A Commercial Success (So To Speak)
I forgot to bring my camera on the commercial shoot yesterday. Probably because I wasn’t thinking clearly when I got up at 5:30 am. I had to meet the van in west Soho at 7, which isn’t bad. BUT, west Soho is motherluvin' hard to get to for me since I'm nowhere near the IRT. So I had to leave as close 6 as possible to be on time and I just made it at 6:58.
The drive to Jersey was fine. Breakfast was fine – they had a truck this time and not just a table of sundries. I didn’t know what to order from the slightly intimidating man in the van so I decided on a bagel and fruit. And coffee – definitely coffee.
I so wished I had brought my camera because I always love to see a house upholstered in protective cardboard. The floors, halfway up the walls, cabinetry, etc. For every actor out there who prides themselves on being “green”, I got news for you: this can be a terribly wasteful business. (Though also oddly resourceful.) But more on that in another post.
The little girl I was playing “mom” to was a trooper. The director would give her a direction and she would do it. Maybe not nail it, but she retained the note. Even several last-minute script changes. How many of us can do that 99% of the time? Even the director said, “I know if I were you, I totally would have forgotten my note!” Which is so true. How many times did I find myself intently looking at the director as he spoke – nodding my head and saying, “Mm hmm. Gotcha. Definitely.” Then as soon as I heard someone call “speed” I'd panic about the soon-to-follow “action” because I blanked on what the hell I was just asked to do!
But I managed. Though I’m a little disappointed with my performance. I don’t know why but I found myself very… I dunno how to describe it. But when the call came from the room, where the ad folks were watching, for me to be a “happier mom”, I realized that I hadn’t been smiling at all. YIKES. Not that real moms smile all the time – especially when delivering a meal to their families – but still. This was a comedic spot…
I don’t know why but the more I tried to perk myself up, the more leaden I became. I felt the smile being forced – I knew it looked fake. I knew I must look crazy, or… something. If I could have switched my mood with the spot I did in April, it would have better fit that dry, impersonal climate much better. Yesterday's environment deserved more pep.
But it’s over and done. The director was fun. The crew was great. My “co-star” was a real professional. And I re-learned why I don’t own a pair of khakis – god, I look hideous in those things.