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September 23, 1987 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I- I

THE CALL,

ROBERT R. McELROY-NEWSWEEK
Appetite for the unexpected: Seal was chosen from among1,200students who tried out
MTV's New Anarchic Force
Giving up engineering for the video limelight

I

our average man will shave before a
job interview, but Kevin Seal is not
your average man. As the tape rolled
for his audition to be a veejay on MTV, he
smeared himself with shaving cream.
Then, shaving wildly, he spread the stuff
around his face, his hair and his tie. The
accompanying spiel included references to
Richard Nixon's beard, disposable razors
and a roommate at the University of Wash-
ington who had steamed up the mirror
back at the dorm, preventing Seal from
shaving there. "Remember 1960?" he
asked. "I don't." The audition ended
abruptly as Seal shifted to the slow,
dweebish whine favored by sitcom account-
ants: "I also have experience in cost estima-
tion . .. and project a-nal-ysis."
Seal got the job. MTV picked his anar-
chic personality from among 1,200 would-
be veejays who auditioned on 10 campuses
around the country. "He jumped out of the
screen," explains Lee Masters, the music
channel's general manager. "MTV has got
to have that percentage of programming
that's weird, unusual and unexpected, and
Kevin represents something new and dif-
ferent." That he does. An engineering ma-
jor who did not graduate after six years in
college, Seal sometimes treats MTV as abig
science project. Smirking, he has donned
goggles to smash a radio with a hammer
(joking about "breaking new music") and
held a Suzanne Vega album near the danc-
ing flames of a barbecue grill. "It's true," he

says. "I don't take this job that seriously."
One thing Seal does regard with a meas-
ure of seriousness is music. The 24-year-old
favors bluegrass and Elvis Costello and
Husker Du and The Clash, but he's not wild
about the commercial stuff that dominates
the radio waves-and MTV. "I find it a bit
of a yawn," he admits. "I guess I am endors-
ing it by my presence, but it wasn't my idea
to put it there." Pushing more mainstream
fare makes him rich but not proud. "It's a
sales job," he says plainly. "You have to sell
things you otherwise wouldn't buy." Seal's
boss says that style makes the veejay more
appealing. "I am delighted that his tastes
are more avant-garde than commercial,"
says Masters. "It makes him a more inter-
esting person."
Dam the Amazon: Others see promise, too.
Seal began getting calls from agents and
movie producers after a month on the job
and a promotional appearance on the "To-
day" show. But if nothing in show business
should develop and MTV lets him go after,
his one-year contract, the would-be engi-
neer promises to fall back on his academic
training. How? Seal says he could dam the
Amazon ("No, someone else is working on
it!" he suddenly recalls) or patent a table-
top paper shredder to take care of credit-
card carbons ("We'll call it the Fawn"). And
should that not work out, there's always
what led to his current job. He could be-
come a barber.
MARK D. UEHLING

fl od's call . .. it still happens. It's not
always the clearest connection-there
can be a lot of static on the line. You
have a sense of urgency to serve the
needs of your sisters and brothers.
But it takes a sensitive ear, a compassionate
heart to hear that call. The Missionary Ohlates
of Mary Immaculate, as a congregation of
priests and brothers, try to attune themselves to
God's call. They can help you with that sensi-
tive ear and heart so you can understand more
clearly God's call. Write them today.

A IS;SIONARY
of MARY IMM CULATE
P.O. Box 377781, Chicago, IL 60637

1

SEPTEMBER 1987

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