Last week I had my first major role in a television commercial. The weird part about that is I don't think it'll ever be on actual TV.
But it sounds weird calling it an internet commercial, or 'social media advertising'. When I say it like that I feel like it would be one of those ads that pop up on Facebook or Instagram for something like a Harry Potter mug set, because you've said 'Harry Potter' near your phone one too many times.
A mate of mine who does a lot of ads described getting a decent role in an ad like winning Instant Kiwi. Like you can't rely on it, but it pays well! And I agree. Though it's way more fun than Instant Kiwi, I reckon.
So I turned up to the location and I was greeted by exceptionally friendly faces and people. Which was surprising, I had in my mind that people would be super stressed and serious and even a little 'TV wanky' if you get my drift. But the other actors, director, producer and makeup/styling people were some of the nicest and, more importantly, relaxing and willing-to-help people I've met in ages.
Then they fake tanned my legs. I had to wear shorts in the commercial and my legs were just a smidge too 'that-of-the-ginger-mother-pasty-white' for the role I was playing.
They also deleted the red from my face with a healthy application of foundation!
Don't get me wrong, I've worn makeup before (let's not go there today), but getting that stuff off is a real mission. Kudos to those who wear it every day ...
It looked like I was murdering a croissant while I was getting it off in the shower that night. Beige and crumbly all over the place!
I must admit I did feel better about having to be slathered in leg tan when I found out one of the other actors in the ad had never worn a wetsuit before and he put it on backwards and strode out on set confidently earlier in the day! So good. I WISH I had been there to see that big hulk of a man do that!
When it came to actually delivering the lines I had to, it was actually just a little nerve-wracking. You literally are in front of a camera with 10 crew and directors/producers, etc, behind it. It's very much not a 'normal' situation, but you have to be as 'normal' as possible. Which I've always struggled with in just my daily life!
Turns out it actually works like radio does. Repetition is key! You basically just have to say the lines in multiple different ways and again and again and something will stick. As soon as you realise they're not expecting you to nail it first time, or even 10th time, then it got way easier in my head!
I'm definitely keen to do more of this kind of thing. It's different, interesting and full of people who are all keen to have a laugh and make something cool. What's not to like?
Maybe I'll spend the money on a holiday where I can attempt to get a REAL tan? Or at least a razor to shave of that ginger face rug!