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DIY Halloween
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Some comments on the Do It Yourself Channel's Halloween Show


The Do it Yourself Network is a channel I had never heard of before seeing that David Selby had done this show for them.  Apparently it’s available on a few cable and satellite systems in the Midwest and in California.  Not on Cablevision though, and not on any cable system that any of my friends here in the Northeast have heard of.  Many thanks to “Julianka” who set her timer and recorded it for me when it was on this Halloween, then sent it to me as a present.


I gather from my reading that this show was taped a few years ago and is apparently rerun every year.  David Selby is only in this for a few minutes, but the segment is really cute, and the comments on setting a mood for storytelling also translate well into acting in general, especially the voicework mentioned in the reviews of the radio programs.  The program itself centers on ideas for Halloween parties and prior to DS’s segment they show some interesting and fun ideas from a party planner and a chef.


It was clear that DS really enjoyed doing this piece.  He was kidding around and making spooky noises with the MC, talking about how you always have to be really nice to ghosts cause they like people, and demonstrating sound and voice effects.  The show then went to a segment where Selby put what he had explained into practice telling a scary story to the MC and a little girl.  As with his performance in Love Letters, you can see how he uses body language,  facial and vocal expressions, character voices and timing to convey the mood and build the tension to the story’s climax, where he makes his audience jump.  If you get this channel check this out next Halloween – it’s a lot of fun.


And one aside from a drama wonk:  I found Selby’s mention of Macbeth and the three witches interesting for a reason that most people might not be aware of.  Stage trained actors have a good many superstitions  (as an animal lover, I vaguely remember DS discussing the ones about cats in a long ago 16magazine article).  Macbeth has a lot of superstitions attached to it, and one of the biggest is NOT mentioning the play by name on a stage -- EVER.  Many actors refuse to refer to it by name AT ALL, calling it simply The Scottish Play.  The stories behind these superstitions are really fascinating, so for those who also find such things interesting, I’m including some links to sites on stage superstitions.




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