Speaker Ben went to a promotion for an upcoming movie called “Horrorween”. He thought maybe this was a holiday that would accept his idea of having the turkey named as the national bird. Ben learned this film is described as a family friendly satire of horror films and is still under production. Ben was upset to hear they will be filming in Ohio and not Pennsylvania and hope they will reconsider the attractive Pennsylvania locations and assistance that our Film Bureau offers. Speaker Ben also went to see if he could get a role in the film, but he was told he’s too short at three inches tall. Mickey Rooney is going to be in the film, and poor Speaker Ben is even too short for scenes with Mickey. The film executives kept telling Ben to go fly a kite, and Ben kept explaining he already has done that.
Fortunately, Speaker Ben was able to bore cast members with his tales of saving pennies, in a day when people are considering getting rid of the penny. He met Jacklyn Friedlander, whose sister Laura goes to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jacklyn mentioned how she recently had to act without breathing when her character died on “CSI Miami”. Speaker Ben tried to tell people that as a finger puppet he’s also good at not breathing, but he still didn’t get any role offers.
Speaking of not breathing, Ben was at first frightened to meet Chuck Lamb. Chuck specializes in playing dead bodies in film. Ben and Chuck then got along as Ben has been dead for over 200 years, so they were able to swap tales. Ben is not certain that Chuck was still alive when he got his picture taken with Chuck.
Hunter Gomez, who starred in the TV show “On Set with Hunter Gomez”, impressed Speaker Ben as a natural who can play himself quite well. Hunter also was in “National Treasurer”, a movie that at least was filmed in Pennsylvania. Hunter also does various voices for the TV show “Family Guy”, which makes him just about the coolest guy around since that whacky Thomas Jefferson.
Speaker Ben met Hunter Meyer, whose role in “Horrorween” is a kid who discovers how to make a computer Windows that won’t crash. Ben found that to be an incredible part. Hunter is from New York, so Ben hoped that Hunter would mention that Pennsylvania is closer to his New York home than Ohio. Speaker noticed when he saw the picture developed that Hunter gave him devil ears with his fingers. Ben is upset that even with devil ears he still is not frightening enough for a part in a horror spoof movie.
Speaker Ben then got stuck on Bonnie Aarons. Bonnie is able to play a wide range of roles, from portraying a baroness in “The Princess Diaries” to a bum in “Mulholland Drive”. Ben tried to get the baroness to have her government recognize American independence, but then realized that issue has been resolved.
Meeting Stu Charno upset Speaker Ben. Stu had a hundred dollar bill with Stu’s picture on it. Ben was jealous as Ben thought his picture was on the hundred dollar bill and wondered why he had not been informed of the switch. Stu portrayed a serial killer on “X Files”. Ben is asking the Treasury Department to explain their policy of whose picture gets on these bills.
Irwin Keyes is a notable character actor. Like a mouse scaring an elephant, Ben could get Irwin to act convincingly afraid of a three inch puppet. Ben hopes he can learn to frighten GOP elephants like that. Irwin stole such movies as “Intolerable Cruelty” (which Ben thinks is about the British tea tax) and “The Flintstones in Viva Las Vegas”. When Ben heard Irwin steals scenes, Ben lectured Irwin about thievery and urged him to return the scenes to their rightful owners.
Ben also ran into a few other interesting people in his travels. Jamie Rose, who mentioned how she loves visiting Gettysburg, explained television to Speaker Ben. Ben discovers he likes watching television on a small screen as then the characters appear to him as life size. Jamie had the role of Stacey Halmore on “Chicago Hope”, Susan Birch on “St. Elsewhere”, Victoria Hogan Starvos on “Falcon Crest” and began her TV career as a child actor on “Green Acres”, a show that Ben thinks is about the parks in Philadelphia.
Speaker Ben was glad to meet Richard Herd, an actor with strong Pennsylvania ties. “Seinfeld” fans will recognize Richard as Wilhelm, and “Star Trek Voyager” fans will recognize Richard as Admiral Owen Paris. Steeler fans will recognize Richard as the actor who portrayed Chuck Noll in “Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story.” Ben asked Richard if Richard thought Ben could play for the Steelers. Richard wasn’t very encouraging.
Speaker Ben enjoyed meeting Stephanie Kramer, who was Dee Dee McCall on the TV show “Hunter”. Ben was surprised to see she is much taller in real life than she is on his small screen set. Stephan also directed, wrote, and composed music for “Hunter”. Ben tried to impress Stephanie that he is also multi-talented as a scientist, printer, and politician. Still, that was not enough to get a role on a TV show, despite Ben’s insistence he’s the right size for the small screen.
Ben is impressed with the progress of theater and how images can now be recorded, similar to words in his printing press. Ben thinks these are positive steps, but is uncertain if this fad will last. Why would people stay at home to watch theater on a cramped television when they can take a joyous journey to see live full size actors? Ben states that time will tell.