Ask Adam Savage: Which Previous Job Adam Would Do Again (and Again)?

Joylandi 4-Iyn, 2021
Tested member Andrew Lewis asks Adam, "If you could set aside International fame and reputation for a few weeks of every year without penalty, which of your previous occupations would you choose?" (Spoiler alert: Adam's answer does not include MythBusters!) Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question:

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Thanks for watching!


  • Adam will be answering more Tested member questions about his previous jobs in a LIVE STREAM on Tuesday, June 8, at 11 am PT! Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question:

    • @Kenshar1984 i wonder what was his favorite theatre to go to plus show to watch?

    • You could still do theater! Go audition! Just you being in the show would bring people who normally wouldn’t give it a chance. Go for it!!!!!

    • Will I recognize and see you at Fanx in Salt Lake City Utah in September this year?

    • hi Adam, cool question great answer looking forword to the live stream

    • Can you make real hologram projector

  • as a pro theatre designer/tech i would say i'd love to do some film prop work for a while after all your talk about it. but i'm very happy where i am in theatre/dance :-)

  • I know you want to ride the silver slipper on the top of a greyhound bus through the desert ! lol

  • go do eet

  • Tennis Elbow! Same!!! I have to watch the whole episode before I start commenting: 🎭 Theater! Love community theater, all of it! ♥️♥️♥️

  • As much as I love this channel and would appreciate even more of your content, Adam, I wish anyone the experience of following their heart especially once it's paid for. Yolo. Start slow like once a week, but start nevertheless. Call your community theater 🎭

  • Good afternoon Mr.Savage. Why don’t you start a twice monthly theatre group in a park, or at the shop. Enjoy your day. Thank you.

  • You enjoy international fame….Greetings from the U.K

  • I did amateur theatre when I was a teenager and then ended up working backstage for the local theatre as well, I do sometimes wonder what path my life would have taken had I chose to do that as a career. It remains one of the happiest periods in my life.

  • you don't want to spend your life staring in paper towel commercials??

  • Oh I agree Adam! I grew up running around the Melodrama in Bakersfield, CA and cut my teeth in highschool and college tech work (specifically lighting and sound). I often think about helping in a community theatre, but sadly where we are now, the old town theatre has been run down and most likely will be taken down. I hope that doesn't happen as it is a historical landmark up here in WA. But yes! Theatre!

  • We are getting valuable life lessons from each of your answers, thank you 😊 Covid limitness did bring lots of unexpected pleasure of simplicity and seizing our limited options, that I weirdly enjoyed too. And having your life feel the way you want it is such an important life goal.

  • The theater apocalypse analogy reminds me of the Star Wars scene in Reign of Fire. Theater can be so much fun and would be so much more fun with no copyrights preventing so many stories being told.

  • Adam that was a very good point about theatre after the apocalypse. It reminds me of the last scene of Mad Mac Beyond Thunderdome when the kids, now older, do the "Tells". So true.

  • Theater is magic

  • Which Previous Job Adam Would Do Again (and Again)? I thought it would be movie VFX. =)

  • You could be in a theater version of Savage Grace for sure... of course you be portraying Julianne Moore’s character

  • BUT! From a more practical point of view: ILM for a "few weeks."

  • My question is in view of America's crazy gun laws and a gun violence epidemic that most other countries would call "a war", *do you regret the incredible amount of gun promotion on Mythbusters* while avoiding to tackle any gun myths whatsoever that might be even slightly critical of guns, let alone have a whiff of gun control to them?

  • Loved to see this as used to work in the theater before covid and looking forward to getting back. Such a true statement you said Adam. Except for panto my first theater experience was cats in 1983 as a school trip. Theaters will need everyone's support after lock down.

