Sooooo……. I got to be on a TV show! It was a pretty amazing experience. The show is called Master of Arms it aired on the Discovery channel. If you missed it I guess you’ll have to wait for the reruns.
I did not win. Even so, I thought it would have been a more impactful experience for me as far as the business side of things go. I didnt really see a big bump. Of course not winning might have something to do with it. But I’ve also found most people don’t even know it was a thing. A few people recognized me, but most thought it was from that other show Forged in Fire. To be honest that had happened a few times anyway. I am a bearded blacksmith in a kilt after all.
Well the dust has finally settled on it all and I thought it was a good time to talk about it.
I am proud of the work I put forward on set. It was a tough challenge. I am surprised any of us got done with the challenge at all. What was the challenge? We had to make a flail in 5 hours. Spikes, ball, handle, and chain all from scratch.
I accidentally split the handle with only 10 minutes left on the clock. I cannot tell you how terrible that felt. I knew it right then I was out. I was the first one out. It fucking sucked.
For the rest of that day, and the one after it, and really until I got on my plane, and finally arrived home, and then I saw my wife and her smile and felt her hug me, and kiss me, and then my dog jumped on us and hit me in the nuts, and then it was okay.
I was back home.
I’ve had a good bit of time to dwell on it now, and I have according to my own weird sense of the world come to the realization that it was good for me. You learn more through failure than you do from success.
I mean the $10,000 would have been nice, but I haven’t ever been a winner. I have always learned from my mistakes, and boy have there been many.
I think it’s something we need to remember to teach others about. How to lose. How to fail, and get back up. How to get kicked in the nuts, and still stand up even if it hurts. How to fart in front your peers and still be able to look them in the eye.
I did that on national TV. I only felt shitty about it for about a week. Then I got over it and moved on.
Part of that is due to my history of failure, especially as it pertains to sports. I played little league football in Middle School. They called it Pop Warner Football. I was the starting center, and starting noseguard for the Manatee Wildcats.
We barely had enough players, most of us played both offense and defense. We practiced, we trained, and we never scored a single point all season. Forget about even thinking of Winning! We. Never. Even. Scored. A. Single. Point!
It wasn’t till my second year that we got points on the board. I’ll never forget. We were down by 56 points in the 4th quarter with maybe 5 mins or so to go. I snapped the ball back to the QB. He fakes a hand-off and runs it in. I was so happy I cheered and roared and jumped up and down for joy, and everyone, even my own team mates looked at me like I was crazy. I mean we still lost.
I am not sure how this has effected the inner workings of my mind, or how all those many many blows to the head have either. I do know that it has helped immensely with my ability fail, and yet still go on. To turn shit into gold, even if it’s just in my own disturbed head.
It helps with Blacksmithing too you know. The most important lesson for a new Blacksmith is how fuck it all up but not give it all up. I cannot tell you how many knives, wall hooks, fireplace pokers I have ruined or lost to the forge over the years. It almost made me quit a few times.
I look back at how I performed on set, and realize I did pretty fuckin good. No offense to either Colin or Melinda, but they welded most of their flails together. There was only one welding machine in the shop anyway, and well welding is not my strong suit. My flail does not have a single weld on it.
I am a Blacksmith. I Blacksmithed the hell out of that flail, and all that went wrong was the stupid wood. I ain’t no carpenter. The Flail itself still passed the test, despite the split in the handle. It did it’s job and did not fall apart.
Colin and Melinda both turned out to be some pretty rad folks. I made some friends while I was there. So that’s alright. I had a chance to see behind the scenes on how a show like that is made. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and one that can still make me smile. So in the spirit of that, here are some pretty fun, and funny screenshots I was able to take. All the faces of Jordan on the TV.