I watch a show called Orphan Black on BBC America in which Tatiana Maslany plays at least 10 different characters, all of whom are clones of the main character named Sarah. There’s Beth, Allison, Cosima, Helena and many others. Despite each characters’ unique looks and personality traits, Maslany convincingly plays them all and sometimes even shares scenes with herself.
The acting is so realistic that when I watch interviews with the cast of Orphan Black, I often – for just a second – think, “I wonder why they didn’t include the actor who plays Cosima in this interview. Or Allison.” But she’s sitting right there. It’s Maslany. They’re all Maslany.
Where am I going with this Orphan Black story? And why am I writing about it here on this local culture blog?
After spending an hour on Ricky Mitchell’s YouTube channel, I imagine I’ll have a similar split-second moment of confusion when I see him on stage at June’s Final Friday Brickyard concert in Downtown Mansfield.
Mitchell makes these one-man, self-harmony cover song videos where he self-records every individual track of well-known songs from bands like Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Blue Oyster Cult. Then he combines all the tracks, and the song sounds just like the original.
In the videos, you see split screen clips of Mitchell singing, playing the drums, playing the bass, playing the guitar, and then another guitar, and so on until you end up with as many as a dozen Mitchells on the screen all playing individual instruments and filling out the full sound of the song.
So when I see him on stage, don’t be surprised if – for just a second – I say, “Where’s the Mitchell who plays bass? Or where’s the Mitchell who sings harmony?”
You’ll look at me like I’m crazy and I’ll remember: That’s right. It’s Mitchell. They’re all Mitchell.
Watch what I mean in the video below, and come down to the Brickyard in June to see (the one and only) Ricky Mitchell play live.