TV show creator hopes to ‘weird out’ audience
For Arjun Singh, weirder equals better.
The Roseville resident is determined to make his new television series “The Public Access Show” as bizarre as possible. And with only one episode aired so far, the show is already succeeding.
“If someone is flipping channels at 3 a.m. and watches the show and is confused and weirded out, that makes me feel really, really good,” Singh said.
The 12-minute episode features a staring contest — with Singh looking, unblinkingly, into the camera lens for about one minute and 43 seconds.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to win a staring contest but it’s really hard,” said his girlfriend Erin Odom. “It’s fun to see if you can beat Arjun. I’ve never actually managed it, but I’ve started to get pretty close. Arjun has always had these crazy ideas running through his head, so it’s nice to see them turn into something he can share.”
One funny bit features a professional drummer teaching viewers techniques for twirling drum sticks like a pro. Another sketch is a musical tribute to Jack Bauer, the protagonist of the TV show “24.”
“It’s a sketch comedy show with musical elements, and weird and wacky elements and a general SNL kind of humor,” Singh said. “It will be interesting to see how it evolves.”
The first episode aired in mid-August on Roseville’s public access TV channel. Singh, 28, is filming the second show, which he hopes to finish by November.
He records some of the show at home and the rest at the Roseville Community Television Studio, located in the Martha Riley Community Library complex in Mahany Park.
“It’s this awesome studio just chilling in Roseville,” Singh said.
The studio has professional-level cameras, an equipment control room and a blue screen.
“He’s a great addition to our cadre of community producers here at Roseville TV,” said Production Manager Jesse Nix. “Arjun is a great guy. He’s friendly and has a wickedly demented sense of humor. I’m glad we could provide a creative outlet here at Roseville TV to save him from the embarrassment of re-enacting his sketches on street corners.”
A year and a half ago, Singh was a professional touring musician with Wallpaper, an Oakland-based band. Exhaustion from being on the road prompted him to reconsider his life plan. While touring, he’d come up with silly ideas, when he realized all those epiphanies could “be birthed into this world,” as he says.
Singh took the orientation class at the local studio, which is run by the City of Roseville, and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $2,000 for equipment, sets and costumes. Kickstarter is an online funding platform where people can pledge money to support creative projects.
He wanted to create an ongoing web series (his show can be found on YouTube) and a television show that could spread to other public access stations. His show has been picked up by Davis and Marin.
David Benjamin, a manager at the Roseville Community Television Studio, said the public access station’s programming is about one-third religious shows, one-third political and one-third where “they do what they want.”
That freedom appealed to Arjun.
“This shows you can make your own stuff and there’s nothing holding you back,” he said. “Public access stations, in general, are pretty neglected so there is not a lot of fresh content coming through. But there are all these studios with all this equipment craving people to come and make content.”
Nix said “The Public Access Show” is one of the station’s most popular programs.
“I personally love the show,” Nix said. “The show, and Arjun himself, are an inspiration to our fellow community producers and I would like to take this opportunity to declare him Roseville TV's Goodwill Ambassador. I’m sure that I can make some sort of official-looking certificate in Photoshop for him.”
Singh, whose day job is as a website administrator in Natomas, draws inspiration for sketches by creating alternative scenarios for real-life situations. The second episode will focus on nudity and when it’s acceptable in the social context.
“Nudity is the theme, but you won’t see anything inappropriate,” Singh said, adding, “I want to keep creating weirdness.”
Sena Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.
“The Public Access Show” airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday on Comcast 18 and Surewest 77 in Roseville. For more information, visit www.thepublicaccessshow.com.