Christmas is just around the corner and the seasonal commercial auditions are already here! What’s Santa going to bring little Jimmy? Honey, did you pick up that gift for Sammy’s teacher? Where are we going to get our turkey for this years Christmas dinner? What should I wear to the office Christmas party? All of these questions with answers to be followed with the many seasonal commercials brought to you soon.
Thank goodness this year casting decided to bring in an interesting actress that makes such interesting choices for these spots. Yes! I am talking about me. Not that the other hundred gals they brought in for the same role weren’t. As usual I received my sides the night before. I was surprised that I was being brought in for a Christmas spot because I am not your regular Merry Mary. So, I thought there must be some sort of quirky twist to this bad boy if they are bringing me in. I wonder what it could be? I opened the file and read through the sides.
When I receive breakdowns for commercials a lot of the time they say things like, ‘ Looking for someone with good comedic skills and timing. Like Tina Fey or Kristen Wig.’ Reading the sides I had just read, I assumed that this was what they were going for even though it was not stated in the breakdown. I ran through the lines a few times and whenever I got to the last three lines, I would laugh. Visualizing myself in the room the next day doing something very embarrassing, but hey…it’d be funny!
The next day was a beautiful day. The sun was shining; I was feeling peppy! I arrived at the audition, exchanged hellos, signed in, and sat down. FYI – The commercial spot was between a husband and a wife having breakfast. They were having a conversation regarding how many Christmas gifts were left to buy. The superhero wife had accomplished all of the gift shopping. She had even bought cookies for St. Nick. The husband says, ‘Wow, you are amazing.’ The superhero wife thinks he is referring to her amazing holiday organization, but really he is enchanted with the cookies. She replies back with, ‘Amazing! Who’s amazing? Can you say that again?’
I along with my momentary husband got called in to the room. We slated and after exchanging a few pleasantries, the director said lets give it a try. I sat down, picked up the mug and began to drink my fake coffee. I’m so method.
All of a sudden I had a thought that I should abort the choice I had made, but by then it was too late, and I had to deliver my last three lines of dialogue. I jumped out of my chair and began shimmy shaking towards my momentary husband like I was a fly girl, shaking my arms and singing, ‘Amazing! Who’s amazing? Can you say that again?’ The singing was out of tune, I became humiliated at my awkwardness, and my face was a brighter shade of purple. However, I couldn’t stop dancing and then my face started dancing. We all know when the face dancing begins; you have honestly reached a point of no return.
The producers, ad people, director, the camera guy along with my momentary husband were all choking/gasping with laughter. I was still trying to get my uncontrollable twitching under control and mask my purple shadiness. When I finally did look up, heads were shaking, and hands were covering mouths as they were all trying to gain some control. The director took a deep breath and kindly but calmly said, ‘We want this to be more of an internal thing. Think more to self.’ In that moment it was confirmed that I had made a choice that no other actress had made. My freaky was not so chic, but on a positive note I did liven up the room. I kept visualizing casting sitting in the office watching me on the monitor shaking their heads thinking, ‘Oh god Jess, not again.’
When I left, it took my face about twenty minutes to return back to my normal shade of pale pink. I also broke into hysterical laughter whilst on the verge of tears reliving my weird freaky geekness. My momentary husband did ask me how I had interpreted it to be as I did. I had to be honest and say because that is probably something I would do. Just to really rub it in to my hubby that I was a Rockstar for getting all of the holiday shopping done! Momentary Husband just shook his head followed by silent giggles.
What is the lesson learnt here? I’m not sure that there is one. I have been hired because I have made bold choices that no one else did. I promise I am not making this up. The choice I made in this particular audition wasn’t what they were looking for, but they will remember me, and my agent thinks it was a brilliant choice, which means that at least I was able sleep that night.