By Dan Strachota
For some people, the American Dream is about getting a high-paying job, raising a family, and buying a house in the suburbs. None of those people will ever be featured on Reality Check. The show's host and editor claims it is for a particular kind of Everyman. "Reality Check is the show for the all-American guy," says Stuttering Danny D (aka Danny Shipman).
It all started in January of '91 when creator Huge and original host Moca D. Lite decided to sling on a camera and enter a video glimpse into the San Francisco underground.
Now nearly a decade later, Reality Check has taken us through a Night Gallery tour of the rock world's culture as well as the music itself. Being host to this menagerie is Danny Shipman who joined in 1993 as an interviewer/host and moved on to be the most important link in production and editing of the show. Also on hand are Ace and Dragon Dave, who's veins have tapped the Reality Check radio program and web site.
REALITY CHECK has been around, off and on, for the last eight years or so, but the show's real personality Stuttering Danny D took over in '93. Produced roughly but with skill and humor, Reality Check gives air- time to local and national acts. From metal to punk bands to performance artists, as well as San Francisco events like street fairs and the Exotic Erotic Ball.
Stuttering Danny, a longhaired, heavy metal Loving, girl-band geek, whose continual stuttering during commentary and actual interviews is his trademark, hosts each week's episode. (Look out, Stuttering John!) He's also known for his unintentional goofiness.
The Dec. 2007 issue of HIGH TIMES Magazine hit the streets, and lemme tell ya, it's a blockbuster! HIGH TIMES has great articles on bands and pop culture figures! One of our favorite features was the "ALMOST INFAMOUS" column written by former Senior Editor of HIGH TIMES, BOBBY BLACK. Bobby wrote about his exploits and experiences with bands and pop culture icons. His shenanigans range from the sublime to the surreal, and are always entertaining.
Bobby devoted an entire page to A Night Out With REALITY CHECK TV. Ace and Bobby share much in common, and are both devotees of the true Epicurean Hedonistic lifestyle. That being said, as one "Gonzo Journalist" to another, this particular story is truly amazing.
Reality Check - By Katy St. Clair
It is this spontaneity that holds the SF-based cable-access show Reality Check in place. That and gratuitous shots of really big titties. The show combines on-the-spot band interviews with kooky commentary and drunken this and that. Everything is edited together into a quick pastiche of bawdy low-budgethood, complete with porno stars, Wes Craven, Joey Ramone, Ronnie James Dio, and even Erin Gray from Buck Rogers.
Its silly, sometimes genuinely wild, and dedicated to promoting local bands Behind the scenes of Reality Check are four guys who really like Kiss. Everyone [involved] has to love Kiss," says Ace Annese, one of its creators. "Kiss made a band that they would've wanted to see. We pattern ourselves after that credo. We have created the TV show that we always wanted to see" Founding Reality Check dude Hugh (or "Huge," as the ladies call him) first had the idea for the show back in '91. He was working at the video department of the Fairmont Hotel when he noticed that the mainstream media wasn't paying attention to the people protesting Operation Desert Storm.
I heard that Reality Check TV were making the move from cable to broadcast to help the show celebrate their 25th Anniversary... Reality Check TV have given both Punk Globe and White Trash Debutantes so much support, I knew I had to find out more. I got a chance to speak with both Danny Shipman and Ace Annese about the move and to also reminisce about some the show's best moments... Please enjoy the interview.
Describe a normal day in the life of Ace
I don't really have what could be termed "a normal day". I'm often banging away on the computer at RCTV HQ, networking, promoting, setting up events or interviews, chatting with friends/fans and related stuff. Other than that, I'm active in progressive causes, and I play poker for fun and profit.
The Video Journal of Underground Culture Started in 1991 ,Reality Check TV is a video journal of the people and places that make California's nightlife the most Innovative and exciting in America. Hugh "Hugh" Kinniburgh originally created Reality Check to cover the street protests of the Gulf War. Later on, it evolved Into capturing the bizarre adventures he and original co-host Moca D. Lite went on as they trolled Haight St., and was an excuse to promote his band at the time. In addition, the pair launched a long-running endeavor: The Quest For KISS. The guys soon found themselves going to LA to Interview popular KISS cover band Cold Gin, and sneaking in to grab an impromptu interview with KISS co-founder Gene Simmons
Dive deep into the Reality Check TV story. History and details about the show are revealed in these great stories.
In this ARTISTHEAD audio interview, ACE talks about the importance of playing live show to build an audience, the effectiveness of self-promotion, and other practical tips to enhance your game as an Indie Artist. In addition, RCTV host/producer ACE ANNESE will be joining the ARTISTHEAD team as a consultant/blogger, offering advice and contributing specific Industry-oriented content for AH, geared towards advising interested parties about the Music Business in general. REALITY CHECK TV/ REALITY CHECK STUDIOS is partnering up with ARTISTHEAD to provide expertise in video production and other services for emerging and established acts in the current economic and music business climate, with an eye towards being cost-effective.
Reality Check TV provides quite a service and they've done so for the past decade. What the hell is that service, you ask? Well check it out: if you're way too lazy to go out and experience life in the Bay Area (and beyond) for your damn self, no worries mate, the Reality Check guys, Hugh “Huge” Mackenzie, the show's executive producer, editor, host D-D-Danny Shipman, host Dave Dragon and of course, Ace, have a ton of fun experiencing life for you. That's right, the Reality Check TV guys brave all the elements to bring you, the video viewer, award winning, controversial entertainment. These guys go out to shows or events or festivals or conventions or wherever and document it all. They get back stage somehow and pull off great interviews and grab all the candid camera action they can.