When the mariachi band played themselves into the Friday morning news meeting at The Dallas Morning News, Mark Edgar didn’t realize they were really there for him. At least not at first.
“He’s really busy in the morning; he goes to a lot of meetings,” Christina Rosales, a breaking news reporter, told Poynter.
But that mariachi band followed him to his office, where he tried to close his door, and then around the newsroom.
“After a while, he danced and did his little hip jiggle and he just had fun with it,” Rosales said. Here’s the full video (with a mariachi cover of Daft Punk.)
Rosales and seven or eight people chipped in and gathered up $200 for six songs from the mariachi band, which played its way around the newsroom, sticking close to Edgar, as instructed. The band also sang happy birthday to reporter Tasha Tsiaperas.
“It was a great prank,” Edgar told Poynter.
He was stunned, he said, and thought being shadowed by a mariachi band was as good as another stunt pulled at the paper, when an editor arranged for a reporter’s new truck to get stolen.
Rosales first thought up the prank after seeing reports of high school seniors hiring a mariachi band to trail their principal. Here’s a piece on that from Slate. First, she pitched the idea to some colleagues, then they got approval from Leona Allen, a fellow deputy managing editor.
“There are a number of editors who we would like to have followed around,” Rosales said. “They can be grumpy sometimes, as you can imagine in a daily newsroom.”
Rosales is leaving in a month to get her Master’s in social work, so it will be up to her colleagues to think of the next great prank. This one went off beautifully, but not everyone was sure what the response would be in the newsroom.
— Matthew Haag (@matthewhaag) June 20, 2014
There were no expletives, Rosales said, and after, Edgar sent her an email saying the prank was great.
“Bringing more laughs to the newsroom is always a good thing,” he told Poynter. “And it was a damn good mariachi band at that.”