The Front Page

Photo taken by Mike Keller 2001

Previously on Karate Kickin Dwarf…

Thanks to a newspaper article written about me in early 2001, a television producer wanted to feature me on the Maury Povich Show. The show was filmed in New York City. I almost didn’t get to go because of the terrorist attacks that took place in September 2001. I eventually got to fly to New York City, ride around in a limo, eat good food, play with a woman’s leg, and I made my television debut.

The show aired two weeks after I got home from filming my segment. I was sitting in my Tuesday morning class at West Virginia State Community Technical College.  I was taking a special topics course for people seeking to get the CompTIA A+ certification – which I never got. I had informed the professor that the show I was being featured on would air during class. When the time came the entire class left the room and went down the hall to another room that had a TV. I sat there and watched the show. As the show led up to my segment I got nervous but I was also excited.

After the show was over my classmates told me how much they enjoyed it. I think they enjoyed it because they didn’t have to sit there and listen to the instructor go on about Kevin Mitnick and government conspiracies. My classmates asked me what it was like to meet Maury Povich. I explained to them that the only time I even got to meet Maury was on camera. I told them I went to shake his hand and how his hand was huge. We talked for a few more minutes about the production of the show and all of the things I did while in New York City. Then the class was dismissed. I remember sitting there getting ready to leave the room and my brother in law at the time leaned over to me and said, “I think you left out part of the kata.” I explained to him that I had too. I told him how I picked the shortest kata I could think of and I had to make it shorter.

roll-in-tvThe next day in my math class the professor walked into the room pushing a TV stand that had a VCR. He held up a copy of the tape and announced that he would give everyone in the class extra credit if they stayed and watched the show. We all cheered and watched the show. Of course, I was nervous and excited. Afterward, I took the time to tell the class about the events that led to the producers calling me, my trip to New York City, and how the show was produced.

Later, I learned that every class the math professor taught that day got to see the tape. All of his students got extra credit. Apparently, this is something the professor did every semester in all of his classes all the way up until his passing. To this day I run into people who had this particular professor; they tell me how they got extra credit for watching their fellow alumni doing karate on the Maury Povich Show.

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A few days after the show aired I got a call from a local reporter for the Graffiti Magazine. It is a West Virginia publication. The reporter tells me he heard about me being on the show and wants to write a small article about my experience. I agree to do the interview. We talk a few times on the phone and we meet in person a few times to talk about the show. I even get asked to come in for a photoshoot. I didn’t realize this was going to be a full-scale photo shoot. While getting my pictures taken the reporter tells me that I will be on the front cover of the magazine. Come to find out I would be on the December issue.

The reporter pulled out a kids size Santa Clause outfit. He looked at me and asked if I would be willing to wear it for the photo shoot. He prefaced it with “I completely understand if you do not want to do that because I don’t want you to play into the stereotypical little person playing as an elf.” I agreed to do it. I had a lot of fun. They set up some Christmas props in the studio. He told me to do all of the katas and anything I could think of while they took pictures. I have a copy of the pictures and I still use them for various projects. You have probably seen them posted on my social media accounts. I am much younger, skinnier, and do not have a beard in the photos. The pictures have become useful for explaining to my children that I used to be the chief of security for Santa Clause.

In December my debut on the front page cover with a two-page article in Graffiti magazine was released. My face was everywhere in the state of West Virginia. Nothing like being out shopping for Christmas presents with family members at a store and people walking past the window, seeing you, running up to you going “Hey, you’re that little guy on the front cover! It’s nice to meet you!” I looked at my sister and said, “So this is what it is like to be a local celebrity?”

Shortly after my article appeared in the magazine Warwick Davis (the guy who plays Willow and The Leprechaun) contacted me and asked if I was interested in appearing on a Christmas special in England. Due to other commitments, I had to turn it down. However, in the last 15 years, I have not made any other appearances on television. Occasionally I talk to the guy who was on the Maury Povich show with me. Unfortunately, the lady who was there to surprise me on the show passed away.

Since I have started Karate Kickin Dwarf, I have done an interview on the Justin Harvey Show, and I was featured in an article written on Way of Ninja. I have been in the paper and on the news for other achievements unrelated to martial arts.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences about my 15 minutes of fame.

No matter what religion you prescribe to Happy Holidays and have a wonderful season of being merry and being with family and friends. I’ll be back after the new year with more content.

Featured Photo by: Mike Keller 12 – 2001

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