8:45 PM - Weds 9.30.15
Well, yesterday was the fitting for the Vodaphone commercial.
In my last entry, I speculated on what the deal might be, regarding "wardrobe" for a "nude wedding" (as I've been nervously speculating pretty much since I was put on avail for the spot).
Well yesterday I found out - basically, we're wearing flesh-colored dance belts/G-strings (And pasties for the women ...though the only woman I saw there for the "Nude Wedding" spot was "The Bride"), with various little wardrobe-pieces to denote the "wedding" part of "nude wedding" (A veil for the bride, a priest's collar and surplice for the priest - which I'm not actually playing, by the way - etc).
I think I might be "Father-Of-The-Bride"...but who knows?
(Things were pretty chaotic, since they are doing a number of spots back-to-back, and nobody was really telling us much.)
There's the possibility I might be wearing a jacket with tails (They didn't have it there yesterday, so they'll be looking at me with it on at the location on Monday), but at the fitting, I ended up in dress-shoes-and-black-socks, a collar-with-a-bowtie, a top hat...and the aforementioned dance belt (I have not worn a dance belt since the 1980s - I'd forgotten that they're not that fun).
Basically, I felt like the most un-appetizing Chippendales dancer since that old SNL skit with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley.
I was not comfortable, and it didn't feel like anyone was making any particular effort to make us comfortable (The wardrobe people were clearly stressed and frustrated themselves, overwhelmed and seemingly not sure who was running the ship).
But I had no idea how uncomfortable I was going to feel...
At a fitting for a shoot, they have to take reference photos of you and whatever you're in (Or, in this case, whatever you're not in), and prior to the event, I assumed any awkwardness I'd feel would be from a wardrobe person having to get more familiar with me than anyone's been in a couple decades.
But that wasn't the case - We were basically given the stuff they wanted us to put on, handed a bathrobe, then went to change in the bathrooms.
Then we came out, and waited around for awhile, as they worked on wardrobes for people in the other spots, until they wanted to start taking pictures of us.
I've actually been at this production office before (For the NEFCU spot), and wardrobe's basically one big room, with a smaller room where -last time I was there for a fitting - they were taking people for photos in their finished outfits (And they were using it in this case as well, with some young guys who were supposed to be hip club guys).
So I expected that when they started taking pictures of us "nude people", they'd have us go in that smaller room, and we'd do our thing relatively painlessly.
That's not what happened.
They started with the bride, asking her, in a cursory, kind of half-hearted way, if she wanted more privacy.
But she's Australian, and apparently they're pretty free about this sort of thing. So she said she was fine, and we were off and running, taking the pictures in this main room, in front of the other "nude" actors, the actors in other spots (male and female), all the wardrobe/production people who were walking in and out, etc.
It was strange for me from the get-go - It seemed alternately weird to look at the actress, and weird not to (And by "weird not to", I don't mean "because I really wanted to" - which of course I did - but because then it seems like I think something "bad" is happening, or I'm really embarrassed or prudish or what-have-you).
But it hit "Maximum Strangeness" as they were taking pictures of the "Priest" (I was next in line).
As they took pictures of him, a woman came in with her teen-aged daughter, who was in one of the other spots (To me, she looked somewhere between 13-15).
They sat down, and I watched the girl try (And fail) to act like this wasn't strange at all (And do her version of my "I'm looking/I'm not looking" dance).
They took pictures of him from the front, with the collar and surplice on, tried another surplice, took another picture, then one "from the back" (When I saw that, inwardly I was like, "Oh...GOD - I'm going to have to turn around and bare my ass to everyone here...").
Then it was my turn.
The "die had been cast", in my mind - After "The Bride" and "The Priest" did it without flinching, I didn't feel like I could say what I was thinking/feeling ("I know everyone's seeming very cool, and maybe I'm the only one who isn't, but I'd really like to not be doing this in front of everyone here, particularly not this teen-aged girl, cause that feels super-uncomfortable and creepy").
So I did it.
I didn't feel as "covered" as either "The Bride" (Who had on the veil), or "The Priest", with his surplice. In fact, I felt completely ridiculous, and I'm pretty sure I didn't hide it as well as I wanted to (Cause for one thing, I'm pretty sure I was blushing brightly).
But at least they didn't ask me for an "ass shot".
Nobody was rude. Nobody pointed and laughed. Nobody "touched me inappropriately".
But nevertheless, I don't think what happened was at all appropriate - I think out of deference to the people doing the spot, not to mention the other actors who were there, they should have just taken us into the other room, as a command decision (Assume we want privacy, not make us ask for it).
But that's the thing - No one was in command.
And it might have, in part, been a "cultural thing" (The spot's European, with a German director for a European market, and they weren't thinking it was any big deal).
And near as I could tell, it didn't trouble any of the other actors - Not "Miss Australia", or "The Priest", or (after me), "The Groom" - so it might just be that I really am "more modest than the average actor-type" (At least, "the average actor-type who has said on LA Casting that they're "willing to do nudity").
(Tom - aka "The Priest" - was more troubled by the fact that this very simple "wardrobe fitting" took two hours, which bothered me as well.)
So anyway, "appropriate" or not (I'm still leaning strongly toward "not" at this juncture), this was a thing that happened.
And I lived through it.
And, making lemons out of lemonade here, my discomfort at the fitting might be for the best - If I got past it at the fitting, hopefully I can just "move on" on Monday, when we're doing it for real.
(Oh, in other less-salacious acting news, I'm on for episode #7 of Shameless, which will shoot 2 or 3 weeks from now - That puts me at five episodes for the season so far.)
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