So, I’m back doing the EBSe show Spy Zone. I didn’t get the big raise I had been shooting for, but things have changed drastically. The whole show has been revamped. It’s not this tedious show with thematic activities (“Let’s act like animals today”) that have nothing to do with spying. It now actually has plots. The episodes also revolve around a central grammatical concept, like articles (a, an, the) and plurals.
Only two of the original cast have returned. There’s me, of course. And the only other is one of the children, Joanne, even though she’s now called Annie. “JoAnnie” also had the least English skills of the original cast, but that doesn’t matter in the show’s new format. In this one, I’m in the new Spy Zone headquarters with three Spy Girls. I’m also the secretive spy boss, Deep Throat, who gives orders like Charlie in Charlie’s Angels from a secret location in my trenchcoat and molester mustache through the Spy Cam.
(I’m a little worried about where Dohee, the writer, is going for her inspiration for names.)
In the show, we go on missions in a combination of live and animated segments. I do the voices for the characters in the animated segments too. For now, I’m just using the voices I’ve always had in my bag of tricks. Deep Throat is my award-winning Worf the Klingon impression (I actually won a voice contest with that at a Star Trek convention). And the villain in episode to is Sean Connery. The girls help me on the missions, and they teach English to the audience through catchy original pop songs. The songs are actually very catchy, and I like them.
The live studio segments are blissfully short. I usually just have three lines, as do each of the girls. The other segments I just read off the script for the animation and voice overs. With all this streamlining, we went from doing eight hours for two shows to three hours for two shows.
Oh, and the Einstein and alien shows were canceled, so I’m not doing those anymore. My weekends are no longer taken up by standing around in uncomfortable shoes and tight costume under hot lights for sixteen hours. I just go in, do my bit for three hours, and leave — and get paid. And that’s why I’m not so upset about the pay this time around. I think the pay is adequate for the amount of time I’m putting into it. It’s not going to exhaust me. The only drawback is that the studios have moved to the big Korean Broadcasting Institute building in Mokdong, next to the SBS building. That’s right next to Immigration. The problem with this is that, even though Mokdong is relatively close to Anyang, I haven’t found a direct route to there using public transportation. It always takes an hour and a half to get there and back. And that’s rough when I have to be on the premises at 7:30 A.M.
Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see when the new shows go on the air, which will be in a couple of weeks.