The new Discovery Channel series Porter Ridge debuts on August 13th, and the Greene and Owen County stars are excited about sharing their lives with the world.
Porter Ridge’s Dirty Andy said that the whole process has been a surprise, and even he is not quite sure how he ended up in a TV series.
“We got pitched to Gurney Productions and they picked us up,” explained Andy. “When it started out they asked if we were interested and it sounded really far-fetched. But then it just kept building and building and building and now we’re actually going to be on TV. Wow! It’s a big adventure in our little world.”
Like other members of the cast, Andy is well-spoken and humorous in person. When asked about the changes this show will bring to his life, he pointed out that some were already taking place.
“People will come and interview me and take pictures of me! In the last ten to fifteen years there have been maybe twenty pictures taken of me. There have been more than that taken of me lately—maybe in the last twenty minutes.”
He added that being himself while also knowing he will be scrutinized by audiences has been a new experience, but one that he is now adjusted to.
“It was like putting socks on a rooster,” joked Andy. “It may seem like a good idea, but it’s kind of weird. As time goes on it gets less stressful and more natural, though. I’m used to going out and working all day and doing things. I go out and work my butt off and I come home and I’m no more tired than normal. But then when you come over here and you have a film crew following you around and you’re worried about this and that it’s stressful in the beginning. But now it’s just part of life.”
Andy doesn’t expect the show to change him or his family, and he explained that his wife is there to keep him grounded. He will also continue to be involved in his church and community.
“I do jail ministries, too,” explained Andy. “They advertise us as being about family, religion, and community. I’d word it a little differently than that, maybe, but that covers it really well. We have a good time with the ministries, and our church [Ellettsville House of Prayer] does a lot of stuff like that. We are real and we are what we say we are. For the most part what you see on TV is what we really do.”
Andy said that when he first mentioned the show to his wife, she wondered why anyone on earth would care what he does—and he agreed.
“But apparently they do,” he continued, “and I hope it holds their interest. I think it will. We have a lot of adventures and do many strange, interesting things. I hope everyone takes it as being lighthearted and just has fun with it. That’s the way we are. If you aren’t having fun with it, let’s do something else. And if you don’t feel good about it, don’t do it.”
Andy added that he hopes the show will be good not only for the cast, but for the entire area.
“I can’t see this not bringing more business to the area,” said Andy. “And that’s the thing—we’ve had some people worried about us giving Owen County a bad name or thinking we’re going to do this or that. But I don’t think so. We’re representing us. We may be a little eccentric, we may do things that are a little different—some of us keep grizzly bears in the back yard, and some of us own junkyards, and some of us do other strange and peculiar things—but we are who we are and this is what we do. We’re not everybody.”
Now that he’s adjusted to a life in front of the camera, Andy said he is hoping for another season of Porter Ridge.
“I’ve been practicing this role for the last 40 years. It’s not like I grew a beard for this show, I grew a beard in 1978. My wife has never seen me without a beard– but we’ve only been married for 30 years!”
Terry Porter, owner of the Country Auto Parts junkyard, said he has not changed for the show, either– and he never intends to.
“I’m still in the junkyard,” stated Porter. “If we’re not here selling parts, we’re over at the house racing. I’ve got a little race track down the road here and I like racing. That’s what I do for fun. This is what I do to afford it. Life is normal on the Ridge– it’s just anybody’s definition of normal that’s the question!”
Kayla, who works part-time at Country Auto Parts, is billed as the cast’s country calendar model, but she’s quick to explain that the title does not mean she has modeled for any calendars.
“They’re just saying that I’m the good looking one of the group,” laughed Kayla. “They’re not saying I’m a calendar model. I’ve had a lot of questions about that already.”
Kayla seems to have experienced an easier adjustment to the lack of privacy filming a TV series entails than the rest of the group, but she explained that her background left her better prepared for it.
“It was shocking at first but then I just got used to it. It was two-and-a-half months of filming and it just became kind of natural and you didn’t really pay attention to the cameras in your face all the time. Growing up I cheered and danced, so I was used to a bunch of people watching me. That helped me a lot.”
Kayla said she is excited about the show’s premier because she has not yet seen any of the full episodes, so she will be watching it for the first time along with everyone else.
She added that so far her life feels the same as it did before filming, and she hopes that any changes in it will be positive.
“For one, I think the show will help Terry’s business a lot and that’s great for him and his family,” Kayla explained. “And I don’t want people to treat me any differently. I know that I’m not going to change, so I don’t want people to change the way they feel about me.”
That might be the only thing the Porter Ridge folks from Owen County and their rivals from Dog Killer Ridge (DKR) in Greene County agree on.
Bryan Sciscoe, of DKR, said life for his family and friends would stay just the way they like it.
“We’re still going to live like poor people just like we have all of our lives. We’re still going to jack with the old junk cars and just enjoy life as best we can.”
He admitted that the filming has not been too big of an imposition on him, though.
“We’ve enjoyed a lot of parts of it. We like being the bad boys, for sure. That makes us a little better than them [the Porter Ridge group]. We do all kinds of evil things, but you’ll have to watch and see.”
Sciscoe added that they will be doing the same thing.
“We will all be at the Ridge watching. We’ll be in the garage behind the big screen drinking beer and watching it happen.”
Sam Halle, also of DKR, said that the acting requirements for the show were not even close to strenuous.
“It’s pretty much acting like us– we had to cuss less,” explained Halle.
“That was the hardest part of it!” Sciscoe agreed.
“They can bleep us out,” countered Halle.
Once the laughter stopped, the pair decided to explain why they believe they are better than their Porter Ridge counterparts.
“My ridge is better than their ridge,” stated Sciscoe, “because we’re in Greene County and they’re in Owen County. And I’m proud to be from Greene County—it’s a great county!”
Halle agreed, but summed things up a little differently.
“It’s where we grew up,” said Halle. “It’s home.”
Porter Ridge’s Elvis Larry clarified that the rivalry mostly involves some healthy competition.
“It’s usually over cars,” said Larry. “It’s about which racer has the biggest motor and the fastest car.”
He added that the show is a good-spirited look at the lives of everyone involved, and that he hopes people will take it at face value.
“We’re just out to make people laugh, and we try very hard. We hope everybody loves us, because we’re just showing them our every day thing. Someone decided to put cameras on us and show the world what we are.”
The world can find out by tuning in to the Discovery Channel at 10:30 p.m. on August 13th for the premier of Porter Ridge.