Performing for Nickelback
There are moments in life when you have to stop and look at where you are and think to yourself, this truly is amazing. These are moments we remember as once in a lifetime experiences. One of those rare moments for me was when I was asked to be in a Nickelback’s music video “She Keeps me up” showcasing my flair bartending skills.
They gave me a featured role in the video where you can clearly see me flipping bottles and breathing fire. There was music, dancers, fire and cocktails, which brought life to the video, and the best part was Fair Project was right in the thick of it.
Personally I had never thought of myself being on television, except for maybe my boyhood dream of being a famous soccer player. I tried to make it in the sporting world … but obviously didn’t. To be completely honest having my 15 minutes of fame was exciting, exhilarating, and really fun. I was able to use the skills I have perfected as a bartender to get myself recognized in a more public and widespread forum.
Shortly after we launched Flair Project’s website I was contacted by a talent agency from Los Angeles. They were looking for a flair bartender to be in a music video they were shooting. I had just launched the new website which is how they found me. It was brand new and I had designed all by myself, which I have had no previous experience in, so I was a bit surprised they liked it so much. The casting agency offered me the bartending part and without hesitation I said yes. I figured this was something new to try and a great opportunity to help my business. They offered me the part way before the shoot was going to happen, so I had a lot of time to practice the routine I would perform.
A month later after I got the call it was time to shoot the video so I drove down to LA. I had a car loaded with bottles, shakers, lighter fluid, wicks, and a fire extinguisher, everything I could possibly need as a flair bartender. I have no idea how crazy I must have looked with all that stuff in my car. But all I can say is thank god I didn’t get pulled over … it would have been hard to explain.
When I got to set I didn’t know what to expect because like I said this was a completely new experience for me. So I unloaded my car and waited for instructions. The director, a nice but assertive man, told me to hang around until they needed me. It was 11am when I got there and I wasn’t called for my performance until 8pm. I quickly learned the waiting around is one of the hardest parts about being on television or shooting a video. Now don’t get me wrong, it was thrilling to be on a set watching everything happen. What I thought to be especially interesting was watching how the video was shot, it gave me ideas for the videos I shoot for the website. But as cliché as it may be, being around celebrities, dancers, and just the whole Hollywood magic kept me enthralled … for a while. After about 2 hours the excitement wore off and I just wanted to film my part. I was still really nervous about performing but there wasn’t much I could do to get rid of the nerves. Since we were shooting in a club I ended up just lounging around taking naps on the couches and changing my booth about 10 different times.
The best part of the day came right before I was called on. The lead singer Chad Kroeger noticed my antsy booth switching and was kind enough to go over to talk to me. He told me he personally chose me for this video from about 15 different flair bartenders, which was really flattering. He said that I “looked best on camera and was impressed with my skills” … so there’s that. He was personable and welcoming which helped to calm my nerves some. We chatted about flair, bartending in general, and he asked a lot of questions I was happy to answer. I even taught him a beginner’s trick – the hand stall. He still needs to work on it but it was a nice start.
Finally, around 8:15 after all the dancing and singing shots were done the director call on the speaker for the “fire talent” – yep that was me. As I was walking towards the bar I heard one of the dancers say, “hey lets stay and watch that guy”. There were nearly 150 crew, personnel, and talent on the balconies and surrounding the bar watching my performance. Even though it was intimidating I felt like a celebrity for a moment. But that moment quickly came to an end, when the director, in a rushed way, told me we only had 30 minutes to shoot and finish the bartending scene. “Don’t screw up” he so kindly said. It was a nice way to take the pressure off.
The shoot went really smoothly though. Once I got comfortable with my surroundings I just did what I normally do behind the bar – I entertained. I focused on all the people who were watching me and treated them like customers rather than like an audience. I forgot we were shooting a video and just had fun. I had to perform a number of tricks including some fire breathing. It’s hard to describe all the feelings I had that day. Nervous excitement is the best way I can explain it. I was nervous for my performance but I was also excited to showcase what I can do. Overall it was another great adventure I got to experience thanks to my love of flair and bartending.
At the end of a truly amazing day I drove home to Santa Barbara thinking how lucky I am to do what I love. It just goes to show you that with hard work, genuine passion, and a little bit of luck life can present great opportunities. So I encourage you to find your passion in life.