Everyday Heroes: A COVID-19 Podcast

Episode 1: Ryan Seamy

July 20, 2020 Michael Season 1 Episode 1
Everyday Heroes: A COVID-19 Podcast
Episode 1: Ryan Seamy
Show Notes Transcript

On April 26, 2020, Ryan Seamy, an actor and blood donor, talks to our host, Angela Rothermel, about a comedy video he's produced and his experience so far in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Credits
EVERYDAY HEROES: A COVID-19 Podcast. Featuring Angela Rothermel and Ryan Seamy. Produced by Michael T. Starks. Editing Services by Brian Torres, Irlend Productions Independent, LLC. All Images and Footage used with Permission & Licensing, Provided by Adobe Stock and Pixabay.com. Newsroom One Footage provided by Ryan Seamy. "Say a Prayer for the Living" Music, Lyrics & Performed by Michael T. Starks. Special Thanks to Karilyn T. Starks. Ionogen Media, LLC Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/covid19everydayheroes
https://www.cv19everydayheroes.com

Everyday Heroes: A COVID-19 Podcast

Transcript of Episode 1: Ryan Seamy

“Memories heal the living. We pray for the living.”

Angela: On April 26, 2020, a lot of people were staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States was nearing 56,000. In Colorado, restrictions were about to be lifted, for what Governor Jared Polis called the Safer-at-Home phase. We started to realize the importance of wearing face masks to limit the spread of the virus. This is the context for our first episode of Everyday Heroes, a conversation with Ryan Seamy, an actor and blood donor.

Angela: Hello, and thank you for joining us today. I’m Angela Rothermel, and I’m here with Ryan Seamy. How have you been doing?

Ryan: Good. Yeah, just a enjoying the time off. Use this time to be creative and… because normally I'd be working every day and too tired to do anything. So.

Angela: What have you been able to do on the creative side?

Ryan: I've been able to start a couple of things. Just a short film skit in the works and also a feature length film that I'm working on, that a friend of mine in New Mexico is writing right now. We're gonna, you know, we're just taking it from scratch and doing it together and seeing where we go with it.

Ryan: I always have a distributor that I can work with to put out anything that I want, whether it's like one minute-long or an hour-long or, you know, feature-length or whatever. But, my next project, I’m trying to get in with the guys from Asylum. In my opinion, they're like the bridge between, you know, like the real solid gap between indie film and mainstream. You know they do the Sharknado films. They really concentrate on, on just clickbait and their titles and things that are similar to popular genres that have caught on, you know. They're notorious for taking two popular genres and mending them into one, like Snakes Out of Compton is a good example.

Angela: It’s really exciting that you’ve been able to work on your creative projects.

Ryan: It's like a dream come true. I mean, all this unemployment or extra money for unemployment, which obviously is not going to last very long, but you know, it's given me a real shot in the arm, you know, because this is what I would be doing if I could, just… You know, acting and making stuff, and that's how I'd be spending my time pursuing that, you know.

Angela: What is your day job?

Ryan: Just working in the service department. Doing that sort of thing, lots of valet parking and whatnot.

Angela: Since then, have you mostly been staying at home?

Ryan: Yeah, just, well that's all I've been doing. Other than, you know, my normal routine, you know, which is probably one-stop, a one-stop shop kind of thing, you know, every morning, the same place, the same people, you know. When I go donate plasma twice a week, I go run into the same people. And when I go to the one store that I do go to, which is a cannabis store, I run into the same people over there. Family here. And then, so not really doing anything except for those three things, going into the same places over and over. It's pretty… it's boring. But you know, it is what it is. I've been pretty much a home body my whole life, so I feel like I've been preparing for this, you know.

Angela: So it's not too difficult compared to what some people are going through?

Ryan: Yeah. I mean, um, I don't know what I would do with w without unemployment. I mean, uh, and even that, the system is very broken right now because… depending on what state you're in, you know, you have so many people filing and, just kind of crashing like the, you know, the servers for, you know, when they request their payments on, on the, department of labor side, you know, and even crashing the servers like on the pay card side, you know, so you have thousands of thousands of people. It pretty much all have to request their payment on the same day, cause they pretty much all filed on the same day. So everybody's pretty much on the same schedule.

Angela: Right.

Ryan: I mean, they, got, you know, they've managed to pay everybody at the very, very, very, very last minute, you know.

Angela: OK.

Ryan: No real call queue, on the, for the unemployment office, it's just puts you in a loop and then hangs up on you. Same thing on the bank side that handles the deposits. Zero communication from their office to the people. You know what I mean? Everybody's just sitting and waiting and hoping.

Angela: Yeah.

Ryan: They might put out one little message here. There might be something on the local news for five seconds that explains why thousands of people are sitting, waiting to get paid so they can eat or do God knows what. So I mean it's, it happened, you know, thank God or whatever. Thank the universe. But it didn't, you know, it's… they're supposed to be improving it as far as what I know, you know. It's all an automated system, and it wasn't prepared for all this traffic coming in.

Angela: With the increased volume, I can imagine.

Ryan: Yeah.

Angela: One thing I wanted to talk about is I was very impressed by a video that I saw you had produced, and I wanted to find out more about that whole process.

