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10:20 am - Saturday, Apr. 07, 2007
Filling The Reservoir

Filling The Reservoir

Well, this week wasn't quite as good for auditions as the week before, but it wasn't bad; I had something for Coldstone Creamery on Monday, for Wendy's on Thursday, and a callback for Coldstone yesterday.

(The Coldstone thing was another "paparrazo" role; apparently, casting people see me as having a face that belongs behind a camera...)

The Wendys commercial was stupid, frankly. And it made me think, once again, about how difficult it can be to "act" in commercials when there's little or nothing there to connect with as an actor.

The spot opens with people kicking trees.

Apparently the camera guy didn't read the copy, which clearly stated that people are kicking the trees as automatons performing a mindless, repetitive activity...just like eating the "frozen burgers" from other fast-food places is a mindless, repetitive activity (See what I mean? Stupid).

(And maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but I think it's a strange way to try to get new customers, by basically telling them they're mindless sheep...)

Anyway, the camera guy directed us to be mad because we're eating "frozen burgers". So now we're kicking the trees in anger because, for some reason, we're stuck eating "frozen burgers". Which, to me, just changes the spot from one kind of "stupid" to another kind of "stupid".

Then a voiceover--from one of the younger, hipper, nicer-looking tree-kickers--basically inspires the other tree-kickers to, I don't know what, I guess demand the hot, juicy Wendyburgers they so richly deserve (Again...stupid).

We all end up chanting "hot juicy juicy juicy burgers...", which is where the camera guy's direction contradicted itself, in my mind--He wanted us to be angry, which was why we were kicking the trees, but he didn't want the chant to be angry (So I guess it was more of a religious conversion to the "Cult Of Hot Juicy Burgers" than a revolt against our "Frozen Burger" oppressors).

Did I mention I thought this spot was really stupid...?

The Coldstone thing was better, I thought, because it had a little "comedic tension" to it.

Basically, an attractive "Paris Hilton" type approaches a Coldstone Creamery, wanting to get some ice cream. As she approaches, she sees a herd of paparrazi inside, and a rival heiress-type...wearing the same outfit.

They all spot each other, and there's a tense "Mexican standoff".

Our heiress doesn't want to confront the paparazzi or the rival heiress, her two sworn enemies...but what can she do? That's where the delicious Coldstone Creamery ice cream is.

It's not exactly Shakespeare, but it's a playable scene, and I think it "works" in terms of selling the product.

One thing I think is interesting--I'm realizing that, just like when I was doing community theater, it's not just important to me that I have a good part, but that the whole thing works; I recently saw two spots on tv I auditioned for--and had callbacks for (for Verizon and Pala Casino)--that I didn't think were very good. And, money aside, it made me almost glad I didn't book them.


In a brief break from writing, I just checked my cell phone, and found I had a voicemail from JS; I have a callback for Snickers on Monday.

With this one, an attractive soccer-mom type is really enjoying the new dark-chocolate Snickers bar, causing her two ugly kids to become upset, since "You always told us it's what on the inside that counts...".

They run off crying.

Then I come into the frame, saying "What's up with them?" (And the joke is that we now see where the ugly kids got their looks).

I'm not 100% thrilled with the idea of being a "visual punchline" in a somewhat mean-spirited spot. But it's another national, so I think I could manage to "live with the pain" if I booked it.

I'm feeling the need for some more success, not just financially, but emotionally as well.

I'm not saying it's "appropriate" or "healthy", but the way I described it to Javier on Wednesday, it's like the reservoir gets "filled up" by bookings, then slowly drains as the days/weeks/months go by with no bookings.

That's why I've been thinking a lot lately about what else might "fill the reservoir".

But for now, I need to book some more commercials...


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