Secret TV Spectacle

camera crew

In late February, we were contacted by a nationally-televised travel show* and asked whether we'd be willing to participate in a story about Boston and the neat, free, offbeat-ish stuff that goes on here. The bad news? Their schedule was set and they'd have a slot for us at 1pm on a work day. Ugh. The good news? We've got a strong, loyal group of BSOSers who are either happy, enthusiastic, or unemployed enough to make the trek out and participate.

We had advertised it as a "secret spectacle" partly because some of the details were unknown even to us. We knew they wanted us to do something silly. We knew they wanted a group of people to cause a bit of a ruckus. And we knew that the target of our shenanigans was to be the host of the show being filmed.

preparationAs it turned out, the host (he calls himself Broke-Ass Stuart) was to deliver a monologue about the cool, crazy (free!) stuff that happens in Boston, and they wanted us to perform various antics in the background for a bit, culminating in a finale in which we'd all literally "interfere" with him as he tried to maintain a modicum of composure.

We started with one of our staples: the Silly Walk. So the camera started rolling, the host started talking, then slowly in the background these mysterious "citizens" of Boston began entering the frame in the background in all sorts of convoluted gaits. No weird expressions, no wacky outfits, just ordinary folks "going about their daily business. With very silly walks. Let's watch:


Naturally, this outlandish scene caught the eye of the host (and the camera!), and - although it's hard to know exactly how he reacted, we can only imagine what it might look like on screen. But then, before he could stop himself to ask what was going on, we were gone.

But we weren't gone for long. All BSoS participants had been asked to bring a random "gift" of some sort to the shoot. For what, we weren't sure yet. But we had everything from an oversized felt hat to a piggy bank to a pair of nerf swords. The crew asked us to randomly appear behind the host as he continued his monologue, and, without a word, begin trading them. No explanation, no rhyme or reason. Then, just as he completely lost focus of what he was saying, we were to pile all of our goodies on him.


With that over and the shooting wrapped, the crew thanked us and packed up. But we were ready for more. We were already out there, we all had umbrellas, so why not play around and experiment for a bit? So those who could stayed and helped create a moving "blob" by crouching together and (ideally) only have our umbrellas showing as we snaked our way across the Common, then over to Boylston station:


Pictures not enough? Check it out on video!

All photos c. Chris Andrews. View more on flickr.

*Since the TV network hosting this show has yet to release its press release, we were asked not to reveal the show or the network. Yet. Ooooh, the suspense!