Recently I’ve signed with Model Club in Boston. They already set up an audition for me a couple of weeks ago for Cox Communications, a cable company. Say that five times fast, yikes! To my excitement I was one of the actors booked for it, and on Wednesday I shot the commercial in Providence.
When I arrived at 8:45, I was sleepy; the very comfy couches in the green room made the temptation to get cozy all too easy. Besides myself, there were three other actors there, all very talkative and nice. I must admit, that one of the most exciting parts about this shoot was that I was told hair and makeup would be provided! I’m sure for seasoned pros this sounds like a juvenile comment, but I was pumped. However, what I didn’t realize was that you should never come to a shoot with any makeup on beforehand. I’m a little too proud to go out without some foundation, but when I got to the studio my vanity was scolded by the makeup artist. Apparently, if you have the ‘wrong’ foundation on it can look horrible and askew with the lighting. In my opinion, can’t you just wash your face when you get there…or if the makeup artist is covering it up with another formula then what’s really the big deal? Ah, oh well, I know for next time so I can avoid the cosmetics censure.
There was no set, as the commercial was meant to take place on a game show set and was done in front of a green screen. After we were placed on our marks, the outspoken, jovial, character of a director did not attempt to hide his opinions nor comments about the talent and how we looked. He stared at the computer where the imposed podiums stood in front of us, the contestants. His dissatisfaction, followed by approval, was evident:
“What is with these podiums? Why are they so tiny…they look like they’re from munchkin land.”
“Why are they now all squished and stubby? This looks awful.”
“Well Contestant 3 looks so short. I know she is short, but make her taller.”
“Great shot, doesn’t she look like Sarah Palin?” Out to me: “Has anyone ever told you, you look like Sarah Palin from away? Don’t worry I think she was a beauty queen. It’s a compliment.”
“My God, they stand so still. It’s amazing. Not even moving a muscle. I love it.”
As an actor, I think we always know that the directors are talking about us, what they see, what they like, and definitely what they don’t, but usually they try to say it soft enough so that the simple, unassuming actor doesn’t hear. Well, there was no tactfulness here, and our director made no attempts to keep his modest opinions to himself. Even though he was outspoken, he was great fun to work with, and his comments made the shoot enjoyable and entertaining.
It’s amazing to me that movies ever get made…this simple thirty second commercial, with no props or a set, took about five hours to film. I really don’t know how editors and directors have the patience to put all those pieces together, pretty incredible. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I know it will be corny, and it is about a company with the lovely name of Cox, but I’m really proud of it, and excited I had the opportunity to do it. (photo image courtesy of Dance King Entertainment)
-- Jacqueline Chambers, www.jacquelinechambers.com