene. It should be pretty cool---I still am sort of nervous about it because I've been used to doing comedy so long that I am a little rusty on serious acting! Yeesh. You'll have to let me know what you think!

Now in the meantime, Nate, Cousin Timothy, and I got together at the office where I work (as of next Monday I'm moving on though, after 4 years, post coming on that whole big thing) and we shot for a couple of hours.

We then met the next weekend to edit it at Nate's apartment.

The final product was ready and waiting.

Final Email (or so we thought)

March 31, 2011 (8:55PM sent)

Nate Wrote:

Okay, here we go. Exciting! Here is a clip that they gave me for my reel. It's a rough cut but this is basically the beginning of the movie. Does it seem good enough for like something dramatic?

Razing The Bar

Let me know what you think.

Please take a moment to watch the video before we continue on with the post. It is just over 3 minutes long.

Are you back? You can see how the joke would play out, right??? She's been hearing about this movie for almost 6 months and finally when she watches it, there is ME, ACTUALLY SAYING THE WORDS "APRIL" AND "FOOL".

Can't miss, right???


Siobhan emailed Nate saying, "Looks great! Good film quality!"

She clearly had not watched the whole thing! She must have seen a portion of it and then moved on, as we all do with the myriad things people send us to watch. We enlisted Siobhan's fiance Ben to help hammer the point home.

Nate posted the clip to Ben's wall and Siobhan's wall on Facebook.

Hours later? She "liked" it. NO REACTION!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON???

Ben frantically texted me that I needed to check my email. Okay, maybe he wasn't frantic but I was by this point.

I checked my email. This is what Ben wrote to me...

Email # 37 (uncounted emails between Nate and I wondering how the plan could have gone wrong)

April 3, 2011

Got home, asked if she'd watched this video Nate posted on my wall, she said, "yeah, I watched it." Boom.

So, quite a bit later, I sat down next to her, started watching w/ volume off, and laughed loudly when you came on. She asked why i was laughing, i said, "Did you watch the whole thing from Nate? B/c something really funny just happened." So I started it over, put the laptop in her lap, and videoed her watching the thing, TOTALLY ENJOYING IT, AND NOT GETTING THE JOKE! I even said, after, "were you surprised Brendan was in it?" And, "If it was for Nate's 'serious' reel, it seemed pretty goofy." But no, she said--no problem--the serious part before you came in could all be used for the reel. Oh, and how great Tim participated, too.

So--no fucking idea what comes next! But as much as I was almost giggling, and probably also looking amazed throughout the whole thing, she doesn't know anything yet. So we can keep trying. But I don't know how...

I'd finally had enough. I called up and demanded to speak with Siobhan.

I explained the whole thing to her and she kept saying, "You did all that?" But the joke had never landed.

Or, it did land, but right on top of me. Siobhan had finally gotten me back.

April Fail's Day!!!

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