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Exclusive Interview With Left Shark

Some may call him an overnight sensation; others may call the Coast Guard, because they’re scared. Either way, Left Shark from the Super Bowl has become a star in his own right. In an exclusive interview, we get the behind the scenes scoop on what it’s like to dance on the world’s biggest stage, the secrets of Shark Week and more on whatever the hell that robot lion thing was.

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What was it like when you found out you were going to get to perform in the Super Bowl half time show with Katy Perry?

I like to say she got to perform with me. (laughs) Just kidding. No, when I got the call from my agent…

Who I assume is also a shark?

Ha! Still funny every time someone makes that joke. But yes, she's a Great White and she's amazing. When I got a call from my agent, she was like "You are not going to believe this." And I was like "Is it Cher?" Once I found out I wasn't going to be accompanying Cher I was like "Okay, this Katy chick seems cool." Just kidding. I was freaking out! I swear I swam in a circle for like 10 minutes straight. And then I just kept swimming. You know, so I wouldn't die. Anyway, It was all so surreal. The Super Bowl?! Are you kidding me?

Were you already a Katy Perry fan?

I was. I mean, she's no Cher, but yeah of course I'm a fan. In high school I freakin' loved "I Kissed a Girl." We all did. I also love "Hot n Cold," because that's sort of a shark's life. But yeah, I was thrilled to get to do the show with her. The whole thing was just a blur. My only regret is that they didn't let me on that big lion thing.

Yeah, what was that thing?

Dude, nobody knows. But Katy was so excited about it we all just kind of smiled like, "Um, okay. This is cool, I guess?" It was weird.

Were you ever tempted to eat Katy?

I only eat non-processed foods.

What was the rehearsal process like?

I'm not going to lie. It was hard. I'm normally more of a singer. I mean, of course I've danced before. What shark hasn't? But we rehearsed a ton, sometimes 6-8 hours straight. And you'd think that a star as big as Katy Perry wouldn't be there also, sweating away with us little guys. And you'd be right.

You grew up performing, right?

I did. I was always in a dance class, or some sort of musical play. I'd make up songs and make my family sing the harmonies. (laughs) Oh man, some of those songs were just awful. Horrible! But yeah, I always loved being on stage, being the center of attention I guess. It sort of just evolved into this fun, weird career. One day I was playing Bernardo in my high school's version of "West Side Story" and eventually I got an agent, did some extra work and even eventually a guest star role during Shark Week.

I love Shark Week!

Thank man. Yeah, my family was really proud. I think the first time my parents saw me on screen, even though it was just a quick swim-by, I think that's when they realized, "Oh, he's not just doing this for fun. He might actually have something here." I'm really lucky to have such supportive parents. Then again, my great grandfather was JAWS.


No. That's just a shark joke. He was a deadbeat. Didn't really know him. Really messed up my father. But wouldn't that be funny?

So, which was harder, doing the Super Bowl or Shark Week?

Oh man, that's a good question. Well Shark Week is a whole week, so that's like seven days. But at the same time, I'm so comfortable in the water, it was easy, it was fun. Although the fake blood was not. That shit was stuck in my teeth for weeks after we wrapped.

The blood is fake?

Totally. Most reality shows are at least somewhat scripted. They call it being "produced." I hope I don't get in trouble for saying this. I mean, the scenarios are real, they've happened to one shark or another at some point, you know what I mean? Like, I really do swim ominously. Most sharks do. It's just that Shark Week is a heightened version of it. It's entertainment. It's TV. That's what people forget. But yeah, that corn syrup blood mix is nasty. But to answer your question, I think the Super Bowl was probably harder. For one, it's live, for two I'm literally holding my breath the whole time, which is not easy to do while you're doing the Macarena. Then again, I'm kind of a klutz.

I never would guess you as being a klutz.

Oh yeah, big ol' dufus. It's funny, because there's something about performing that just takes over this big dumb body of mine. I feel graceful, almost like a swan like… before it gets eaten. But yeah, I run into things all the time. Ha!

Is it true that that was your brother up there with you?

You know, people get us confused all the time. We're don't all look alike. (Laughs) We're not even related! We just both happen to be sharks. Here's how you tell the two of us apart. I'm on the left. He's on the right. It's pretty obvious if people took a second to actually pay attention.

What do you think about the fact that you seem to be getting all the attention and people are sort of ignoring his performance?

Hey! Right shark is a great guy. Until you're up there you don't understand the pressure, so I think people need to give him a break. He worked really hard. In fact, he's the one that choreographed the "Teenage Dream" sequence. I just went a little rogue, which is probably not a good idea for a shark to do. Call it my Kanye moment.

What was your favorite part of the whole Super Bowl experience?

I mean, like I said, the whole thing was surreal. I think just knowing that if you dream big things can really happen for you. I mean, I didn't expect something this big to happen, but when you open yourself up and work hard, you never know what can come to you. Plus I made some amazing friends. The palm tree and I text all the time and that front beach ball – one of the most hilarious guys I've ever met. Now there's a dude that deserves his own sitcom.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Probably nothing as exciting as you'd hope. I'd love to say I like to cook, but mostly I just like watching cooking shows. Do you watch MasterChef Junior? So good.

I know! They're the cutest.

The. Cutest. And I'm like, "Great, you are nine and are making duck l'orange and here I am in my underwear binge eating Chex Mix and Jo Jo's."

Do you also like Shark Tank?

The shark tank I've been captured in? No, hate it. Just the idea is like those teeth-falling-out dreams. Chills down my spine. The Shark Tank on TV, great! Just an unfortunate name. I'm also part of a book club.

So what's next for you?

I'm doing a little thing for the Grammys next week and I'm in talks with a few different networks. Got some scripts in some hands, that sort of thing. I'd really like to get into more movies. I look up to guys like Chris Pratt. God, he's funny, but like also a really good actor. I'd love to do a range of things like him. But really, I'm just grateful to get to do anything and hope I'm not too much of a fish out of water, you know? Hopefully, I can keep riding this wave, no pun intended, and take advantage of these opportunities I'm being given. Who knows, maybe I'll have my own fashion line one day!

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