Commercial Anyone

Commercial Anyone

commercial anyone

Passat commercial

There I am running like an overloaded bridge and tunnel fool down that extraordinarily long Port Authority hallway, only to be inches away from the door when the bus pulls away.   I had just come from a commercial audition in which my character perspired excessively.  As I watched the bus pull away with sweat dripping out of every pore of my body I thought to myself, this would’ve been perfect for the audition!

I know what you’re thinking, how embarrassing right?  But at this point very little makes me uncomfortable.  Some of the commercials I audition for these days would make a Lady of the Evening blush.

I’ve been doing commercials for about 30 years.  I shot my first one when I was 18 for a fast food restaurant (not sure if this is like Wheel of Fortune and I’m not allowed to mention the actual product, so to protect the innocent I won’t).  I moved to New York as a dancer, but I was shooting commercials before I did my first Broadway Show!

I am exceedingly grateful for commercials, they got me through in between shows.  It sure beat waiting tables, which I sucked at.  My first job was at the Brew and Burger in Times Square and they promptly fired me within hours of being hired merely because I spilled a couple of plates of food on the patrons.  Now I ask you, is that a good reason to fire someone?  Okay, I guess it is if your job is to serve the people food, not dress them with it.

It’s funny how the products change as I age.  I can remember the days of hair products and beer commercials like it was yesterday.  Now it’s eyeglasses and fiber for me.  How did that happen?

At this audition today I happen to notice some cellophane (like Saran Wrap) around the camera and I started to ask the casting director what it was for when I noticed that it was actually covering the lens.  Ouch!  He, very gingerly, explained “It softens the image and is designed to make you look…pretty” (what he meant was “not old”).

Auditioning is a lot tougher these days since we moved out of the city.  A commercial audition used to take about an hour out of my day, door to door!  Now, for that five minute audition, it’s more like three hours.  And that’s without traffic!  Not to mention negotiating the timing so I can get back before my son gets off the school bus and I have to be at the studio.

But, I still love it.  I’ve retired from everything else in the Business so when I shoot a commercial it’s like the old Elisa’s back, only with a few more wrinkles and a lot of hair dye!

Commercial Anyone?

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saying goodbye


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