Monday, December 3, 2007

my 30 seconds of national fame


video



For Slouching Mom, and everyone else who has asked, here is the national commercial I filmed in 2001. It played during flu seasons of 01-02 and 02-03. I think it is missing a few opening seconds of us lying in bed, coughing and miserable.

(do you see why I laughed when people wondered if The Big Guy was concerned about my being in bed with another man for this shoot?)

When I filmed this commercial my husband and I were house hunting in the greater Los Angeles Area. I knew not to count on the money from the commercial until I had it in hand because you only get the big bucks if the ad actually airs, and I had had plenty of friends film commercials that never made it onto the airwaves.

One day The Big Guy and I had looked at a little house we loved... 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, nice neighborhood.. but just slightly out of our price range.

When we returned home there was a check in our mailbox... the check from this commercial. It made up the difference we needed for the down payment. We called our real estate agent and told him to make an offer.


And thus we bought our first home.


It may not be my most brilliant performance, but it was definitely my most lucrative.


It is frustrating, though, as an artist, to work long and hard on many live performances of which I am very proud, and were only seen by a few hundred (or, when I was lucky, a few thousand) people. And then I did this commercial and everyone I knew saw it, and called, and thought it was so great. So while I'm so glad that I did it, it's a bit sad, because there are many, many things I would rather be known for. And PAID for. (and why I can get paid so much for one day's work hawking a product, but can't get paid enough to buy my gas when I'm doing a play is a rant for another day...)


I don't have many of my shows on video, but I do have a few... and when my new computer is returned to working order I'll see if I can get any of them onto the computer. Live performances don't tend to translate well onto video, though, so be forewarned.

Additional random info... This 30 second spot took all day to film. We spent probably well over an hour shooting a shot where I push opened a door. It took me forever to get it right... they didn't want me to bend my elbow at all, and for some reason this was hard for me. Anyhow... I did finally get it right, and the darn shot never made it into the commercial anyways. We also spent a lot of time filming the very short shot where we turn from looking at each other to looking at the camera. The director wanted our heads to move, and not our eyes. I see that my eyes still move and look before my head does. AND, in one very silly moment, the director stuck a fake gun under my pillow and instructed me to pull it on my husband during a take... just for kicks and giggles. He had no idea it was coming. That would be a fun video to see. Oh. And the food they served us all? Incredible. When I showed up really early in the morning and was in the trailer waiting to start they asked if I was hungry. "Not really" I said. They insisted, they'd get me anything. "Maybe a muffin and some fruit" They asked what kind. "Whatever." They asked again. "Blueberry muffin, or whatever they have." They returned a few minutes later with a banana and FRESHLY made mixed berry muffin. Yum. Lunch, dinner and snacks were all delicious, too. All day long people told me how terrible I looked, as a compliment of course, since I was supposed to look sick. I didn't bother to tell them that I was wearing NO makeup. But apparently the difference between looking sick and looking happy, healthy and ready to sleep? Lip gloss. Now you know. And last but not least... the director of the video was a former member of the band Ratt. And no... he did not still have the big hair.

40 comments:

thailandchani said...

That commercial looks really familiar. I could swear I've seen it before....

Family Adventure said...

I know I saw that commercial! Isn't that funny ? It's YOU. Wow. I'm in awe now.

I think I may need to get your autograph. 'kay?

Heidi

nomotherearth said...

Awesome commercial, It is sad how much they pay. I did a national angot a whackload of money eventhough I was SOC and it only took 4 hours. Alternatively, I've done months of hard work for nothing except personal satisfaction.

thirtysomething said...

I remember that commercial. Great job! Thanks for sharing it!

bubandpie said...

I'm sure I've seen that commercial before. Too funny that it's you! (And I love how Andie McDowell appears for half a second a moment later.)

Mary Alice said...

I remember that commercial - and I hardly watch TV at all! How fun.

Sober Briquette said...

great story.

Who knew it was so hard to look miserable? It seems to come naturally when you're really sick...

I feel as though I remember that commercial, too. I KNOW I bought that product during the winter of 01-02 because I was pregnant with Fiona and could not breathe at all.

Kyla said...

Hey, I know you! Vick's Breathe Right lady! Do you hear that all the time? ;)

That is really, really cool. As bloggers we rarely SEE each other, outside of a photo here or there. A little live action video is neat, especially one I remember seeing before in my living room!

Chrissy said...

Oh, that was cool. I do remember seeing that commercial.

And you actually did look sick. What great acting!

Kathryn said...

That is hilarious! I think I remember that commercial. Fab job! I love it.
I am so super critical of commercials. It drives my advertising friend nuts. If it is trying to be funny, but not, I hate it. If it doesn't make a complete sense, I hate it. If it is too long, I hate it.
That commercial rocks! Yeah you!

Julie Pippert said...

