Off to London

by Lou on May 2, 2005

A few days ago, British TV producer Sean Kneale called and asked if I minded “…popping over to London for a few days, to do some post-production work on Vegas Virgins, the TV series I recently worked on and wrote about in an earlier post. For those of you who might not have read it, here’s an encapsulated summary of what this TV series will be all about.

It’s a poker-meets-reality-show in which 10 people who have never played casino poker before — five from the USA and five from the UK — were whisked away to Las Vegas for three weeks, put up in a first class hotel and provided with poker coaching. That was my job, and it was on camera. A “life coach,” in the person of Las Vegas psychologist Sally St. John, worked with each of them on life lessons while I concentrated on making poker players out of absolute newbies.

Each night featured a poker tournament and each evening’s winner got to select one player to be tossed off the show. Each day the contestants had to perform a variety of tasks (think Fear Factor: eating duck embryos, walking a tightrope, you get the picture) and each day’s the task performance determined how many chips each players started the nightly tournament with. In alternating fashion, they tossed a Brit and then an American, until just one player from each country remained. The two survivors played a heads-up match and the winner was given $5,000 to play poker against a few real “pros,” each of whom were be armed with less money. The money discrepancy was designed to level the playing field and give the newbie a fair shot at winning.

Sally and I were on camera for all shows, and I got to give poker lessons and broadcast the play by play of each evening’s tournament.

While I’m over there I’ll get an opportnity to look at the shows that have already been edited, and at this point I believe they’ve finished editing the first four or five one-hour shows that will comprise the series. When I get back, I’ll share my feelings with you about it.

On one hand, I’ll be a bit biased because I’m featured in the show. But then again, I’m very overly critical of myself whenever I’ve been filmed; there’s always something I wish I could have done over and done better.

It’s that way with writing too. Whenever I finish a book and it goes to print, I avoid looking at it once it’s been published. I always see so much I could have done differently, or better, or written more lucidly. Sometimes I get a chance to correct whatever bothers my heightened sensitivities in second editions, but mainly I have to live with my own words over while realizing there’s a huge gap between my work and some of the writers I’ve always admired.

I should be in London for five or six days, probably beginning May 9, and if there’s a gap in my posts to this blog, that’ll be the reason why.

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