Turns out that Spanish coach guy didn’t remember me. I got cast and shot the commercial on Wednesday. We shot out in Leander and had a grand ole time. It was for the Texas ads they have for getting a ticket if you don’t have your seat belt fastened. A new law was recently passed to include back seat passengers on this. I played the back seat guy who gets the ticket. We had actual cops instead of actors to give me the ticket, which I thought was pretty cool. And on a funny/racist/side note, which does make sense, we had a white cop for the English ad and a Mexican cop for the Spanish ad. Oh and of course, my souvenir for this shoot was my ticket.
The two other actors were pretty cool. One guy was Juan Carlos Calderon from San Antonio. The other was Kareem Badr, whom I’ve seen several times at theater events, but we were never introduced. I even opened for his comedy troupe with a Trouble Puppet act. Actually, I auditioned with him too. Funny enough, he auditioned for the passenger, who had no lines, which was fine with him, because he doesn’t speak Spanish, and ended up being cast as the driver. I’m supposed to be the only one with lines, but they wanted some improv between the car passengers. Luckily for Kareem, he only ended up getting one line. Now my Spanish on the other hand… sheesh. Thankfully, the Spanish coach, who didn’t remember me, was there to help out. He was a BIG help; if I ever get cast in another Spanish commercial I hope he’s there. His name was Jose too.
This was the fourth commercial I’ve done, and out of all of them this was the most… well… it wasn’t bad or anything… more I guess the least (good word here). It was a small crew, the food was… there wasn’t really much of it, but I don’t think that matters. It was one of those party platter luncheon meats kinda thing and bread to make sandwiches, and a fruit and veggie party platter. Since we were outside, and had a late lunch, 2:30, all the cheese slices were pretty much melted together. And it was of those kind of platters that’s usually bought because the ones with good variety were all out. The cheeses were Swiss and (I think) Muenster(which I like a lot!), and the meats were roast beef, more roast beef, and turkey. The turkey was gone before everyone had a chance for a first run through. I never met the PA, which led to the actors having to introduce ourselves to each other and having to figure out who did what on our own. The poor make up lady, Rhea, had to make her own decision to start doing our makeup and she had to do it outside and a tiny table, and out of her trunk, because she was never told which building/room she could use or even told if anything was unlocked. The director, John, was one of those kind of guys… the kind where if you don’t really know him, you think he’s a dick. He even mentioned to one of the grips that he was aware of his “rep”. I (eventually) liked him just fine; he was just strapped for time and wanted to stay on track. He had a hard enough time, there were instances where it felt like there were three directors. They would talk to us before each other, so sometimes there would be a little contradiction on how to do the scene.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to complain; I had a blast. I guess saying all of this is just… ya know… I’m saying it’s not always glitz and glamour and pampering, but when you’re doing what you love, that doesn’t matter anyway. I wondered if it was Kareem’s first shoot, or if it was just still a new sensation to him; a few times throughout the shoot, he looked at me with excitement and said, “We are getting paid for this!”
Man I love acting.