I recently participated in another fantastic Improv Everywhere mission - The Carousel Horse Race. My veteran status as noted actor, improviser and athlete (as well as, perhaps, my height) all played a part in snagging the role of the veteran jockey, and Charlie went out all to make sure I looked the part. Though I honestly didn't know they worse such bright, awful colors.
We basically made the carousel in Bryant Park into a high-stakes horse race, complete with betting, announcers and a trumpeteer (spell check is telling me this isn't a word, but I'm sticking to my guns here). At first they were going to do it with all jockeys like me, but they decided it would be better with mostly children and just the one jockey for flavor. I wholeheartedly agree with this decision, and I say this fully cognizant of my bias as the singular jockey.
Here's the original video in case you haven't seen it yet:
A couple of fun facts/highlights, accomanpied with wonderful pictures by Katie Sokoler:
1) I watched a few jockey videos the before the event, and was determined to get the riding style down right. Unfortunately, when you're strapped in and bouncing on a large, non-moving piece of - I want to say mostly wood? - its a lot harder to bounce and whip so vigorously. My thighs were killing me about 2 minutes into each ride (we ran the event 3 times). I have a new found respect for actual jockeys.
2) I definitely scared some children during a few of my more heated racing moments, but I made sure to congratulate all of them on a good race afterward. In the above picture I'm pointing at a young girl who was not nearly as intimidated as I thought she would be. Also, I forgot to take my watch off, apparently.
3) Finally, here's my post-race interview, which features my vaguely ethnic character's bitter reaction to losing to a 4 year old child riding a giant rabbit. If you listen closely I'm being heckled in the background while I'm being interviewed. Everyone was clearly very committed to their roles. I love it:
I want to state here and now for the record that I will be filing a formal complaint with the Horse Racing Commission. Giant rabbits and children do not belong on the track. They belong in the fields and the playgrounds, respectively.
4) Finally, there was a report that one of the kids was juicing, but it turned out to just be actual juice, not steroids.
Well, that should just about do it. Any newcomes to my blog, thanks for reading, and feel free to stick around for some of the other fun stuff I post on here (check the FAQ). And follow me on twitter too: @mattshafeek