A long, long time ago, I was a host for a (wo)man-on-the-street type show called Potty Mouth. The title reflected the whole “anything goes” vibe of our interviews, and seriously, anything WENT. It was terrifying, guys. I felt comfortable enough hamming it up for the audition and the small group of people in the room. But when it came to the shoots, we had no idea what people would say…or if they would take off their clothes (that happened).
One of our shows was filmed on St. Patrick’s Day outside of a NYC bar. Everyone was sober. Riiiiight. We took the holiday theme and played a game asking questions about Ireland. Let’s just say that the intoxicated St. Patty’s Day struggle is VERY real.
I look like I’m the one who drank here, but that face = “Help meee”. I asked our fellow Americans to point out Ireland on a map. Some people pointed to the middle of the ocean. Others randomly picked a country while one man yelled at me for having a black and white map and not one “with all the colors”. When asked to fill in the blank to Ireland is the ____ Isle, I got “Potato”. Potato Isle. But at least that was better than another response of “The Drunk Isle”. Ouch. Sorry, Ireland. It’s the Emerald Isle, by the way. My favorite part of the game was having people do Irish accents. There were definitely more Jamaican-sounding attempts, lots of “Lucky Charm” references, one person yelling DONKEY! (Shrek’s Scottish accent?), and another who just started singing “Spongebob Square Pants”.
Perhaps wrangling drunk people isn’t the most glamorous job, but I learned a lot from the experience.
I learned how to co-host. Here I partnered up with drag queen Epiphany. I look like I want to kill her for taking my job. I mean, she WAS way better at it than I was. Love my Peggy Bundy/Grease outfit. Don’t you worry. There’s more of my awesome 2000-and-late fashion faux pas to come.
Don’t mind the beefcake.
I definitely learned how to function better outside in the cold. I think our first shoot ever was for Santa Con aka very inebriated people wearing Santa costumes. This was a challenging one. Everyone was going off-topic, yelling over each other, and just being…drunk.
I survived…by giving up. Just kidding. But I did learn to give credit where it is due. And some of the interviewees were amazing. So here I am bowing down to one of them. Honestly, thinking back, I don’t know how I didn’t get punched in the face. Drunk people can be very belligerent. And I couldn’t help but laugh at them.
Not all people were blitzed out of their minds. We had several very cool, friendly, and relatively normal guests on the show. I write “guests” as if we sent out formal invitations. But we literally yanked them off the streets. Anyway, the woman next to me is the older sister of the lady next to her. The younger sister had just sort of meekly admitted to hooking up with someone at a movie theater. With big sis standing by. Awkward.
I had some really neat opportunities to do more “professional” interviews.
I spoke with band Archie & the Exports. Man, can I tell you how much more calm and intimate these kind of shoots were? I loved actually getting to chat and hear about the band’s background and musical journey. We did play a cute game to see how well the band members knew each other. And besides us faking my kidnapping for a teaser, it didn’t get too wild. Whew.
This was from another interview I really enjoyed. Our guest was actor Paul Iacono who was starring in MTV’s Hard Times of RJ Berger.
We had so many fun outtakes, and as you can see, he had me losing it during our takes.
This was the yearly No Pants Subway Ride event. Yup, people walk around with no pants in the freezing cold.
I’m telling myself, “Keep your eyes up, Erica!” I’m actually quite proud of how focused I look. He was wearing some child’s superhero underwear. Like they were child SIZED.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t help reacting to this guy pulling off his pants.
So yeah. Even though it was an insane, sometimes anxiety-inducing ride, I am really grateful for the experience and for the team to trust me to do my job. Because there were definitely times I didn’t trust myself. And the creator would push me to be myself, be confident, and own it. Thank you, Kai.
And thanks for going down memory lane with me, guys. I hope you all have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!