Hey everyone, husband Mic here! While we anxiously await season 3 of our little cake show, I thought I'd introduce you to some of the awesome crew behind the scenes. One of the best aspects of filming Amazing Wedding Cakes was definitely our crew. It's such a stressful situation as essentially two groups of professionals come together and try and work around each other in the confined space of a kitchen no less. The days get long, you get tired and hungry, it is hot in Los Angeles and all of that adds up to frayed nerves and exhaustion. Not to mention, how many times can you find filming us crumb coat a cake interesting?!! Ashley (camera for both our seasons), you're a saint!
But hands down the funniest group of guys on set were our soundmen. They're all buddies and traded off working on the show like they were passing around a favorite sweatshirt. Hey, they're the brotherhood of the traveling cake shop!! By name and by legend they are known as Brian, Todd, Chris, and Dan.
Let me explain what the job description for a soundman is first. They carry around a super fancy fanny pack filled with equipment that receives the signal from our mic packs and then sends it on to the cameras. They are the ones that set up our packs each day, refreshing batteries, and adding in a boom mic in certain situations. They tell us to wait when a plane flies over head and monitor everything in their headphones to make sure that when I mumble, it is loud enough for broadcast. For our little show, we had one on set at any given time.
Now, let me tell you what the actual job entails. They set up in the morning, then crash on a couch or chair out of the camera's view and surf the net, read the sports pages, and eat... a lot! They also burn through 9V batteries like they were See's Candy, which by the way is a perfectly acceptable metaphor in Merci Beaucoup land.
I kid of course. They all worked hard to make the show happen and they have a great job. All four of them made shooting every day really fun. For season two, we mainly had Brian, who held the additional job of being a little eye candy for Marc. (He was not paid for that second part.) Brian is tall, wears nothing but flip flops, and loves Alabama football. So, he had a good year. The dude also eats chips like crazy. Legend speaks of a bet where he once had to eat all the bags of chips at craft service. Too easy a task for the likes of Brian! In October, Brain let us in on his time working on a new MTV reality show called Jersey Shore. We heard all the hilarious antics of Snookie and The Situation long before they became a surprise hit! Believe me, if you think watching it is absurd, the way Brian tells it is even funnier.
He would read our horoscopes every day and we had some great conversations in the van during deliveries. Brian also has a band and plays drums like me! Well, maybe he plays better, but we both play them. Not at once though.... man, I'm confusing myself. Anyway, the point is, Brian is awesome. Here's a little picture I drew for him during season three production:
That's Brian as a Jawa and pretty accurate I might add. I have real photos of him, but I think this is more in the spirit of Brian. Unfortunately, he was only with us a short time during season three filming, but that's okay, cause it made way for Todd and Chris!! Before I get to them, I need to mention Dan the Pringle Man. He filled in for Brian on season two, bringing some much needed class to the operation. Whenever I think of Dan I recall this time when our producer Keri put her feet up on the arm of the chair he was sitting in and she said, "oh sorry, do you mind if I put my feet up?" Dan replied, "I encourage it." That's the kind of guy Dan was, just real straight faced delivery that made me laugh constantly. He was also part of the crew that came with us to the Renaissance Faire delivery and made so many great observations about the event I could've written a book. We didn't get him for season three at all, but I've tracked him down on Facebook so I can keep up with his whereabouts. Well, me and the government. Dan is also awesome. Here he is during one of our interview sessions:
Todd made a one day appearance on set for season two where he was a total a-hole. Totally joking, Todd is super cool. In fact, if I were heading out to Vegas for a weekend of poor decision making and shenanigans, I'd want Todd to be there. I mean, the dude dressed up with his buddy as Hall & Oates for Halloween, complete with an iPod in a guitar so they could "play" the songs! Genius. Todd was also the man who figured out how to find the free wi-fi spot in the new bakery and kept us up to date with the outside world. As far as I'm concerned, Todd broke the "balloon boy" story wide open! Todd is the mayor of awesome town. Although this picture might not convey that:
Interesting soundman note, they use this stuff called "mole skin" to attach the little mics inside our shirt. It is a padded adhesive bandage thing. Anyhoo, you'll see what I dubbed "the great tassle hassle" in the upcoming season three where I was doing a lot of work with a cutter and Todd's supply of mole skin was a freaking godsend for my fingertips! So much so, I keep some on hand now at Merci Beaucoup.
Oh, and who dressed up as the Hall to Todd's Oates (that sounds dirty, but really it's an innocent Halloween costuming reference)? None other than the final component of our soundman quadrilogy, Chris! I gotta say, slipping into the snark and sarcasm infused world of Merci Beaucoup is not an easy task. I know we've confused more than one P.A. and frightened a camera guy during this process, but Chris slid into our sense of humor like it was a tailored sport jacket! Plus, his sunglasses! They looked like designer blu blockers or something and yet he totally pulled them off. Chris is part of the awesome club as well. He wasn't with us as much, but I did manage a shot of him with Reva and Marc:
There was just something so great about all of their attitudes and personalities that made filming a lot more enjoyable. Which is a good thing considering they all had their hands up my wife's shirt at one point or another. It's good to be the sound guy. It is pretty easy to meet total morons in Los Angeles, so to have this rotating group of just solid down to Earth guys come in and keep the atmosphere light was amazing.
Seriously, I want to form a band with them and tour Scandinavia. Either that or write a comic book of their adventures. Cause in my mind, these guys are like the Swingers gang and have all sorts of interesting stories about they're time in L.A. Soundmen, assemble!!