Go CJHunt

A part of CJhuntComedy.com

MR. POPULAR 
is up for DAY 19 of The #CharacterADay Project. His plane just touched down and he’s ready to meet up with those guys he knows at the conference.  

REFLECTION
I’ve long wanted to do an impression of those ridiculous people who stand in the aisle as soon as the plane lands.  This guy was originally going to be called “King of the Conference.”  I like “Mr. Popular” more because it opens the door to his game.  I could see him: 

• Getting up to give a best-man style toast at a wedding, where it’s clear that no one really knows who he is.

• Inviting the other dads at the little league game to bring their kids over to his son’s birthday party.  Of course no one knows his son.   

• Flipping 30 burgers on a grill in the park.  He’s set out a sumptuous spread.  He is waiting on all the folks from the office whom he invited to come to his cookout.  No one comes.  

Whatever the case, I just love the idea of a loser who is very confident.  

THE BAD BOY
is the character for DAY 18 of #CharacterADay.  He’s different now, Stephanie. 

REFLECTION
I’m noticing a pattern.  I’m drawn to lame characters with something to prove.  I just find them endlessly fascinating.  The faltering bravado.  I love the notion of someone practicing their tough act.  I have been long tickled by the idea of people pretending to smoke in order to be cool.  I will turn that into something more refined.  Thanks to Liz, Jamal, Jon, and Sarah on this one.  

GERALD’S GIRLFRIEND
is the character for DAY 17 of the #CharacterADay Project.  She just wants you to stop walking so g-d fast!  Do you you want her to get lost in the crowd or something? 

REFLECTION
I really like this one; partly because my travel partner/lady love Liz Beeson is upping the production value.  I am used to filming these by strapping my iPhone to a lamp or by sitting in front of a tripod.  It’s a whole different ball game when the camera can move.  It gives the audience a personality.

In terms of performance, this one is stronger in archetype. As opposed to Harbor Master, this character hopefully makes more of you think, “oh I’ve seen that woman before!” The inspiration came from a woman we saw on Newbury Street.  She had fallen behind in a crowd and was chastising her husband, “you could at least hold me hand!” 

I want more of my characters to come from that place of observation rather than invention.  I want to be spend more of my day noticing.  I want each character to capture something true about people - to show you something you’ve seen before but never voiced.  

STEPSON ROBERT
is the character for DAY 16 of #CharacterADay. He just wanted to do one thing today.  Just one thing, Dan. 

REFLECTION
I love stepsons.  Not sure why.  Perhaps because I am a stepson.  I love their desperation and frustration.  Not sure how I feel about the facing of this character.  Want to dig more into vocal variety.  But I have fun playing him.  And maybe that looseness and sense of fun is something I should chase more often. 

The HARBOR MASTER
is the character for DAY 15 of #CharacterADay. He’s seen things on this ol harbor that you couldn’t imagine.  Not in your wildest dreams. 

REFLECTION

• Working the old stuff
My goal is to create a brand new character everyday.  I want to avoid using it as a place to showcase old characters.  I want to be digging into new soil.  But I’m drawn to this character.  He’s an archetype of a grizzled old sea captain who has seen everything.  I used him on an old character reel and in my sketch group, Stupid Time Machine. But I still want to go back and find something new in him.  A new premise.  A new game perhaps.  Testing out the idea of taking the grizzled old fisherman and confining him to the safety of a harbor

Play
I’m getting feedback from friends and fans of the project that they are enjoying these characters out in the world more than they enjoy the ones I shoot at home.  That there’s a greater sense of play in these ones.  Thoughts? 

AIR BnB GUY
is the character for DAY 14 of #CharacterADay.  He wants you to feel comfortable in your new home.

REFLECTION
Liz and I did Air BnB on a boat in Portland, Maine.  The guy was wonderful and the boat experience was really great.  This is the dude we were afraid we would meet when we agreed to, you know, stay on a strangers boat.  

I like the voice. I like the sense of play here.  It feels like something new.  Gotta get back to routine.  It’s hard keeping a routine on the road.   

LOBSTER LADY
is the character for DAY 13 of The #CharacterADay Project.  She wants you to enjoy your meal.

REFLECTION
I missed yesterday.  Damn.  So I’m catching up.  There will be another one today.  As far as character, I want to push into a different vocal range. Other thoughts: creating on vacation is hard.  I need to get back into a creative habit.  Get it done first thing in the morning; don’t wait to see where you can fit it in.   

FREQUENT FLYER 
is the character for DAY 12 of #CharacterADay.  She doesn’t want to be rude, but please move your ass.  

REFLECTION
This week, the beautiful Liz Beeson and I are on vacation in New England. So you’ll have to forgive me.  The posts won’t come consistently at lunchtime; they’ll just go up sometime during the day.  The production quality will be a little diminished as we are on the road.  However I’m excited to see characters interact with real world environments.  

I love feedback.  At this point in the project, at least one person sends me a piece of feedback every day. They are often little emails or Facebook message saying “hey I know you asked for feedback, so here goes.  Have you ever considered….” Yesterday I got a message from old friend and New Orleans opera singer Aria Monette bringing my attention to the fact that every one of my characters uses the same vocal register. 

She’s right.  They all sound like CJ.  They need to look and sound like different people.  This one is a step in the right direction.  Hold me to that. No two characters should sound the same.  

THE LOVE JUDGE
is the character for DAY 11 The #CharacterADay Project.  He has no patience for nonsense.  And that’s all dating is: nonsense.

NOTES  
For those of you are all about giving feedback, I’d love to know three things.  You can post your answers on my Facebook or just email me at cj@cookiepig.com.

1.) Were you hooked in the first 30 seconds?
Industry and audiences don’t have time for a slow build.  I need to be able to hook them right away.  

2.) Do you want to see this character again?
A great character is one you want to see again and again.  You can dream up and predict scenarios that this character would thrive in.  

3.) Should I have included the last 7 seconds?
I like playing with bits that expand the world and imply at the end.  I don’t know if it actually adds here.  

This character is moving in the right direction.  Facing is stronger and human truth is stronger than some of my past ones.  I just wonder if it hits early enough and builds to keep the viewer glued.  There’s a chance that a viewer can quickly decide “Ok, I get it.  I get it.” I want to avoid that. I want to consistently be surprising.    

THE WRESTLER
is the character for DAY 10 of #CharacterADay.  He’s big plans.  BIG PLANS for someone special.  

REFLECTION 
Shorter.  I want to make all of my videos shorter.  I like this one for it’s brevity. My first under a minute.  I want to keep the rest to a minute or under for two reasons:
1.) I notice on the YouTube Analytics that folks watch my videos for an average of 1:15.  
2.) It will make me work harder.  I normally work in bits - chunks of solo sketch that require three beats.  If someone says “show me a character, you only got a minute kid,” I wouldn’t be able to do most of my characters because they require on average 1:40 to develop.  

So, shorter!  Much thanks to the lovely Liz Beeson, who, after a very long day, filmed this in addition to an entire character audition tape.  She is tops, a hell of a creator, and you should be following her.