Guest Blog: Mary-Louise talks about going from fan to featured
After meeting Mary-Louise at LeakyCon, finding she lived in Colorado, and inviting her to participate in the Gryffindors shoot, Dana and I asked her to write a blog entry about the experience of going from watching our videos online to being in them herself! She obliged, so without further ado…Mary-Louise!
I was asked by everyone’s favorite parody video makers to write a post about how I went from first hearing about Not Literally, to being a wearer of many hats (both literally and figuratively) in their new Gryffindors video. So here it is, in all the glory that I can remember of it.
I like to think of myself as pretty keyed into the Harry Potter fandom now-a-days. I visit fan sites and follow a good portion of Wizard rockers on Twitter and Youtube. So when Sorted this Way came out in July, I saw it. I don’t remember exactly how I saw it, but I did. And then I proceeded to watch it… a couple of times. Then possibly a couple more times. What can I say, it was a catchy song with a pretty video, and I am weak willed when it comes to cool Harry Potter-related things.
Suffice to say that by the time I went to LeakyCon this past August, I knew the words to it. This was fortunate, as Not Literally happened to be surprise guests there and sang on the mainstage at the opening festivities. That meant I got to bop along and knew the song.
I can’t exactly remember how I ended up talking to Ginny and Dana at some point during the Con, only that it happened. (I remain firmly convinced that anyone who says they actually remember everything that happened to them at a Con either has incredible memory, or is lying. Something about only getting four hours of sleep and going through complete sensory overload can lead to your brain just completely shutting down.)
So there I was, having finally made my way up to them (every time I saw them they seemed to have at least five people wanting to talk to them about their videos), and I got through the whole ‘Yay, you’re a person! I like your videos! I hope you do more soon! Your songs are all super catchy, and I like the Harry Potter-ness of your Harry Potter-ness, and yay!’ sort of rambling that I tend to do when trying to talk to talented people. So yes, that is how I acted for approximately all of LeakyCon, in case you were wondering. And then we started talking about locations, and I believe it was Dana who said something about how they have the potential for such awesome locations because of living in Colorado. And that’s the moment when my brain actually kicked into gear. I excitedly said that I lived in Colorado too, and if they needed anymore extras, I would totally be there. They were super nice and told me to shoot them an email and they’d let me know more information later.
I emailed them about two weeks after, once I was recovered enough to become properly coherent again. They emailed me back a bunch of information about their upcoming shoot for their video, in which I was totally allowed to be an extra. Score! They also included info on how to audition as a dancer. I decided to go for it because I had some dance experience, although I hadn’t been inside of a studio for almost three years.
The day of the audition arrived and I boarded a bus to transfer to a different bus to make it there (the joy of being car-less). I was amped and nervous because in the dance world you hear horror stories about how auditions are basically a choreographer going over the combination maybe three times and then you expecting to not only know it, but be able to stick out in the group with which you audition. This was also the first time I would be seeing Ginny and Dana outside the craziness of a Con, and I wanted to leave them with the impression that I was actually a reasonably sane person. (Which I’m not sure is the impression they got at the Con.)
Fortunately, I didn’t need to worry. From the second I got there, I was totally comfortable. The other girls auditioning were really nice, and I made semi-awkward I-don’t-really-know-you-but-it’s-nice-to-meet-you small talk while I warmed up, before we got down to business. The audition itself was also a blast. We spent about forty-five minutes going over the combination that we had to learn just so that everyone felt comfortable with it, and we got to perform it a couple of times, so that they had enough time to really look at how everyone was doing. Seriously an awesome experience with very little pressure attached to it.
I found out later that night that I got it—I was going to be a dancer! I was super pumped. It’s even possible that I jumped around my room while my housemates looked at me like I was crazy.
With that out of the way, the filming just got closer and closer, and before I knew it, it was time! This was the last thing I was worried about: being in a cabin with about thirty other people that I had never met before.
I need not have worried at all. From shouting across dinner tables about the silliest parts of Twilight and who our favorite superheroes are, to Gryff-uddle puddles of all the extras huddling around someone holding a portable heater so that we could keep warm between takes, to belting out Disney songs in the car while we waited for the feeling to come back into our fingers between bouts of filming the dancing, to staying up an extra three hours with my bed mates talking about fanfiction, we all got along really well. In fact, once we made it back from filming, we all went on a mass friending spree on Facebook trying to find each other. I think it’s safe to say we enjoyed each other’s company.
This was one of the absolute most fun things I have ever done. It was a complete joy, even with the constant freezing and passing around of handwarmer pouches. I can definitely say that I can’t wait for the next one! (Although could we do it somewhere a little warmer, maybe?)
Trust us, Mary-Louise—we want that, too! Thank you so much for giving us your perspective!
You can find Mary-Louise on Twitter here.