Tuesday, June 07, 2005

my sprawling mansion

the commercial agent that sent me on the audition (and subsequent callback) for that degree deodorant spot i did last week called again to schedule me for a "go see" in their offices. this meant that they basically wanted to meet me to look me over and to see what my age range really is. (in other words, do i look like my headshot and how old do i look.) this is the way they'll know what to send me out for -- young mom with a baby on my hip, happy college co-ed, dazzling urbanite, whatever. i'm thinking, cool. this is the start of my official push to work as an actor commercially. and what a great start with this particular agency: the first audition is a national spot and i get a callback. so of course they're excited to work with me and i'm excited to be there. everybody's excited. *sigh*

i suppose the real reason why i'm doing this is because i'm getting tired of seeing people i know on commercials everytime i turn on my television. once i knew how much money they were probably making, i balked. the bottom line is, i'm only working in one particular area as an actor. that's like living in a sprawling mansion with manservants and ladies-in-waiting running around all over the place, and never leaving your room. it happens to be a very comfortable room, though. i really love theater. but that's not all there is for me. there are commercials, tv shows of every ilk, voiceovers, you name it. and there is music. but you can't win if you don't enter. i figured that if i got organized and sent out postcards and followed up, there wouldn't be any reason why i couldn't find myself wandering in and out of other rooms of the sprawling mansion, with lots of work that takes me in other directions. "getting organized" involved more than making a list and checking it twice. it meant doing a lot of preparation and quite a bit of homework. revamping my wardrobe became a constant. i had to figure out my "type" (which wasn't easy, let me tell you) and then i had to get my body back, which took months. then came the photo shoot: deciding what looks to use and why, sifting through the shots for what looks best, making a comp card, sending out mailings regularly to commercial agents. when they'd respond with an interview appointment, i'd raid my friend's closets if i had to, and usually i did.

my battle cry? there's gold in them thar hills! and as it turns out, i was right.

this particular commercial agent was cooler than i thought he'd be. he'd worked for years as a publicist for the jazz division of a well known record label, so when i told him about the music that i was doing and who i was working with, his ears went up. i made sure to let him know that i do jingles and voiceovers, so it wasn't all about the on-camera stuff. i don't mind doing cigarette ads or ads that feature alcohol or disposable diapers and yes, i look good in my underwear but i don't want to do any nudity. and i won't push skin bleach. he suggested that i take an on-camera class, which i thought was very good advice. i filled out a questionnaire that outlined all of these things and more. he took a polaroid, we chatted a little more and then the next thing i knew, i was on the crosstown bus, reviewing my list of commercial agents to meet and greet in the next few weeks. one down, several dozen more to go. let the games begin.

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