In the first few seconds of the three-minute video on the Funnyordie.com website, if you look behind the strolling guitar player seating at a dark table in the corner of the “restaurant,” you can see Calais Campbell.
That’s also the last time you see the Cardinals’ defensive end in the comedy skit (which features actress Melissa Joan Hart poking fun at her former TV character Sabrina and is definitely rated “R” for language.) Campbell is hoping, however, there will be other on-camera moments this offseason, when he goes back to Funnyordie to film some of his own work.
A search of YouTube.com finds the lyrical work of O’Brien Schofield rapping an original song called “Where Have You Been,” and the offseason – when the linebacker hasn’t been rehabbing his bad shoulder – has already included time in the studio and plans to manage friends in the music business.
Both are already in the entertainment business. That’s what the NFL and professional sports are. But Campbell and Schofield each have another reason to dip into a secondary aspect of entertainment: sanity.
“If you do all football, it becomes overwhelming,” Campbell said. “You have to have that time when you get away from work a little bit, and then when you come back to work you work as hard as you can.
“Last year, I took the time and went to Hollywood and was doing stuff and I came back ready to work and I think I played pretty well. When I am doing football, it’s all football, 100 percent mentality. But sometimes it’s good to step away.”
If a player doesn’t, Schofield said, “you’ll lose your mind.”
“I used to do it when I was younger, you see a professional athlete or celebrity, you kind of put them on a platform where it’s like, we’re not human,” Schofield said. “But we are still human. We still do things that are fun.”
The fun could turn into a second career after football. That’s Campbell’s hope. Long a movie buff, Campbell wants to get into that line of work: producing, writing, maybe a little acting. His agent is part of Creative Artists Agency, a company that has a high profile in Hollywood. That’s not why Campbell chose the agency, he said, but it was a “perk.”
That’s how Campbell and his brothers – with whom Campbell has written some shorts and comedy skits – ended up at the Funnyordie offices last year. Funnyordie, a site co-created by Will Farrell, features plenty of famous actors willing to put up comedic shorts. Campbell said his visit last season was mostly just that, a visit (his brief appearance in the aforementioned video notwithstanding.) This offseason, he wants to actually get a couple of his works produced.
“I never thought it could be a possibility,” Campbell said. “I’m still entertained by movies, but you definitely have the mindset (when you are watching), ‘Why? Why did the writer do this?’ ‘Why did the director put it together like this?’ ‘How would I have done it in that situation?’ ”
Campbell plans to spend a good chunk of his non-football offseason in Hollywood, and he’ll try to build some momentum to get into the field when his career ends.
The same can’t be said for Schofield, as much as he has talked about (via his Twitter account) his forays into music. It is important for him to work with his friends in the group “The Illustrious Few” and having some of his own rap songs.
Mostly, though, it is for his own enjoyment. Schofield has a future plan. But it is to be a preacher, not a rap star.
“I believe it is my calling,” Schofield said.
If it wasn’t for Schofield’s shoulder issues, he said he would have taken some classes at Bible school this offseason. Music was a chance to network and be a part of an exciting atmosphere, he said, but he is well aware of its limitations for both an active athlete and especially for someone dedicated to his religion.
“The biggest thing is trying to keep a certain image, because I wouldn’t want things I say in my music or things my songs are about to affect the perception of exactly who I am,” Schofield said. “That’s not always who I am. It’s for fun.
“Rappers have a perception. I don’t want that perception. That’s why I haven’t pushed hard for me to be in the music industry.”
The process in music is fun. Schofield is proud of his work. But like Campbell, who said he will pick and choose carefully what he will be a part of while he is playing because he is aware of possible perception problems, Schofield said being smart is the only way to progress in his side industry.
Both men are football players first, at least for now.
“You have to be a role model,” Schofield said. “You always have to be conscious of your actions.”