Miranda getting ready for an exercising scene. Miranda Gravley and others met up with Krampus in downtown Chicago. According to folklore, Krampus is the opposite of Santa Claus. Krampus punishes children who misbehave, while Santa rewards good behavior.

Teacher now Minneota’s ‘Video Girl’

Minneota's “Video Girl” is now back teaching students in her classroom at Minneota. Miranda Gravley, who has taken numerous trips around the world for both school and personal adventures, returned last Monday after spending three days in Chicago as an “extra” in a Spanish music video.

Gravley, who has taught Spanish for five years in Minneota, read an online newsletter from James Woolridge, aka “Señor Wooly” looking for interested teachers to be in one of his videos.

Woolridge is a former Spanish teacher in Evanston, IL that now creates educational, story-based Spanish music videos for middle and high school students. Gravley applied to be in the video and was selected as one of the extras. Gravley paid for her own expenses for the trip and arrived in Chicago on Dec. 15.

She stayed at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, with 29 other Spanish teachers from all over the United States — 24 female and five male.

“I roomed with a lady named Cara,” said Gravley.

“Señor Wooly set up a private Facebook group so we could arrange roommates and such.”

That night, the group participated in a meet-and-greet with Señor Wooly at the hotel. “Upon arrival, I learned that about 10 of the teachers had already participated in another video with Señor Wooly,” Gravley noted.

“My roommate was one of them.”

Woolridge went from table to table to introduce herself and get to know each of the teachers/extras.

“It was nice to have small conversations,” said Gravley. “It was great to talk with the other Spanish teachers, too. We bragged about our classrooms. The networking that I gained from the trip is priceless."

Not all the teachers there were fond of the classroom conversations, however.

“The last night at supper one teacher said, ‘If you are going to talk about your classrooms again, I’m going to go and sit by myself’. So she did. She sat by herself. She was sick of all the teacher talk.”

The video, which included four separate scenes, will be aired in February on Woolridge’s website www.senorwooly.com.

Gravley and the other extras have been informed that certain details of the video are not to be discussed until it airs.

One of Woolridge’s requirements for his “extras” was to bring four designated costumes or wardrobes for the four scenes planned for the video.

“The first scene was a street corner outside a club,” explained Gravley. “They shut down the street and used a 30-foot crane to get a really neat shot of the sidewalk. We were on the sidewalk and crossing the street. It lasted four hours.”

“The second scene was at a church. I can’t really say anymore. It was the shortest scene. I really don’t think I will be in this scene, although it was the scene he said everyone would be seen in. We will see.”

The third scene was held at a nightclub and was set to look like a rock concert.

“We wore leather and animal prints and had big hair,” Gravley told. “It lasted five hours on Sunday morning.”

Before shooting the final scene, the group dined at the famous Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, compliments of Woolridge, who also gifted each of the teachers a scarf, a book and one dollar.

“Legally, his lawyer said he had to pay us each one dollar,” laughed Gravley. “He signed a lot of the books and made sure to have conversations with each table. He was very kind.”

The final shoot began at 4 p.m. on Sunday and concluded at 9 p.m. That scene was held at a fitness center. “We wore neon workout clothes,” revealed Gravley. “I think this was my favorite scene. It was kind of like choreographed dance aerobics.”

Although the 30 teachers did not get to sing in any of the scenes for the video, the music is still stuck in Gravley’s head. “I’m still singing. His songs are so catchy,” she remarked.

The teachers also took in some of the sights and sounds of Chicago, which was beautifully decorated for Christmas. Gravley and others recorded a few snippets of the video they were in and posted them on their private Facebook group.

“I have shown my kids a few clips,” said Gravley. Initially, when Gravley told her students she was going to Chicago to be in a video, they were mostly skeptical. And now that Gravley’s trip became a reality and the students viewed small portions of the video?

“They think it’s pretty cool,” she said. “A few seniors who are no longer in Spanish even asked me about it. Yes, I went to Chicago. And yes, I met Señor Wooly. Hopefully, my face will get a second or two on film.”

Even if it amounted to only a few seconds, the trip and experience was well worth it for Gravley. “I had a blast,” she said.

“I loved how silly it was to dress up. I didn’t realize that all 30 Spanish teachers were going to be as silly as I am.”

“Some were very excited to get on camera. I was excited too, but I wasn’t trying to fight with others to get on camera, even though that is the reason we were all there.”

Gravley admits she likes to spice things up for her students, explaining that high schoolers tend to get a little bored when classes are mundane.

“I’m quite the character and most of them appreciate that,” she laughed.

“Some probably wish I’d calm down a bit.”

“I can’t wait to see how they react to this video in February. Not only for my current students, but for years to come this will be the ‘Video that Ms. Gravley was in’.”

Senor Wooly

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492