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Michael Lupia

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Interview

JP: Alright I thank you for emailing me. Its always great to hear from people that were a part of such a great show! Here are a few questions.

JP: How did you land your role in Legends of the Hidden Temple?

ML: I actually worked for the Production Department for Universal but had done a lot of collaborative work with Nickelodeon. During a lull in production at Universal I had applied for a production assistant job on Legends. However (and I wish I remembered her name) the producer from Stone Stanley liked me and made me a Stunt Spotter / Temple Guard so that I got more "face time" (ironically not much face time in that outfit) and pay.

JP: How did being a stunt spotter differ from being a temple guard?

ML: You mean besides the costumes??? Actually the Stunt Spotters were primarily used for the moat. After that portion was done the spotters were released with the exception of myself and the two Stunt Coordinators who would then prep for the games / temple run. Immediately after the moat I bee-lined to the Steps of Knowledge for my job there... turning on the stair lights when the contestants stepped down. Thrilling huh?

JP: What was the back of the temple like?

ML: Pretty much like any other TV set. Alot of cross beams and sand bags. The craft service table was back there too, so alot of people hung out back there. The jump zones for the Temple Guards were actually hidden in between the camera wall and the backstage wall in case of tours or what have you. There was a lot of attention paid to the integrity of the game.

JP: Did you have to set up and help move the temple games?

ML: No I got out of that by doing the step lights.

JP: Did you have a specific team you watched in the moat?

ML: We were pretty much assigned the teams each show but I had the Silver Snakes most of the time.

JP: Before you landed your role on Legends, Did you ever watch the show on Nickelodeon?

ML: Not really, I had seen the show but didn't watch it regularly.

JP: Did you have a favorite room in the temple?

ML: No but I did have a least favorite... the Dark Forest! Man, that room sucked. The Temple Guard (me, since I was the new guy) had to climb in one of the trees, get sealed in, and wait for the rest of the taping without moving. It was hot, it smelled like 3 years worth of B.O. and the Tree Limb sleeves tore your arms up. But it was still fun.

JP: Which part of the show did you enjoy doing the most? (Temple run, Temple Games or Moat)

ML: I would say the moat because you really got to interact with the kids. If you watch the seasons you'll see that when they intro the teams in that season the kids start headbutting, or chesting each other during their intro. I had decided to have fun with it and the producers dug it.

JP: Did a specific incident stick out of your mind from the show? Like a favorite moment on camera or off.

ML: I would have to say the wrap party. We had it at this Laser Tag place in downtown Orlando called QZar. So you had about 40 drunk production people running through this maze tackling each other (ala Temple Guards in the Temple) Good times.

JP: Did you have a favorite temple game?

ML: No not really they were all fun. I remember we all jockeyed to get on camera though.

JP: Did you enjoy working with Kirk Fogg? What were some funny experiences with him?

ML: Kirk was pretty stand-offish. To be honest with you I really didn't get to talk to him that much. Here I am the new guy on this show that these people had a history on. A lot of people didn't like Kirk because they thought his line reading was too stiff. So I'm there with an Inner Ear Device listening to the control room just rip him to shreads all throughout the day. I really felt bad for him because he seemed nice enough.

JP: How did you find out the Legends would not be returning for a Season 4?

ML: Actually it just didn't come back. That was more often than not the case at Nick.

JP: What have you been up to in your post-Legends years?

ML: I currently am a production director for an advertising agency in Tampa and a father of a great 2 year old. I love showing him Daddy on GAS when they re-run the shows.

JP: If you had the chance to work on a kids game show again, would you take the opportunity?

ML: Absolutely!!! I loved every minute at Nick and would love to do it again. They are probably the most genuine organization I have ever had the pleasure to work for!!!

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20070716113416/http://www.shrineofthesilvermonkey.com/lupia.html

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