February 17, 2012

Play the Part

Stories of people who decide to flip their personalities and do the exact opposite of what they normally do.

Barack Obama impersonator Louis Ortiz and a barber named Hector, in a still from Ryan Murdock's documentary film, The Audacity of Louis Ortiz.


Ira speaks with a reality TV producer named Bill Langworthy, who has noticed that people do things in front of the camera that they would never, ever do in their actual lives. (3 1/2 minutes)

Act One

The Audacity of Louis Ortiz

2008 was a hard year for Louis Ortiz. He had lost his job and was playing in pool tournaments in The Bronx to scratch together some money. Then one day a friend pointed out that Louis looked strikingly similar to a man who had been in the news: presidential candidate Barack Obama. And that's when everything started to change for Louis, in ways he could never have expected. The story is told by Ryan Murdock, who is making a documentary film called The Audacity of Louis Ortiz. He's looking for a distributor. (38 minutes)

Act Two

Wife Lessons

Kristen Finch was a speech therapist who sometimes worked with kids with Asperger Syndrome, symptoms of which include emotional distance, inflexibility and missing social cues. Kristin and her co-workers often joked that all their husbands had Asperger's, since the symptoms overlap with stereotypically male personality traits. But then Kristen wondered—what if it was actually true for her husband Dave? The quiz that Dave Finch took to determine whether he had Aspergers can be found online (note: it's not an official diagnostic tool). Dave wrote a book about this experience, called The Journal of Best Practices. (15 1/2 minutes)