“Believe in the what if’s…” – Kate Milliken, Epiphany

A producer of a radio show I was on the other day wrote me to tell me that Hands on a Hardbody is headed for Broadway with Trey Anastasio of Phish writing the music, and he wanted to know if the Wiens were headed for the Great White Way next! He was referring to my little movie, Lord of the Wiens, because it is touted as “Hands on a Hardbody” meets “Best in Show.” If you haven’t seen Hands on a Hardbody, you must. The documentary came out in 1997 and is incredibly funny and unique. I can’t even explain it. The quick synopsis is: contestants in Longview, TX are filmed and interviewed as they compete in a radio station-sponsored contest to keep their hands on a truck (aka Hardbody) for as long as possible and the winner keeps the truck. The film won all kinds of awards when it came out and Robert Altman apparently was developing a narrative feature film based on the documentary at the time of his death.

Back in 2004 when I was prepping to shoot the annual Buda Wiener Dog Races put on by the wonderful Lions Club Organization, I was told I should definitely watch Hands on a Hardbody. I can’t remember who told me to do that and I wish I could because I need to thank him or her. The film completely influenced me and I went in wanting a Best in Show / Hands on a Hardbody mix for my film, and I have to say, the filmmaking angels were with us. Hands is total guerilla, old-school, low-budget documentary filmmaking … Wiens isn’t quite as old-school just because it came out 8 years later and it’s only 25 minutes long – but it’s definitely in the same genre.

So will Lord of the Wiens have a shot at a Broadway deal by 2019? Who knows? Wrangling a bunch of dachshunds night after night on stage might make Spiderman look like a walk in the park for producers. But if what I’ve experienced with dachshund lovers is any indication, they alone would make it a Broadway legend.

For an interesting story about Phish frontman, Trey Anastasio, check out Epiphany Contributor’s Kate Milliken’s story about him on her website: “Visualize a Rock Star and He Will Come.” Because of her experience with this rock star, she knew she could reverse her multiple sclerosis and where her mantra, “Believe in the what if’s…” featured in her amazing story in Epiphany originated. Her story inspires me daily.

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