Nov. 14 – How Did Vieths Do That?


Early last spring, I learned that there was to be an actors’ expo down in the Twin Cities.  Since my wife and I both enjoy community theatre, I asked her if she wanted to go.  Well, that didn’t work for her but she suggested I ask my good friend Dave Vieths to attend with me.


Dave and I had taught together for 3 decades, and had retired at the same time.  He was an English teacher with a penchant for Shakespeare, grammar, and a severe addiction to theatre.  He and I worked together quite a bit on various high school plays over the years – we were – and are – truly colleagues and peers, and yes, good friends.


So on the phone I went – and Dave was available.  Trouble was, we only had a few days to register and submit 8 by 10 headshots.  So that very afternoon, I drove over to his house and we did a few pics for him.  I took pics of myself that night, and we got everything in the mail.


We were registered!  That very Saturday morning, we took off for the two and a half hour drive down to the cities – well, really, it was the Fine Arts Center in Hopkins, a suburb of Minneapolis… we found the spot, parked the car, and walked into the facility, two old guys who had no idea what they were jumping into.


We got our packet of information – and there were several different sessions to take in.  How to do voice overs (Dave’s interest perked up here) and how to do a video audition.  I took in an improvisation workshop and actually participated.  I got to play a grandfather who was being badgered by his granddaughter to let her use his car…. The young lady was superb – it was an interesting experience.


A lunch break, and yet more sessions.  We learned how to ‘slate’ ourselves – which is something you do right at the beginning of a video auditon – you say your name and then state your representative agent – of course we had none, but we go the idea.  We also dropped off our head shots in various packets of various different talent and modeling agencies (we were interested in the acting, not the modeling…geez, get real folks….)


There were displays to see – some on lighting, some on voice lessons, some on the fringe festival in Minneapolis – we spent a good deal of time speaking to a guy who was producing a Fringe Festival play about the Alexandria Runestone (more on that later….).


We met so many people – notably for me, I met an actress who had been in CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES… and later took one of her sessions.  It was quite a day for the both of us.  WE talked about it as we left the center, over dinner at Nelson Brothers restaurant, and the rest of the way home.


But the story doesn’t end there.  Oh no, it doesn’t.


It was about a month later that Dave got a call from one of the talent agents, asking if he had a portfolio of headshots, because they’d like to represent him, to make him part of their talent pool.  All he needed to do was send in some photos and come down for an interview – in like 3 days.


Well, NOW what are you going to do?  Dave gave me a call, telling me about the opportunity.  So, out came the camera, over to Dave’s house I went, and we spent two hours doing some photography.  We had a good many shots to choose from, and after some time with Photoshop, Dave had a good many shots to bring down with him for the interview.


Dave got to the interview, and before he knew it, he was on their list, the pictures (MY pictures, too, for that matter) on their website.


But the story doesn’t end there.  Oh no, it doesn’t.


Dave has been contacted a few times now since then to do auditions for commercials… to do some other things related to the business that require actors – and some voice over auditions.  But the ultimate – at least so far – is that Dave got himself cast in a commercial for Home Depot, which is now running on the air.


So if you see a Home Depot commercial, you just might see Dave.  He’s the bald one with the white moustache.


I guess you never know what retirement will hold for you, do you?