Today I auditioned for a spot I'd really like to book. The part is funny, the casting director is smart (meaning, the spots he casts are low in cheese factor) and, imagine, I could use the money. Casting directors often give a group explanation prior to a string of individual auditions to save time and so we don't stink up their tapes with super-creative, actor-y input. Today, after reiterating his usual acting directive, "Very small, very real, very 'film'", a directive which I now hear in some form from nearly every casting director on nearly every call, leaving me to wonder why there is still so much bad, over-the-top acting in commercials, this casting director drove the point home by letting drop that the director of this particular spot also directed Junebug. The implication being, if you know Junebug, you know what we're looking for and if you don't, you're going to give a bad, over-the-top performance which we will waste no time in erasing from our tape.
Now, I have not, in fact, seen Junebug, but I am familiar with the vernacular the CD was tossing out. You see, I like to keep up with my worlds colliding, so I happen to know that Junebug was directed by one Phil Morrison, with whom I worked on a series of Wheaties commercials which I wrote in my previous incarnation as an advertising copywriter.
Normally, this ain't no big thang. That life was long, long ago, and most people's memories don't extend that far, especially when it comes to remembering the copywriter, who is slightly less important than an apple box on a commercial set. In fact, we're seen as so inconsequential, we're frequently not invited to the shoot at all: I wrote a Gatorade commercial shot by the notorious Joe Pytka, but was subsequently hired as an actor on a couple of his commercials. Of course, I was not in attendance at the former and saw no reason to bring up the connection at either of the latter, so it really didn't take much to fly under the radar.
The Wheaties commercials, however, were a slightly bigger deal. There were lots of verbal shenanigans in my tricky little scripts, so I was actually consulted on this or that more than once. Plus the spots starred Michael Jordan! Michael Effin'* Jordan!!! This was a huge break for the then-very-young Phil, whom we found via some groovy interstitials he'd done for MTV. Plus...Michael Effin' Jordan! Surely Phil would remember every minute detail of that week we spent together on a Chicago soundstage, I thought.
That is, I thought until I uncovered this commemorative photo of me**, MJ, and an assortment of client-side and agency dorks:
Now not only am I certain Phil Morrison will not know me from Adam, I am also sorely tempted to submit myself to that Oprah show where they're looking for people who look better today than they did 10 years ago.
Because (a) I am pretty sure I'm fugly enough in my high-waisted, reverse-fit jeans to win a free trip back to Chicago and (b) if they give me two round-trip tickets, maybe I can convince The BF not to break up with me for revealing my shame...
*And if his middle name isn't "effin'", I'd like suggest right now that he change it; my god, could he have a more appropriate middle name?
**If you can't find me in the group, I would be the one on second from the left, doing my impersonation of a really unattractive lesbian. Good at it, aren't I?
UPDATE: Link to larger sizes of my fugliosity at Flickr, here.