Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Julie

I saw this on my facebook page:
I would LOVE to go. I have probably blathered about my raucous internship on The Adventures of Pete and Pete during the summer of 1995.  Actually, when searching my blog (and I don't think the search feature is quite comprehensive), it appears that I've never fully blogged about it, although I have podcasted about it once. So, because this fabulous reunion is coming up (who's going? SOMEONE I know must go!) I thought I'd do a full-on Pete and Pete blog.

Here's the abridged version of how I got the internship:
I was a film major ("Communication Arts: Radio, TV, and Film") at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while The Adventures of Pete and Pete aired on Nickelodeon. For some reason, basic cable was standard on all our college television sets. It seems like we should have been trying to save money or something, but that's how it was. I loved the show for its commitment to weirdness, fabulous soundtrack, and usage of stars from all of my college-era indie movie faves (particularly the darlings of Hal Hartley. Check out this gorgeousness with Damian Young from my favorite Hartley movie, Simple Men. And if you have never seen a Hal Hartley movie, just listen to this song and know YOU NEED TO. Or watch this:

A bunch of people in my film classes were talking about their internships on film and TV sets, so I was like (as I often am) why not? I called around (you can already sniff out my future as a librarian), first to Nickelodeon Studios in Florida (does that still exist?), and eventually a few calls later led me directly to the P&P offices in New York. I asked if they needed an intern, and they said they would as long as the show was renewed for a third season. I called back over the months, and eventually I think I talked to Will McRobb, one of the creators of the show. I remember talking about bands over the phone, which is why I think I talked to him. I might be wrong, but however it happened, I got the (unpaid) job. My friend, Jason, from high school let me sleep on his couch (for half a month's rent) in his West Village, roach-infested apartment (I don't know if I would have gone to New York without his help, so thank you, Jason!), and I was off for an Adventurous summer!

This blog is already too long, and I am about to post a million pictures, so let me just end the paragraph-filled portion of the post by saying I WAS AN AWESOME INTERN. Really. Here is my internship letter to prove it:

But what was funny was that as much fun as I had and as much as I fell in love with the TV biz, I also realized that it was not for me. I much preferred my interactions with the kids on the show, which led me to my career as a school librarian. Also, I was really good at finding things they needed for the show. For instance, Michelle Trachtenberg's character, Nona, wears a cast on her arm all the time. It was part of my (unpaid) job to find a doctor in New York City who would not only make her a cast that could be cut apart and Velcro-d closed, but would do it for free. I did that. I also had to find a Mack truck driver willing to drive his truck down a residential street in New Jersey and honk his horn for, if I recall, twenty-five bucks. I did that. Total precursors for my life as a librarian. Sadly, season three has not been released on DVD yet, so I can't see my name in lights or the fruits of my labor (?).

Without further ado, ladies and germs, my summer with Pete and Pete in pictures:

That's me with Damian Young, who played my favorite Pete and Pete character: bus driver Stu Benedict. Can you tell I'm excited to meet him?

Me with Michael Maronna, aka Big Pete. There are a lot of tongues in these pictures.

I went to the Statue of Liberty for the Fourth of July. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Me outside the apartment on Thompson Street. My outfit is rad.

My friend from Madison, Marcia, visited me, and we went to an art museum. I hate that white tank top I'm wearing, and yet it is in many of these pictures. I imagine it had crazy sweat stains. This was that horrible heatwave summer (although, I can't imagine it was worse than Chicago's heatwave summer this year).


Me raiding Artie, the strongest man in the world's closet.

Me and Danny Tamberelli, aka Little Pete. Note the tongues and the gross, white tank top.

Me and Patty Hearst! And me with really frizzy hair. I said it was hot.

I hung out with Danny a lot during down time. We got along famously, since he was of middle school age and that is my favorite demographic. Blue M&Ms had just come out, and we separated a bag by colors.

On-set shenanigans (I'm wearing Little Pete's hat). The girl behind me was another intern (Debbie? I have decided I have a learning disability when it comes to remembering names. I even stayed at her house for a while, yet I don't know her full name.)

Me and Danny again. I have no idea what we're doing.

Me and Hardy Rawls, who played the Petes' dad. He had a girlfriend named Laurel!

A rather horrid picture of me and Will McRobb. This was in the days before digital cameras.

The infamous picture of me sitting on Iggy Pop's lap! What is that ghostly mark?! Sadly, it's the only picture I have of us. Sigh.

Me and the Wellsville kids! I spent the end of my internship hiding out with them.

Fun people who worked on the show. I don't remember names, but they were very nice!

I remember this guy being really cool. I think he was the King of the Grips, or something.

The woman on the right (Robin?) let me stay at her house sometimes. I was a couch-sleeping vagabond. I love that the guy on the left is rocking a vest with no shirt.

Michelle Trachtenberg and the cast I found for her!

I shall end on this bizarre picture of me kissing Danny Tamberelli. Such an amazing experience! (Um, the internship. Not being a twenty year-old kissing a young teen.)


Betsy said...

This is the most awesome post in the history of the internet. I am highly motivated to purchase some Pete & Pete DVDs after reading it. You should become an author/librarian/sales woman. I am currently obsessed with the TV show Sherlock and I now want to call around to see if they need interns. Internships are just as good as real paying jobs, right?

Julie H said...

Wow! What kind of sales woman should I become? Selling Pete and Pete door-to-door? Or like one of those women who spray perfume on you at the mall? I tried to get a job doing that in Australia. They totally did not hire me.

Being an intern on Sherlock would be amazing. Whoa. Cumberbatch. But I think there's a prerequisite that you have to be broke, unpaid, and living with roaches. Are you down with that?

Teenage Librarian said...

I'm going!! I was so stoked to see that they were having a reunion in LA. A few months ago I saw they had one in NYC and cursed NYC for having all the cool stuff but now I'm epically excited about it!

I'm also really sad that I missed you at ALA. It never worked out that I was able to get over to the convention center in time to see you and it wouldn't let me buy tickets to the YA coffee clatch without a real ALA ticket (blah blah blah excuses excuses excuses). I hope you had a good time, I haven't gone back and read your blog since ALA. I've been working where internet is filter and super spotty and it hates me.


Julie H said...

TL- That's so awesome you are going! Take lots of notes and pictures. I always wonder what happens at these kind of things. Sorry we couldn't say hello at ALA! Maybe next one?

alexvivian said...

wow, what a great set of photos! :-) :-) :-) :-)