My First Commercial
(Warning: Lots of cursing in this one . . .)
Back in April, I worked on my very first commercial, and it was everything I thought it would be. Pretty. Fucking. Amazing.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and give you a brief timeline of what I’ve done for the past two years that lead to this moment . . .
- Eric moves to Chicago!
- Eric gets an agent!
- Eric auditions!
- Eric auditions some more!
- Eric auditions some more.
- More auditions happen.
- God Damnit.
- WHY DOESN’T ANYONE LIKE ME?!
- My agent is so sweet. She still believes in me. I like her.
- But GOD DAMNIT!
- Ok, it’s ok. Let’s keep auditioning.
- Let’s change our mindset. Let’s audition for the sake of building relationships.
- Hey, these people keep calling me in. I guess that’s pretty cool.
- Callback. WHAAAAA?
- God, a check-avail would be nice. (Side note: A check-avail occurs when the client picks a few final contestants and requires them to keep the shoot-dates open. They then release everyone but one actor, sometimes up to the last minute. This is the final step before the booking.)
- Callback. MOTHER. FUCKING. CHECK. AVAIL. WHAAAAAA?!?!
- Eric is released from the check-avail. It’s ok, though. He just wasn’t meant to be the attractive dude that hugs his girlfriend right after she douches. (True story.)
- Callback. MOFOCHECKAVAIL, BITCHESSSSS!
- Released from check-avail.
- Lots of tears.
- Audition. No Callback. Check-avail anyway. Agent seems super excited. Eric is hesitant. Then the “YOU GOT IT!” email. More tears. Lots and lots more tears.
The shoot date was such a great learning experience. The actual commercial is a 3-month Internet spot, and it’s split up into 4 different comedic segments. The story is about a Simmons Beauty Rest mattress, which transforms the life of a young woman. I play the man who falls in love with her, all because she buys the Simmons Beautyrest Mattress.
In one segment, she’s sitting on the mattress in a park, while I’m sitting on a picnic blanket surrounded by a delicious spread. All of the sudden, I’m interrupted by her beauty, and so we share a dramatic Hollywood kiss. One thing that I learned while shooting this scene was that what might not look realistic in real-life ends up looking great on camera. For example, after shooting the scene several times with both of us in view, they shot it again with the camera only focused on me. However, the director didn’t like the scenery behind me that wasn’t seen during the wide shot, so he had me turn and face a different direction while we redid the scene. This would never work onstage, but it’s a nice trick on camera.
In another segment, I glide into my girlfriend’s bedroom and bring her breakfast in bed. When I say, glide, I mean glide. The director had me stand on a platform, on casters, on a track, pushed by two men, all while holding a tray of food. After I got to the bed, I stepped off the plank onto other blocks and followed them to the side of her bed. (The reason I stepped on other blocks was because if I stepped from the moving platform to the floor, it would have looked like I suddenly shrank 8 inches. Not good.) Doing all of this while remembering my lines proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated!
While my camera-time is maybe a minute total in these two segments, I was on set for over 12 hours. Totally worth it. I didn’t even go into all the great people I met and got to work with! It was a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to have more like it!
Check out the commercials here . . .