Smoking coconuts. Improv Travel with Greg: #StayCaytoFarAway


My first StayCay to Far Away video is live!  Nick, Stephen, Carrie and I are competing in a travel-related competition where we each make videos to compete in four different mini-challenges.  Each weekday, Sunday through Wednesday, we present a different challenge.   For details, see this post: Challenge! Stay Cay to Far Away.

Today’s assignment: Improv Travel.  Carrie assembled a video slideshow of a destination without telling me what or where it was.  My challenge was to record myself as an improvising tour guide, with Carrie’s video in the background.  I did my best to describe the footage as it appeared.

Did I figure out the destination and what was going on behind me?  Watch the video to find out!

When watching this, keep in mind that unlike the other challenges, this was recorded all in a single take.  There was no opportunity to practice with the actual background footage, and no edits were allowed after the fact to clean it up.

Don’t forget to click through to Youtube and click LIKE (thumbs-up)!  The video with the most likes will be the weekly winner (but don’t worry, you’ll also get a chance to vote for the champion at the end, so liking my video won’t mean that someone else can’t win!).  Please also subscribe to our Youtube channel. Enjoy!

As a reminder, here’s the Improv Travel mini-challenge description:

Challenge Details: Each contestant will receive a video tour of a real destination assembled by another team member from their real travel photos and videos. The contestant won’t know what the footage is until they start recording with their face in front. The goal is to create an improv tour of whatever the heck it is. Without seeing the video first, the contestant will use Zoom to record themselves in front of the footage and will have to spontaneously describe whatever they see behind them.

Behind the scenes…

I knew I’d only have 10 seconds to do a quick intro, so I practiced and practiced until I could do the intro in that short amount of time.  My plan was to show how prepared I was by switching smoothly from a winter coat, to a raincoat, to snorkeling gear.  Once I started recording for real, the intro didn’t go quite as smoothly as in practice…

The intro started out fine…

Greg prepares for cold and snow

And I switched to my rain gear without too much trouble…

Greg prepares for rain

I hit a snag when trying to remove the rain gear…

Greg’s hood drops lower than expected…
Greg struggles to remove raincoat hood

Later in the video I was stymied by Zoom’s inability to track my hand.  I wanted to do one of those perspective shots where you can make a big thing look small.  I was trying to put my hand flat in front of a giant statue to make it look like the statue was sitting in my hand.  This utterly failed when my hand disappeared…

Greg’s hand disappears.

Finally, we didn’t think ahead to give presenters enough time to wrap things up (we’ll fix that for future Improv Travel backgrounds).  So, I went slightly past the end of the video…

Greg’s presentation goes a couple seconds too long….

Don’t forget to click through to Youtube and click LIKE (thumbs-up)!

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Hi Greg, you did a pretty good job with this challenge with only have a few seconds to see the image and describe it to us. Are there guidelines for how many images would be shown during the virtual background or how long each image would be visible?

If I can add some constructive feedback to this post, I feel like the layout of the post is all scrambled together. I thought that the Challenge Details should go at the top, then your thought process / plan going into it, then your behind the scenes thoughts, and then the video would go last. Maybe going forward, there are 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the video for introductions and conclusions. Just my 2.5 cents 🙂


lmao “thai ornaments”

Caroline Yoder

Greg, shame on you for hunting lizards. #stayincave


Great job u got out the middle of the video and not bouncing too. Maybe a part 2 or 3 ??
#stayincave LOL


Without reading the post, I thought it is from Nick’s safari trip in Africa at the beginning. I did not figure out it is Sri Lanka but assume it is in Asia and from Carrie’s trip at the end. It seems pretty tough to do this challenge and the disappearing body parts of Greg can be distracting. Overall, nice effort.