ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Shooting "Bunheads"; Plus, My Entrepreneurial Life

By Seth Rudetsky
04 Feb 2013

Seth and Jesse Tyler Ferguson with a copy of "My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan"

It will be fun to watch that scene when it finally airs because it includes Seth-induced disaster number two. Right before we filmed I decided to primp and that included flossing. I was in the process of doing my back teeth when a piece of floss broke off and got stuck. And I mean really stuck. And I mean an actual piece. It was long enough to hang out of my mouth! I went to the make-up trailer to get help. My make-up woman valiantly offered to use tweezers on me but I ran out of time. I rolled the floss backwards, stuck it on the side of my mouth and filmed all 15 takes with a piece of floss stuck in my teeth! Finally, I called my dentist and she told me use another piece of floss to get it out. Two hours later, it finally dislodged. eBay?

At the end of the day, we filmed the first scene where Sutton comes over to my piano and I complain about her choice of material (typecasting?). She then goes to the center of the room and belts up a storm. Turns out, as opposed to most TV shows and films, she always sings completely live on "Bunheads." So great! She gets the accompaniment pre-recorded and then wears a little, tiny earpiece that plays as she films. The drummer and I pre-recorded her audition and she was filmed singing it around five times. Of course, only Sutton can hear the accompaniment while it's filmed so when you watch her perform on set it's actually just her standing in silence and belting up a storm. She did an incredibly physical version of "Maybe This Time" on a previous episode that anyone on TV would have wanted to pre-record but she sings it all live (AKA she's from Broadway, people!) Watch!

This weekend I head to Palm Springs for the Steve Chase Awards (for Desert AIDS) and I'm playing for Jesse Tyler Ferguson who's hosting the entire evening. We went over his material at my apartment and I showed him the brand new paperback version of "My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan," which just came out. The inside cover has various reviews — and my publisher (Random House) also included one from Jesse, who called it "high-larious"! Emmy nominee and book critic. P.S., you can get the new paperback at SethTV.com.

(Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM. He has played piano for over 15 Broadway shows, was Grammy-nominated for his concert CD of Hair and Emmy-nominated for being a comedy writer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." He has written two novels, "Broadway Nights" and "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan," which are also available at Audible.com. He recently launched SethTV.com, where you can contact him and view all of his videos and his sassy new reality show.)