  • Hey Adam! Community Theatre Technical Director here! Thank you so much for this video - especially coming out of this pandemic. Our little theatre has made it to the other side, and I am so excited to be doing shows again. I'm 36 and am doing this earlier in my career than in your timeline, but I plan to retire here as well. I might do something else before that time comes (possibly in educational theatre), but I know deep down that I'll find my way back to my current venue. After all, I got my start here when I was 15 and have put a lot of love (and blood) in to the building itself as well as the art, so it has a big piece of my heart. You're welcome in my space anytime! The downside is that it's in Texas, but it's in Denton (N. Texas) so I suppose one could do much worse!

  • Theater, the first art form that would survive an Apocalypse. Beautiful and such truth!

  • Is there a video that covers why he took down his raptor costume build?

  • I love theatre. I'm part of the lighting and sound crew at my local playhouse

  • I'm pretty sure Adam can easily join a theater troop anytime and his career wouldn't suffer at all.

  • The opening sequence of "La Cage aux Folles" on Broadway was stunningly wonderful as an audience member, and a source of utter jealousy as somebody who had worked back stage: a beautiful 'dissolve' with physical objects in real time.

  • In my circles we pose this thought experiment in this form. "All great ideas start with Step 1, win the lotto." What do you want to do ? Step 1, win the lotto. Step 2? ....

  • Anybody know what Adam's arm band is? Thank you!

    • That’s a Mueller arm band, it’s for relieving tennis elbow pain.

  • Adam, if you want to do something fun for six to eight weeks a year, get involved in a renaissance faire cast. Nothing compares to the joy of interactive theater in the round.

  • The rally was 2010. I was there for it. Just checked my commemorative hand towel to see if the date was on it. 10.30.10

  • Flying invisibly, of course.

  • If Adam shaved, put on contacts, and dyed his hair. No one would recognize him.

  • There's a book called Station Eleven that's a post apocalyptic book about a theatre troupe!! You'd absolutely love it

  • And by theatre, he means adult theater. Adam "Sausage" Savage was his porn name.

  • Volunteer today! Find a high school if you can. Those kids will remember it forever (12 years on I still lovingly remember building sets)

  • Summer Repertory Theatre at Santa Rosa Junior College would love to have you. College students gathering from all over the country to put on six productions in rep in two theaters over the summer. What could be better than a summer in Sonoma County? I did it for two summers in the late '80s and had the same life changing experience you did.

  • Why dont you theatre it? weave it into tested and take on a local troupe performance once a year and take on a different role each time. first time prob props and backdrop but as cycles go get into acting and directing and sound design and so on.

  • I am not surprised to hear you say that, Adam. The enthusiasm you hold for theater shines through every time you talk about it, visit a theater backstage, talk about your time in theater arts. It is obvious that is your first love: taking a script and bringing it to life in front of a live audience. And, there is nothing like having an audience respond to what you do on stage. Thanks for sharing your joy, passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge with us all. (And yes, you still hold International Fame. EVERYONE knows who Adam Savage is.) 😁

  • So storytelling would be the first art form to survive the apocalypse. Or maybe singing.

  • I did sound design for several years in a small theater. Some of the best and some of the worst acting I ever saw was there. Theatre shows (particularly in amateur theater) are a walk along a tall cliff and it's amazing to watch the cast fly and soar or fall off and crash. I both cringe and laugh when I remember how a prop gun didn't go off on opening weekend and the cast couldn't figure out what to do. (I had told the producer beforehand that it really needed to be replaced.) Other productions had the most subtle and incredible acting I've ever seen.

  • Thank you for that amazing homage to theatre. Among many lovely interest and passion in my life, it is theatre that makes my heart skip and my soul burn the brightest. And in a time of instability, your words has inspired me this evening and made me feel hopeful for what the future holds. I thank you!

  • Billy Joel - You're Only Human (Second Wind) (1985) music video ?

  • Well, I'm watching from Brazil, and for me you're famous, so you are technically internationally famous. Also, MythBusters' reruns are still a thing here.

  • It's like the scene in "Reign of Fire" when the elders are acting out Star Wars for everyone in their underground cave home.

