I spent a weekend enjoying Airbnb’s virtual experiences. Was it worth it?
This kind of interaction with leaders in various fields – Olympic gold medalists, Grammy nominees, wine experts – is another hallmark of these experiences. Under what other circumstances might you get a private lesson (my wife and I were the only participants that day) from a four-time Emmy nominated Foley artist?
A Foley artist adds or recreates everyday sound effects to movies and TV shows, like footsteps, rustling clothes and creaking doors – and the host of “Secrets of Hollywood Sound FX($ 39) has done a lot. It was Adam DeCoster, whose work you’ve heard on “Cheers”, “Lost”, “Orange Is the New Black” and over 500 other shows.
We weren’t at all prepared for what we were going to laugh about in this class. Some of the humor comes from Mr. DeCoster himself, who is dry and self-deprecating. “I like that we have the word ‘artist’ in our title,” he said.
The rest comes from the sheer absurdity of the craft. How does Mr. DeCoster crack the footprints in the snow in the “Fargo” TV series? Beside the microphone, he clutches “a pimp hat” filled with cornstarch and Rice Krispies. How does he create the sounds of guns in a SWAT team scene? Shaking an old metal plane part.
He also demonstrated his valuable collection of flea market shoes, which he uses to track footsteps: a worn out “for the President” dress shoe, a white “FBI agent shoe” and, Hilariously, a seedy and completely flattened men’s shoe moccasins whose footsteps sound exactly like chic high heels.
“If you’ve watched television in the past 30 years, you’ve heard of any of these shoes,” he said.
But the hardest part my wife and I laughed all weekend – indeed, the whole lockdown – was during “Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens($ 23), hosted from Portugal by drag queen Teresa Al Dente.
The session is billed as “a cabaret-style digital cocktail class you’ll never forget,” and wow, is that right.