Oh wow I swear I remember that commercial. You STAR!

But I hear what you are saying about the other things you've done that you really value. Interesting concept...falls in with something on my mind a bit.

So glad you could show us that!

Julie
Using My Words

SusieJ said...

Thank you for this!!! I'm so happy it was just what you needed for the down payment!!

Emily said...

It is a tough situation. Play tickets are expensive, live productions are expensive. People complain that they pay too much for tickets, but even what they pay does not come close to giving the actors a decent wage.

Beck said...

AAAAAH! I remember that commercial!

alejna said...

I'm so impressed! But probably even more so with your Italian-learning opera singing stint.

(And I must confess not to have seen the commercial before, or at least not remembering it. We don't watch a lot of TV. But it is a cute commercial. It makes me nostalgic for the Reeses peanut butter cups commercials, so I guess I'm in the target demographic.)

SusieJ said...

Thinking back now, I'm sure I saw that commercial. Is that possible? I remember it. I feel so honored -- can I have your autograph? And why is it that the flu stuff pays more than the great "artsy" stuff you do?

Suz said...

OMG. I know that I saw that commercial! That's cool!

Tracey said...

Wow. That is the commercial that TOTALLY pushed me into buying those strip things. I swear. :)

I know somebody famous! Wow!

It is sad that the commercials pay more than a play, but it's the way of the world. If it was the other way around, then it'd be even HARDER to get the parts in plays, for everyone that does it strictly for the big bucks would be doing the plays, too.

See? Silver lining.

Karen said...

Well, I'm so happy it got your your home! And I absolutely remember that commerical - hello, you! Hi! - and I will I always wish I could see you in a play!

Rima said...

You totally sold me! I am SO going out to buy me some Vicks Mentholated Breathe Rite strips!

It must be rather disconcerting, though, the fact that you get paid so much more for doing a Breathe Rite commercial than, say, Shakespeare.

flutter said...

You. Are. SO COOL!!!

Victoria said...

Wow - you're famous! =) Oh, and Food Services totally rock on shoots. It's one of my top 10 favorite things about my advertising gig.

Thanks for sharing! Can I have your autograph?

slouching mom said...

Thank you thank you thank you!

I remember the commercial, too.

You're adorable in it.

soccer mom in denial said...

Funny, before seeing this I thought I wonder if she'll be in any performances in early March when I come down (hint-hint)? Then you graciously posted this!

And, yes, I recall that commercial. Well done, lady.

Luisa Perkins said...

I TOTALLY remember this commercial, because I thought it was such a fun riff on the old Reese's ads.

I thought of you today; my 8-year-old's assigned piano song this week is called "The May Queen."

blooming desertpea said...

lol - I wish I could say that I remember that commercial but well, I could in no way have seen it. Still, a funny commercial indeed, and one day to shoot it? Wow, you must have been exhausted afterwards ...

carrie said...

That is so cool. The commercial, and the part about it paying for your down-payment!

I feel like I know a real celebrity now! :) You rocked that one!

zellmer said...

You are adorable, I agree with SM. I would love to hear your rant about art vs. commerce. It's the only reason I'm still in advertising. It pays so well. I would much rather be a journalist/real writer if it's something I could make a living doing. Ugh!

Jennifer said...

I swear, I saw that commercial, too. You're famous! :) Though I understand what you're saying about working so hard at your art and then the commercial being the one that actually pays well, but...you're famous! *grin*

I loved reading the inside scoop. Too cool.

we_be_toys said...

I've seen this commercial! So if I say you look really sick in the commercial, is that a compliment? Do you ever wish they would do stuff like this, only in shakespearean english? They could air them on A&E, during the Jane Austen Marathons!

Chaotic Joy said...

This is such a cool story the way the commercial helped get you in your home. AND I TOTALLY SAW THAT commercial several times. Who knew I would "know" you someday. You know in a cyber kinda way. Very cool Maypole.

Blog Antagonist said...

HA! I remember that commercial. You could so do better than that guy. ;?)

Mary Beth said...

That is so cool - learning what goes behind the 30 second spot. I'm sorry the other stuff doesn't pay as much (if at all) but the joy makes up for lack of pay, right?

Amy Y said...

I remember that commercial too!! How cool is that?! And I second BA ~ he was not up to par with you ... sick or no. ;) Your hubby had nothing to worry about!

Magpie said...

Cool - thanks for sharing that!

niobe said...

Ooooh...this is great. Thanks for posting it.

girlymom said...

I can actually say I have met someone on tv now!! Thanks!! I'd love to have your talent, lucky bum.

Have a great weekend.

Jen M. said...

I've seen that one! So does this mean I've known you since 2001??

Catherine said...

I love it! I'm trying to remember is I saw it or not. You're so famous. :)
catherine

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

THAT is wayyyyy awesome.