At this point, the Black Keys have become rather adept at plucking folks from obscurity and placing them beneath the spotlight — just ask the West Akron Orioles or “Lonely Boy” dancing machine Derrick T. Tuggle — and they’ve done it once again with the terrifying teaser clip for their Turn Blue album.
This time, it’s Micah Fitzgerald — aka “Micah Fitz” — an L.A.-based actor/model/musician/entrepreneur who steals the show, spouting hypnotist hyperbole (“I am inside you now! I will breathe life into your hopelessness!”) and thoroughly creeping us out in the Turn Blue clip.
And just like the immortal Tuggle, who ad-libbed his way to superstardom in the “Lonely Boy” video, Fitz was working mainly off script for the shoot … which means that most of his lines came from his own imagination.
“When I first got the script, it was kind of this bizarre hypnotist character, but it had this Darth Vader kind of feel to it, and I didn’t want to do a knock-off of something else,” Fitz told MTV News. “So I tuned out and something came over me; the words just started flowing out, and at the end of the day, I essentially had hypnotized myself. It was intense, and Eric, the director, loved it. He just let me go.”
“Eric,” is, of course, Eric Wareheim, one half of the comedy duo Tim and Eric, and while he was open to letting Fitz improvise, he did provide one of the Turn Blue bit’s weirdest lines — “He came in with the ‘penis and the vagina’ bit and I was like ‘Okay,’” Fitz laughed — and gave the fledgling actor a new-found appreciation for the art of the ridiculous.
“I was in Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ video , playing a villain, and that was an experience; but this was something else entirely,” Fitz said. “We tried on different outfits, we went to work, we did a lot of material, and, to be honest, the stuff that you see in the video is a small fingernail of all the material that we did. I’m hoping they’ll use more of it in the future.”
To that end, Fitz is hoping that his role in Turn Blue will only lead to bigger things. He moved to LA to pursue acting just 13 months ago, after dabbling in community theater and working as a national sales manager for TurboTap (“draft beer’s only Rapid Dispense retrofit.”) He’s currently looking for producers to work with on his debut album — “I’m not a traditional singer, but I hold the tone of a Johnny Cash or a Leonard Cohen,” Fitz explained — and he’s branching out into business through his new company, Fitz Concepts.
And, yes, he’s willing to talk to the Black Keys about a potential promotional tie-in.
“I’m working on a special line of keys, which combine functional technology,” he said. “I’m going to make different designs, symbols and technologies, maybe a life drive, a vaporizer key, something unique that can be tied to brands or bands. There’s definitely an opportunity there.”