What It's Like To Be On "Portlandia"

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As Allison mentioned on Saturday, I made my television debut last week on Wm. Steven Humphrey's Favorite Show* (*citation needed), Portlandia. This is a big deal. I know because my mom posted about how big of a deal it is on Facebook. Here's the clip again in case you didn't see it:

The show is great at hiring local comedians and actors so I can't watch an episode without knowing at least two people (also in my scene is the great Veronica Heath!). So for two seasons, it's felt like a not-very-exclusive club that everybody I know was invited to but me. Well, score one for how not-exclusive it is because now I'm in it. With one line, some pen spinning, and a couple facial expressions.

I play the editor-and-chief of the Portland Monthly which, in addition to our Mercury Halloween dress-up issue, is the second time I've pretended to work for the Monthly. That's got to be some kind of record. When they publish a list of "10 People Who Pretend They Work For Us" I'd have to be in the top 5.

About the pen spinning, I'm great at it. It's probably the only thing I learned in high school that I still use. But it wasn't my idea to do it on the show. The director was looking for something for me to do with my hands and he said off-handedly, "Too bad you can't do that thing where you spin a pen around your fingers."

"OH CAN'T I??? Jeeves, a pen!"

A PA tosses me a Sharpie.

Boom! [Thumb Spin & Reverse]

Wham! [Charge Normal into Finger Pass]

Sharpie slam! [Infinity Rotation into Index Spin, toss and catch]

"… okay, that's fine."

And that's how I got my pen spinning onto extended basic cable.

Thats my name next to Freds glue-on beard. Yes it is.
  • That's my name next to Fred's glue-on beard. Yes it is.

"Did you meet Fred and Carrie? What are they like?" I don't want to play the brag pipes here but I changed shirts in the SAME ROOM as Carrie Brownstein and SHE MADE DIG ME OUT AND THAT RECORD IS PERFECT. I also made her laugh once between takes. So we're like besties. We didn't talk at the wrap party but that was probably because she was busy not because she hated me.

In my EXPERT opinion, then, I can tell you they're both more than a little shy and very nice. Like Portland nice. It's weird. They're also very unpretentious on the set of their show that's about being pretentious. Since I'm now incredibly famous, I'm going to model my behavior after them. Starting... now.

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