    • It's also a component of the comic Y the last man.

    • Nice! I didn’t see your comment until I made almost the exact same comment. I wonder if that is the exact movie he was thinking of?

  • Xkxkskssl

  • Totally off topic but I've seen you wear that tennis elbow arm strap for quite a while now. I've had one too, but I got rid of my pains with just two sessions of Shockwave Therapy. Really recommend it.

  • That's a bummer that you don't find international fame enjoyable.

  • Adam, read Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong. It's a beautiful, accessible work about narrative and how it can change how you think.

  • I /wish/ doing those "wave a magic wand to get what you want" exercises worked for me... They tend to just make me sad. Because in that dream, I'm happy. And then I open my eyes and want to cry, because it's so far removed from what is possible for me. I'd want that magic wand to grant me free and safe housing for life, with utilities and chauffer included. That'd really help, actually. Then I could focus on doing, like, something FUN. There's so much creativity and imagination LOST to the necessity of just surviving. I never thought I'd be one of them, ya know? I thought I /had/ the tools I needed to keep my boat going on the course that my parents' efforts set me on. But the boat ran outta fuel, and I'm stuck in these still waters. Best I can hope for is someone comes along to rescue me. I /wanted/ to be good enough to do it all myself. I /didn't/ grow up wanting to be a damsel in distress. I'm the type to Jump At The Call To Adventure! It's just... been so gddamn quiet out here... for so damm long... /I/ don't wanna go back to how it was pre-covid! I don't want to face any more questions about why I've been so still. Because it /wasn't my doing./ It wasn't my fault, it wasn't my choice! But they'd just shake their heads and start victim-blaming and give me /nothing/. (that's literally how applying for disability income in America works, just so ya know. They LOOK for reasons to deny you.)

  • You do enjoy international reputation for sure!

  • Humans need stories to be humans - read that in a Terry Pratchett book I think. Might have been Hogfather.

    • Yep, it’s Hogfather. Pratchett delves deep into the idea that narrative and stories drive humans, and the power of stories, to be human in a number of books. But especially in the very underrated Science Of The Discworld series. Some great stuff in there.

  • Hi Adam, listening to you talking about theatre makes one thing obvious to me: You got bitten by the theatre bug. It happened to me decades ago in my late teens and‘ hasn‘t‘ let go of me ever since. The effect is fascinating to this day as I am in my 50s. 🙂

  • Not sure about international fame? South Africa here. Edit: In the comments I’ve seen Dutch and Canadian as well. Where is everyone from?

  • In a theater, you're literally "in the room where it happens". Ok, I'll go now.

  • Next question: why don't you?

  • I'm Canadian. When I talk to my friends about watching this channel, they know who I'm talking about. Therefore, Adam, who is American, is well enough known in another country that I don't have to explain to folks who he is. That would seem to be the very definition of "international fame."

  • Theatre is part of the post-apocalyptic world in Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and also in The Postman by David Brin. And many other works of fiction, I am sure.

    • Station Eleven was my first thought when he said "survive an apocalypse intact". Both of those books are worth the read. 🙂 (I could have skipped the movie made of The Postman though. Live and learn. 🙂)

  • First of all, if I mention "Adam Savage, (you know, the Mythbusters guy)" here in Finland, everyone'll know you. So yeah, international fame is true. Also, we all here knew you'd answer theater. 😃 Just before the COVID struck here in the beginning of 2020, I went to see an AWESOME play of Little Mermaid - it was a very large production and highly praised, and it was probably one of the best experiences with art I've ever encoutered. I really related to your video via this experience of mine.

  • “Theater is the first art form that would survive an apocalypse” The show *Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play* is essentially this, and utterly phenomenal. Shot a great student production of it at PlayMakers Rep, the concept deserves so much more recognition.

