Bigger Bread: the online home of Andrew Chaikin
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July 19, 2002
So I'm back from the 30 Seconds taping. Of course I'd love to tell you how I fared, but I signed a piece of paper saying I wouldn't. You'll just have to watch. I'll let you know when it's on.
THAT $25,000 IS MINE
July 16, 2002
Flying down to LA tomorrow to be on 30 Seconds To Fame. (See earlier story.) The taping is on Thursday. Send me good thoughts that day, won't you?

NY Times clip
Welcome to my life, part 2.

My episode should air in August or September. If you're on either of my mailing lists, I will of course let you know. (Unless I totally humiliate myself on national TV, in which case forget I ever mentioned it.)
July 11, 2002
I'm off to Vancouver this weekend for the National Puzzlers League convention. (Yes, Will Shortz will be there.)
See you next week.
27, 28, 29...
July 3, 2002
About three weeks ago my agency calls and says, "There's this show on Fox called 30 Seconds To Fame. They're looking for people who do weird stuff. Wanna audition?"
So I go downtown to this fancy hotel for the open call.
A Felliniesque circus scene
Welcome to my life.
It's a Felliniesque circus scene -- an 800-pound woman in a tutu, a guy lighting his foot on fire, a 90-year-old tap dancer in nothing but boxer shorts and socks, etc. I'm in my crisp Banana Republic and French Connection, feeling either over- or under-dressed. At least I'm the only beatboxer.
But not for long. Behind me I hear two guys goin' at it with skillz. It's Carlos and Tommy from Felonious. They turn out to be really nice guys. They do a little of their routine. They're good. They're more hip-hop than I am -- musically, sartorially, etc. Obviously the producers are going to opt for the genuine hip-hop act.
My name is called. I enter the audition room -- a large hotel ballroom -- and look for the microphone. There is none. This is bad news. Unmiked beatboxing can sound good in a small, resonant space, but in a carpeted ballroom it's like hitting a taiko drum with a Q-Tip.
I do a 30-second drum solo for the producers at the other end of the room. They are nonplussed. They ask if I have another piece. I don't have anything prepared, so I do 30 seconds of lame techno. They say thanks, I say thanks, and I go about my morning.
While I'm at Jazz Camp, my agent calls. I'm on!
So here's what I know so far. 25 acts each do a 30-second piece; the audience picks their three favorites. Those three acts do another 30 seconds; the audience votes again. The winner gets $25,000.
They're flying me down to LA later this month for the taping. The show will air about a month after that.
I hear the Guy Who Lights His Foot On Fire got on too. This should be interesting.
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