it could have been a brilliant career: sean's adventures in acting, part 2: yes! you found a supernova!


Read Part One

Zembla is proud to present the highlights of Sean Keane's performance in "HOU Explorer", an educational CD-ROM produced by the Lawrence Hall of Science. The game takes you inside a virtual observatory where you can learn about stars, supernovas, and just how mind-numbingly boring astronomy can be. Your tour is led by an animated dog/punsmith. At one stage of the game, the dog references "arfstronomy".

I play Alan, a tenth-grader with a burning love of astronomy and a smoldering lust for my classmate, Jen (played by Store Girl). Though I was nineteen years old at the time of filming, I feel I was able to really get inside the character of Alan. I took inspiration from the great fake-teenager actors of my youth. Ziering. Macchio. Carteris. Zabka. The performance speaks for itself, but I have provided captions to help readers understand Alan's hopes, Alan's dreams, and just what the hell is happening with the supernovas.


Scene 1:
Establishing the Character

"I'm Adam, and this is Jen. We're students in Mr. Townsend's tenth-grade science class. We've been looking at some galaxy images, and we think we found a supernova . . . Yeah, 'cause that means we did find a supernova!" Note the coordination on the high-five.

Scene 2:
It's a Fucking Supernova!

This scene occurs after a positive initial supernova identification. "This is so exciting!" A veritable train wreck of exposition and instruction concludes with an extremely flattering freeze-frame. And, remember, when tenth-graders discover a supernova, it goes in all the papers.

Scene 3:
Supernova Match - See You Later

A second successful match confirms the image's supernovaness. Alan is nothing if not psyched during this entire sequence. Eyebrow Acting abounds.

Scene 4:
Older and Wiser

Jen's flirtatious new position and come-hither glance show that time has passed since the early, innocent supernova-identifying days. It's only coincidence that they're wearing the same clothes as before. The trappings of fame and extra computer time have changed Alan and Jen, but they remain humble enough to ask for help with the supernova team. Also, Jen and Alan are totally doing it.

Scene 5:
Lightning Strikes The Same Place Twice

That's right. It's another fucking supernova! What are the goddamn odds? Alan would probably know, that smug bastard. Listen to the disdain as he asks, no, demands to know the type of supernova. Focus on "Thanks".

Scene 6:
Success Upon Success

The supernova love fest continues. Alan thinks the new supernova will increase the chances of publication. But haven't they already been in all the papers? This is the ending you get if you successfully complete all of the supernova stages, the "Thank You, Mario" as it were. There is no animated victory sequence, no scrolling list of programmer names. Instead, more Alan-Jen sexual tension and a threat to come out of the CD-ROM and visit your school. Chilling.

Scene 7:
Check That Shit Again

Jen was sure we'd found a supernova. Wordlessly, Alan concurs. Check that shit again, dumbass.

Scene 8:
Wrong Again, Copernicus

This wasn't exactly what Jen was expecting. Alan is too disappointed to move. After all this rewatching, I feel like I should look Store Girl up, see if she's got some free time, if she still wears the brown sweater.

Scene 9:
Try Looking At The Graph Again

Maybe you missed something. Like a SUPERNOVA. Does Alan have to spoon feed this crap to you? Do you even know what a graph is? Jen's pouty lips concur. Seriously, check it again.

Scene 10:

"We're a little confused by some of your data." 'Nuff said.

This concludes the highlights from HOU Exlorer. Eventually, stills from this landmark CD-ROM will appear alongside a cybernetic James Lipton on my edition of "Inside the Actors Studio".

LIPTON: Your first musical appearance, you played - ?

KEANE: A chorus member.

LIPTON: And your specialty was?

KEANE: I would be paired with the tallest girl in the cast, and when all of the girls fell into their guys' arms at the end of a number, I would fall into the tall girl's arms.

LIPTON: Now, the CD-ROM. HOU Explorer. (Audience gives standing ovation) You played?

KEANE: Alan.

LIPTON: Co-starring with?

KEANE: Um, a girl who worked in the gift store.

LIPTON: The initial discovery of the supernova? One word. Transcendent. (Audience gives additional standing ovation. Cybernetic Lipton kills cue card guy with robotic laser eye beams.)

For the record, my favorite dirty word is "motherfucker".


I was trying to shoot some pheasant and I accidentally shot this footage. I'm terribly sorry about that. Try wearing orange next time so we just get the bird.

PS I kept trying to tell the screen: "I don't see any super novas!" Please stop trying get me into some crazy threesome with you!

Yeah, one of our employees seems to have been in this film and we want to offer a disclaimer that the views expressed in this work do not reflect the views held by the gift shop. Our views are as follows: "Buy this crappy telescope before we step on your fucking neck". Other than that we don't really have any view at all. We do, however, think frankly it's a little offensive that the two actors (who are CLEARLY underage) solicit the viewer to "check out their supernova" and then proceed to say that they will actually come visit so long (boasting that they are "famous") as they they look to "publish" all the requests that they just got the viewer (without so much as a penny of compensation) to perform. If child solicitation isn't bad enough, this is unpaid AND forced labor. The authorities will be very interested in some of those "images that were taken a few nights ago."

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on October 31, 2004 9:03 AM.

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