    • Saw an amazing production of this at the Belvoir in Sydney a few years back

  • We have a small 170 seat theatre in Victoria BC. If you would like to come work with us for a few weeks every year (and one can volunteer in Canada legally without a work permit) you'd be welcome :)

  • Will I get to recognize and see you at Fanx in Salt Lake City Utah in September this year? I have watched you on myth busters

  • 2:01 makes me think of that Empire Strikes Back Scene in Reign of Fire

  • Wondering if Adam is aware that Oscar's Deli has closed. It's a sad day for cheap tasty family run food along the Cesar Chavez and 3rd street area.

  • The question of the importance of imagination and narrative to evolution of the human race is such a potent one, that the authors of "The Science of Discworld II: The Globe" (Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen) wrote a whole book about it. They even postulated that humans should be renamed from Homo Sapiens to Pan Narrans - the storytelling chimpanzee. I heartily recommend it!

  • Just Do It! :-)

  • Hello Adam 👋, you ARE famous, 90% of the ppl i've spoken to or met here at my country know who you are, so there is that.

  • I found your name in an old program. What prop did you make for “Marisol” back in 1996 staged at the Bayfront Theater at Fort Mason?

  • I do Rocky Horror monthly. I love doing it monthly. I get of on 3d printing props, or making the screen accurate costumes.

  • DUDE, imagine if ADAM was your technical director, prop master, or set foreman.

  • Online green screen teater would be something that i could be interested in. The live part of regular teater performed in front of a green screen. Don't know if that exists in any way already?

  • Theatre. Yes.

  • "Theatre would survive an apocalypse." Have you seen Reign of Fire? Not a great movie, great scene.

    • @omarsdroog That's one precise subset!

    • How dare you! Of all the Matthew McConaughey/Christian Bale post-apocalyptic dragon movies, that's probably the best.

  • I think paint is still something humanity will do even if we blast ourselves back to the stone age. I'm pretty sure Adam will be doing weathering coats on his cave paintings if that ever happens within his lifetime. :)

  • On the one hand, there's no time like the present to get involved in community theater. On the other hand it takes TIME. They would LOVE to have you though with all of your maker skills. Totally agree with you on theater surviving an apocalypse. Reign of Fire was, in many ways, a ridiculous movie but the scene where they were acting out Empire Strikes Back? Yep, 100% accurate 8)

  • Why wait? Take some time for yourself.

  • What's the armband for?

  • At 2:00, Adam isn't the only one that believes this. In post-apocalyptic world of "Reign of Fire," they show one of the small bands of remaining people sitting around and watching two guys re-enact STAR WARS, specifically, the big "Empire" reveal that leaves kids gasping is shock. Aside from being a great nod for Star Wars fans, it was a really telling look at the idea of how we tell stories as human animals.

  • Being followed by a doctor in a small country town in northern Brazil can be considered a famous person.

  • Hi everybody

  • The pure, dreamy joy on your face when you say you'd like to join a small theatre troupe for 6 or 8 weeks a year... fantastic.

  • Wonderful

  • I've also noticed the difference that the last year had. I dabbled with writing for over a decade. Without the social distractions I finally buckled down and got one idea to novel length. Isolation isn't just about stasis, it can also be a great time to change and grow, without the expectations of others to try to meet.

  • so well said , as a mfx artist ive retired to being a consultant and help a new generation and had this very conversation this afternoon . i pass on experience and ways and means and i find that so enjoyable

  • one of the things i keep talking about to people as the biggest silver lining to COVID for me is the complete reset of my schedule. it was liberating to start fresh. and one of the things i want to commit to is not having prearranged plans every single weekend. my goal going forward is to shoot for 2 weekends a month being unscheduled. maybe things can happen spontaneously, but i don't want to just fill up my calendar with commitments as a matter of course.

