I don't usually post youtube videos or anything random from the internet on thewildercoast, it's not that kind of blog. But as diehards will remember- I AUDITIONED FOR THIS COMMERCIAL! And for the record, I would have kicked this girl's skinny little butt. Sure, I'm not all sleek and waiflike and effortlessly pretty but at least I don't lilly-dip...on national TV!
If you've missed the first two posts about my audition for a Tampax television commercial, you can catch up here and here.
I step into the audition room, on the heels of the large and the Lana Veekner of Lana Veekner Talent Agency in Portland, Oregon. She is large, cheerful and draped in an oversized brown, belted tunic. This took me by surprise as I had been preparing for a svelte, chain-smoking lady holding a cup of coffee that was as black as her outfit. She would call me'dahling.' She would be surrounded by a posse of equally cool younger men, also black-clad; one would have a scarf, one would be gay, one would be strict and unsmiling, probably with sunglasses.
Instead it was just Lana, the tunic-ed Lana, telling me nicely to sit in a chair and hold a broomstick as if it were a paddle. There were video cameras surrounding me 360 degrees. Now, I have spent a little time rotating in front of the trick mirrors at clothes shops and New York City bathrooms -the ones where your reflection seems to go on forever- so thankfully this didn't phase me. (One more salute to vanity.)
She snapped on the armory of cameras and asked me to talk about my kayaking experience. "Great!" Said Lana. "Now, the rapids they'll be having you run will be really big, so that the effect really comes across. Maybe even a waterfall."
My stomach tightens but I keep my face smooth. "Oh, now, that's fantastic. I just love big rapids, and I've done some great waterfalls." (Lie, not a lie.)
"Now, due to your experience, would you be interested in shooting the action, but not delivering the lines? They may decide to go that route if they can't find the right person."
Then I sat down on the chair and picked up my paddle-broom. Lana popped out from behind the cameras and placed a messenger bag across my chest so that it rested on my side. Inside was a box of Tampax pearls. "Now, when you reference the product, turn and take out the box from the bag. You'll be wearing this bag during the shoot. "
Back up the train- when I'm braving the aforementioned 'really big rapids maybe a waterfall' I'lll be wearing a backpack???
So there I was, in a room full of pretty blond girls, pretty brunette girls, and pretty curly haired girls, all wearing tight, pastel workout clothes. It was like walking into a jewelry box or a box of lovely candies. Actually, they looked a lot like those pretty, pastel Tampax pearls. We did, I should say, because after all that hair straightening and make up and tight new athletic clothes, I looked just like them. Except for that they were 100 times prettier, they were actresses, and they probably didn't eat anything but a handful of fruit loops a day. I knew that I didn't have a shot.
Until....one of the pretty little tampons piped up. "When they say kayaking, they mean, like, a canoe...right?" She mimicked holding a single-bladed paddle with one hand and oaring on either side of her. A chorus of affirmations followed from the other little pearls.
This was my chance. None of the girls had ever seen a hardshell whitewater kayak. I had them all beat. They were going home. I was going to be the next Tampax pearl girl and make a million dollars and they were going to be broke, starving (not by choice this time) and alone on the streets of Portland. Also, they would be lonely, forever. Quite simply, I was going to live, and they were going to die. All because I know how to hold a dual-blade kayak paddle. Awesome!
"Oh, is that your portfolio?" One of the girls said, pointing to the file of my photos I had placed next to my seat. "Can I see it?"
"Hell no!" I shouted, snapping up the portfolio and thrusting it up my shirt. "Stay away!" What would happen if they were able to study my photos and mimic my perfect, perfect form? Disaster. I'd lose my edge. I'd lose my one shot at stardom.
"But I will give you ladies a hint." I said, addressing the whole room. You hold the paddle with one hand, and you put the other behind you back, like this. Now, every time you paddle, you have to bob your head up and down. Like this." I demonstrated. A whole room of Liz Taylor Eyes and Perfect Bone Structures nodded at me with reverence. "There you go! Just fine. They're sure to take you for a kayaker. And don't forget- serious kayakers cross their eyes. It's just something we do. You do want to seem like a serious kayaker, right?"
And then I stepped into the room of surrounded 360 degrees by video cameras.
(To be continued)
This is an example of the commercial I auditioned for. My commercial will have a kayaker going down rapids instead of hanging out on a yacht. Truth me told I'd rather hang out on a yacht.
So the other day I got a message from a local boater about a talent scout looking for girls who whitewater kayaked. The message included the name of an Agent named Gordon Adams at BigFish Talent Northwest. I sent him a few photos and some of my acting and kayaking background (which could be summed up as limited, fairly limited, but that's not how I worded it.) The next day, Gordon called me and informed me that I'd been selected to audition for a commercial for Tampax that would be broadcast internationally. They needed a young, female actress who could kayak. Preference was given to girls with higher boating skills. "This will be big money," said Gordon as I walked down Phinney Ridge, having just crossed the street to avoid Herkimer Cafe because I can't really afford to buy coffee. "Big money."
Holy smokes! One minute I'm walking down the street with the dog, a normal Wednesday, wondering what to do with my life, and the next moment I'm walking down the street with the dog, a normal Wednesday, wondering what to do with my life, and BAM! I have an AGENT! I would have called everyone I know just to say "Oh, well, I just got off the phone with my agent, what's up with you?" But I couldn't, because my phone was broken (bath tub, slip of the hand) the keys didn't work, and I no longer had the ability to make outgoing calls. Something I could easily remedy once I made a fortune being the new Tampax girl.
The only catch was that the audition was the very next day. The fact that I wasn't an actress, skinny, sleek, tan, or anything like the boppy teens who frequent tampon commercials didn't phase me. All that could be faked. An example of me not being a sleek, tan, boppy, commercial-worthy teen. I am stuck in my dry top and drinking a beer. My right arm, as you can see, is stuck. This photo did not make it into my portfolio, although it should have.
The challenge was to memorize the scripts, apply to two talent agencies (one union, one non-union) print out head shots, put together a portfolio of kayaking shots, get directions, print out a resume, buy the necessary clothes, get my hair and makeup done and get to my 4:00PM audition in Portland Oregon the next day.
Somehow I threw it all together. A handful of high school plays and a few instances posing in a sea kayak for a photographer friend expanded on my resume to a lifetime of theatrics and modeling. Three and half hours in a car with no AC, unable to touch my tricked out hair or my made-up face which was almost melting off in the 96 degree heat, and I made it to Lana Veeknar Talent Agency with an hour to spare.
It was to be my last trip in a rusty 1995 Subaru. After I got the commercial, I planned to switch to chartering a private plane.
What happens next?! To be continued!