An interview with one of the Hosts from the Telus Optik TV show Rental Rewind.
What has been the most exciting part about working on Rental Rewind? Connecting with people through a shared sense of nostalgia and having that sense of nostalgia become a bridge to new relationships. I've met lots of amazing people working on this show that I wouldn't have met otherwise. Many of the conversations start with us talking about our favorite movies or our favorite video games, sometimes we're talking about how much we
loved the rental process that doesn't exist anymore.
Can you explain more about the rental process? It was the joy of going to the local video store or the Blockbuster and walking around with somebody and chatting with them while you're looking at the movies or the games. That's sort of a lost time in our lives now and the nostalgia for that time is a big part of why the show is so fun.
Had you ever worked with Tare before? Getting to work with Tare has been awesome. No, I hadn't worked with him before and it was during one of our early meetings that we were kind of trying to figure out the answer to: “What is the relationship between these two?” My character “Dan” and the character of “Tare”. I was the one who suggested I should be his sidekick. I said I should be the Andy to his Conan.
How did you figure out the dynamic between the two of you? I think it took a little bit of, kind of, going back and forth and having some conversations but by the end, I just kind of went: “I think what Tare’s bringing is this high energy, almost manic performance and so my inclination is to do the opposite.” I think that that's just my approach to theater and art and everything else. When someone brings you… when someone makes an offer, because that's what he did, he had this huge character to offer, so my response was: “If I play the same thing we're going to drown each other out. If I play a high-energy crazy guy there are just two high-energy crazy guys. There's no balance.” When I'm working with other people, collaborating with them, I ask myself: “Where do I fit in?” And I often choose to play the opposite. And it's not to be contradictory or oppositional to try and negate what they're doing. It's trying to, you know, say: “Okay, if they're going this way, I'm going to go the other way and then it will have that contrast.” Bob Ross taught me you need light to show dark and dark to show light. Happy little trees, right?
I've gone in a very stoic direction and my character’s very sort of grounded in the reality of trying to run a video store. At least that's what we did for season one and I think for season two it will be sort of a similar vibe. But you know we’ll just kind of see where the characters land because we're doing things differently for season two, right? There's going to be this chat component to it where I'm interacting now not just with Tare or the contestants but also with the audience. They will have an opportunity to chat with us so I want to keep a bit of that character.
So the character you’re playing is a version of yourself? I wanted to be sort of a slightly heightened version of myself. It’s not, you know, a huge transformation or anything like that. He's just sort of a… He's kind of a schlub. He's just this dorky guy who kind of wants to run the video store and… and I think he's probably, he thinks he's the expert at everything. He's that guy, the kind of know-it-all who just kind of sits in the corner and judges everybody for not knowing these facts about all the movies and video games and he's like: “Oh, you don't know the Konami Code?” Like he just kind of has that kind of attitude.
Do you have that attitude? I try really hard not to have it. I think that’s the biggest difference between me and “Dan” the character. Personally, I would much rather not behave that way towards people and not have that attitude toward people. I try to be a lot more inclusive and inviting. But there is a part of me that does have all these little nuggets of useless movie and video game trivia locked away in my head but I don't ever use it as a cudgel to try to like, you know, beat up on people. Whereas I think the character of “Dan” in the show probably would. He probably would like to look down on other people.
You can watch Dan on Rental Rewind on YouTube.
Don't forget to check out Rental Rewind Season 2.