Ryan: So basically we had a web series in 2015, you know. It was basically that, it was called Newsroom One. But there was more actors involved with it. Brent, for example, would, you know, have a segment on there, and we would have a guy do the weather. They were about five-minute-long episodes. So we already had like this, me and the director who produced the series together, we had this formula kind of already in place that, you know, where I just write out a little monologue, we film it in front of a green screen. And the beauty behind it is I don't even have to really write anything humorous. Like for example, like in that video, everything that I say, except for maybe one or two silly sarcastic lines is actually completely true. It's all factual. It's the cutaways that that might be lewd or, you know, maybe not completely appropriate, but still relevant to the topic, that's what kind of makes a laugh go off in somebody's head, I think. You know, and that's what makes it so simple.

So I can write pretty much anything. It can be totally serious. And then we just go, you know, for an hour and get in front of the computer, and, you know, he has a really efficient way of just playing everything from start to work to the point that you are, and just throwing in those cutaways right away, you know, on this, what looks like a timeline, you know, and also an audio timeline. So, you know, we just do it real quick, and I just want this, this, this, this. And I think like when I'm writing the monologues, I kind of have an idea of what I want the cutaways in my head to be. So, you know, I'll look for them before we edit them out, you know, and nine times out of 10, like whatever I have in my head, it exists on Google images for some reason already. And it just comes up, you know, like, like homeless person with COVID mask, you know, and I figured why not make like a minute or minute-and-a-half long video of something that's going on that’s relevant. Because everybody's stuck inside, and I'll bet people will actually watch it or pay attention to it or respond to it, which they actually did, versus in 2015 when we just threw all these episodes together, it was just a bunch of random toilet humor, you know.

People are actually responding to this because I think this is actually happening, and it's real and… and I just kind of wanted to put out sort of a lewd kind of version of how, you know, I mean, this is kind of my way of saying that this affects everybody. This affects me too. And I care, and this gets to me, and this is kind of my way of, of pushing back at that.

Angela: Humor is a very helpful thing for lots of people.

I love that you've been able to share this with so people who get to actually enjoy it for a moment, with all of this going on.

Ryan: Yeah. I'm glad that people, because I've showed it to a few friends, you know what I mean. There's a few offensive things in there, depending on the type of person that you are. And, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't too soon for people because I mean, you know, people are dying from this. I don't know anybody in my personal life that knows anybody in their personal life that knows anybody that actually has it, or that's died from it. But I know that it's a fact that people are dying from it. And the people that aren't dying from it, that are surviving it, that have to sit at home. Half, if not more of those people are going to have some sort of mental health issue, or some sort of addiction issue that they might have. You know, everybody has a crutch that they're kind of, they have to get them by through the day, and they have like a little routine. When they can't go through that every day, it causes a lot of anxiety. I know people are like, you know, like… lots of prescriptions for anti-anxiety meds are going up right now, and it's just a hard time. It's my way of pushing back. There's nothing going on in Colorado right now. Everybody's afraid to get into a group, a crowd of people and film anything, and there's no auditioning, no commercials. You know, I figured, what the heck. I'm going to risk it. I'm going to get together with my buddy and shoot this thing, in his kitchen in front of a green sheet. And he's so good with graphics and editing, and he shot with a five-K camera. It just looks beautiful.

Angela: Yeah, I'm thrilled that you did it. And the quality of it was extraordinary.

Ryan: Thank you very much. Yeah. You know, it was only like a minute or a minute-and-a-half long, but this is definitely the highest quality and the funniest thing that we've ever produced. And it's weird because we screwed up the sound, and we screwed up so many things when we just did this in my buddy's kitchen in front of a green sheet. You know, and it was just like, bam, bam, it just came together so well.

So I think we're gonna… we're gonna do some more.

Angela: It's the type of thing that actually makes a difference.

Ryan: Yeah. No, I appreciate that. Really. I do. And, you know, as long as nobody's too offended by this or that, you know, they kind of get what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to make people laugh, you know, and it's not really a laughable thing, but if you can sort of, you know, portray the news for what it is, just kind of like this heartless, ratings hungry, you know, like cold report on things, you know what I mean? Like, and make it a little extra kind of, “Oh”…So I don’t know. We'll do more for sure.

Angela: Right. Cool. That's really nice.

Ryan: Yeah.

Angela: Do you have anything that you would like to say to people who might be interested in what you've been going through?

Ryan: It might sound corny, but I think if you can use this extra time that you have to improve whatever areas of your life that need improving… you might think that because you've lost your job or you don't have the same source of income, that it's not as achievable as you might've thought it would be if you're working for it every day. But in my case, I've been able to focus on so many things and get caught up in so many ways. To where this has all been a good experience for me. That's all I can do with it is just make it positive and try to build myself from it. And I mean, I've just, I've gotten so caught up on things that it's just, it's almost, you know, like not real... It's like, it's just surreal to me. If you could take this opportunity to improve any areas of your life that are being neglected because you're too busy with work or this or that, or if you can, you know, improve your home life, improve your home relationships, now's the time to do it. Because when we come out of this on the other side, you know, if we can be stronger people. It's going to be that much easier to get reintegrated into, you know, normal life again.

Angela: We’ll see what that’s going to look like.

Ryan: Where do we get to when this is all done? You know, if we can all get to a better place when we get through this, you know, that would be a great thing.

Angela: Thank you so much, Ryan. I really appreciate the time you took to speak with us today.

Ryan: Absolutely. Cool.