Hi from Rick: The Joy of Bloopers
With the release of each new "Rick Steves' Europe" TV season, my crew and I scour through the raw footage to scoop up our favorite outtakes and bloopers, and wrap them up in a goofy little video package. In this month's Travel News, we've posted 10 minutes of fresh, new embarrassments to help you share in the fun we've had filming our latest season.
In reviewing these, I see more than the screw-ups. I notice how much I struggle to remember my lines, how we rush to cram a lot into the last 30 minutes before sundown to make the most of the day's best light, how carefully we scout just the right spot for "on-cameras" (like in the mud of the Venetian lagoon), how I'm determined to include the heavy history instead of happy fluff, and how I can hardly contain myself when it all comes together (like sitting in Casanova's prison cell).
These clips also remind me how thrilling it is to be all alone in great places (in a Florentine palace or with Monet's water lilies)...and how we have no control over who veers into our shot. It seems we're always dealing with limited time. I'll draft a script in my office months in advance, but many of the on-camera lines are crafted right there on the spot (with time running out), as we better understand how the show is coming together. Another big concern is helping those who make guest appearances with me to stay loose and have fun. I love to get other voices in the shows.
I have ongoing jokes with my crew of two. For a decade, I've been trying to sneak in my various favorite little factoids. For example, years ago I was told that the word "barbarian" comes from the Roman notion that non-Romans were little more than animals with a language that sounded that way: "bar-bar-bar-bar." But my crew always outvotes me on the veracity of that notion.
You'll find that this month's Travel News — besides the bloopers — has lots of worthwhile information, including articles on Germany's Rhine, Spain's Cordoba, and tips for enjoying (rather than just enduring) Europe on a big-bus tour. And our Travelers Helpline users are tossing around advice on which bits of Europe are best to visit in the chill of February.
It's time to toss another log on the fire of your travel dreams. This new year promises a warm welcome in Europe.