Shooting a country music video? Avoid the black-eyed four-step

(Though I normally post this feature at 6:30 a.m., if we keep in mind what we know about the space-time continuum, and remember that Flashback Sunday is essentially a trip back in time, the question we must ask ourselves is: Am I still running behind? Or am I actually incredibly early in an alternate universe? OR, just like throughout high school, am I fabricating an elaborate excuse for being late with my assignment? Only Stephen Hawking knows. That said, we are digging so deep into the archives this week we will need rubber gloves. As always, it is a column from a time before we knew each other — 2004 to be exact — back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was an online clearing house for fake nails…)

image Admittedly, being a humor columnist has its privileges:

Complimentary full-body waxes.
Unsolicited fruitcake.
Tickets to the World Toilet Expo.

The list goes on.

However, occasionally I’m invited to be part of something really cool that doesn’t require shaving my entire body or sitting on a giant, revolving commode that burps. In this case, I’m talking about being on the set during the making of a music video for country singer Adam Marshall. According to Adam and his producer, after reading some of my columns, they thought it would be fun to have me write about the making of their music video, “Cowboy Hat.” As an added bonus, they created a part just for me, in which I play the pivotal role of “Crowd Member” who, according to the script: Can be replaced by a coat rack if necessary.

The truth is, I’ve been a fan of country music for many years and probably would’ve pursued my own career if things had turned out differently, and my musical talent had extended beyond being able to perform the drum solo from “Wipeout” on my inner thighs. This meant settling for the only record deal I could get, which is a generous contract entitling me to 15 free CDs, as long as I agree to buy one John Tesh album sometime before I die.

Because I have no experience in front of the camera, (not counting my Sprinkler Dance video which, as some of you may remember, was my own attempt to be Lord of the Dance by running through the sprinklers in our yard while holding two cats), I’m not sure how I’m going to do when it’s time to start shooting. Chances are, the director’s command for “ACTION!” will then be followed by someone screaming “MEDIC!”

My son has spent the last few days helping ease my fear of cameras by sporadically leaping out of closets or from behind furniture with his video camera rolling. He insisted this process would eventually cause me to build a resistance to my fear. But so far, all we have is about 90 minutes of footage with me screaming from various places throughout our home — kitchen, tool shed, crawl space under the house.

I’m not sure what he thought was going to happen when she surprised me in the bathroom, but once I stood up and started running for the door, we were both screaming. Even if this doesn’t work, it won’t be a total loss because, after we get this thing edited and add some music, I think we’ll have a good chance of finding a distributor at the Sundance Film Festival.

In some respect, I suppose my son’s idea has worked; as long he isn’t allowed anywhere near a camera on the set, I’ll be just fine.

The other thing I have to worry about is dancing. This is a music video, after all, and a good portion of it takes place in a country bar with Adam Marshall singing. I’m assuming this will lead to dancing. Possibly even to the Cotton-Eyed Joe or Texas Two-Step.

Or, in my case, a dance I created while living in Texas called the Black-Eyed Four-Step, wherein I would accidentally step on the feet of various women throughout floor and get punched in the eye by their boyfriends.

So, when the video airs in July, don’t be surprised if I’ve been replaced by a coat rack.

Especially once they’ve seen my rendition of “Wipeout.”

(Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. You can write to him at, or at Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

33 thoughts on “Shooting a country music video? Avoid the black-eyed four-step”

  1. Your musical talent sounds like it is on a par with mine. I suggest a duet. You can play Wipeout on your inner thighs, while I tap the opening guitar portion of Frankenstein on my front teeth with my acrylic fingernails and a salad fork. I think we could have something. Not a musical act, of course, but…something.

  2. I’m going to have dig up that music video! lol. How do you feel about cameras now?? Great Post! And very proud of your full body wax experience. I had someone I dated do that and they had me hold their hand the entire time…

    1. If you click on the “Cowboy Hat” link in the post, you can see it. I’m in the crowd in the bar scene where they’re dancing, near the Coyote Ugly girls. It happens fast. Probably on purpose. I have a black cowboy hat on, which is actually mine. (Hey, I lived in Texas for a while…) Part two of this experience will be the next Flashback Sunday. Fortunately, I wasn’t required to get a full body wax for the video.

  3. Please please please post Sprinkler Dance next Sunday. I won’t tell PETA. You can blur their faces so they won’t be called to testify against you.

No one is watching, I swear...

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