  • The best “cheap” effect in a small black box was “Tommy” by The Who. For the mirror on the set they managed to get hold of a full length piece of two-way mirror, so they could have older and younger Tommy looking at himself in the mirror if they back lit the glass, with the back light off it was just a mirror. When his mother finally loses it during and “Smash the Mirror” she grabs a chair and with great control barely misses actually destroying the glass as they cut the lights, and switched on strobes as older Tommy on stage and little Tommy in the mirror screamed, then when the lights came back up, the “broken” mirror was a clear shower curtain that looked like shattered glass mounted behind the glass. GENIUS!

    • NICE to see that somebody knew the tricks and how to implement them!

  • When Adam was talking about storytelling after the apocalypse, I immediately thought about the “Star Wars” scene in Reign of Fire.

  • Out of most celebrities and notable people, Adam's cognitive abilities should put him among the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson. And should I awake in the year 3000, ala Fry in Futurama, I would hope to see them on a shelf involved in a discourse of science and humanity.

  • "Theater is the first art form that would survive an apocalypse" If you haven't read Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (originally from Lansdale Pennsylvania but lived most of his days in Fulham, London, England), correct that immediately. You'll see the relevance to your comment straight away. WARNING It took me a month to read the first chapter back in 1980 but once the language installs itself into your brain you start speaking like them. A book I've read many times and find something new every time. The story has never been filmed but has been performed in the theatre, a more appropriate medium.

  • What the heck is on your right arm?

    • It’s for tendonitis or tennis elbow.

  • Only job I miss is chimney sweep and I have no idea why.

  • Adam, don't worry you still have international fame. I'm Dutch and when I mention watching this channel, because you're on it, to my friends they know who you are, so you've at least retained your fame in The Netherlands.

  • Have you seen The Cursed Child (Harry Potter)? Holy cow the live special effects were the best of any theatre performance I have ever seen

  • @Adam Savage's Tested you in a Sifi would be amazing.

  • As Sir Terry Pratchett said Humans are the storytelling ape.

    • The power of Narativium.. GNU STP

    • @R Nickerson can't argue with that.

    • @Ian Tarry Death is the best character in the series

    • @John Molloy yhea and Death talks about it in Hogfather.

    • Homo Narrans, iirc it was in one of the "Science of the Discworld" books

  • I have a theater story: I've only been to a live theater show twice. One time was an outdoor theater, and they performed a Shakespearean play. (It was a school field trip. Most of the audience was middle school kids like myself.) Once during the show, they capped a pistol. (For those who don't know, capping is firing a gun, but only using the cap; no powder.) As most of the audience had never experienced the sound of a black powder pistol being fired, they loudly gasped. I heard several people comment things like, "Wow, that was so loud!" At the time, I had been involved in American Civil War re-enacting. I knew what had just happened, and I knew it would've been about 50 times louder if the actor actually had powder in the pistol. So, in the middle of this tense scene, I started busting a gut. I laughed so hard that the actor on stage actually looked at me with a "WTF" expression. He wasn't the only one. My classmates also looked at me like I was insane or something. Of course that only made me laugh even louder. It took me almost a full minute to calm down. So yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you, Adam. You can get experiences in live theater that you can't get elsewhere!

  • Completely agree with Adam, have been fortunate to do the art direction of quite a few theatre productions and wished I could do many more, since there’s so much life, talent and creativity going on behind the scenes and on stage, haven’t found this amazing experience anywhere else so far. Great answer!

  • "I'm not sure I enjoy international fame anymore"... he said to his 5.52 million subscribers... 😉👉

    • I concur. And I do so from France 😅

    • I'm watching in UK and rewatching Mythbusters on Amazon, so your definitely famous internationally

    • I love theatre. I'm part of the lighting and sound crew at my local playhouse. Edit: hmm not paying attention to where my comment is 🙄

    • All subs come from one specific area in Beaumont.

    • I was thinking something along the same lines. That's almost the total population of my country only shy a 300,000 or so. :-)

  • Do it, Mr. Savage. Canvas the possibilities and GET. IT. DONE.

    • So say all of us ( especially if you could do it in the UK)

  • Mythbusters the play when?

  • Demar comedies here