So it was no problem when, on August 2, I found myself at St. Teresa's Church at 141 Henry Street at 5:44 a.m. (Thanks for Google Timeline for providing exact time and location. People can complain all they want about Google, but I find it invaluable for occasions like this. As Gary Hart told a reporter, go ahead, follow me; you'll be very bored. But I mean it.)
This was the day when I was going to film a commercial for Jet.com, the kind of gig I'd been vying for since I started background work. Not only do commercials pay at least double TV and movies, it's bound to be seen several times a day. Unless, like me, you DVR 95% of what you watch and fast forward through commercials.
|My Thursday go-to-meeting look.|
And unlike other jobs, they wanted me to wear the sun clips over my glasses as well as my Panama hat. People must have heard a phone ringing, because I looked off the hook!
Although St. Teresa is the patron saint of Spanish people, her church is located around the block from Chinatown, the location of our shoot. The concept sounded simple -- a skateboarder glides alongside a busload of tourists until reaching a stop light -- but we filmed from about 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
|Mom always said life was like a box of|
While my fellow "businessman" was given only a briefcase, I was asked to carry a briefcase, a bag of Chinese take-out, and a flip phone to talk into. Never let it be said I'm unable to do three things at once. Four, including crossing the street.
|Cherry eyes, however, are included in the price.|
As for the meal on the left, I definitely know that she wouldn't be interested in tucking into a whole pig. And, yes, that will set you back 148 bucks. That's what they mean by living high on the hog.
There was no way to know when the commercial would air, but dumb luck came calling when it suddenly appeared on a website my wife and I were reading. It was the 15-second version, barely enough time for me to say, "Hey, that's my commercial!"
But my dumb luck got even dumber the next day, as I was fast-forwarding through an episode of Better Call Saul DVR'd the night before. There it was, this time the 30-second cut. You couldn't see me in the first half, but I was there near the end, one of the dozen or so takes that made the final edit.
To the left is another shot, enlarged for your viewing pleasure. The woman in the pink is a real pedestrian, as was everyone else in the street other than the skateboarder, the other "businessman", and me. The p.a.'s did their best to keep pedestrians out of the shot, but you tell New Yorkers they can't cross the street.
As I explained in an earlier post, my suit is a hand-me-down from one of my older brothers. It must make a welcome difference from the current narrow cut/shorter pants style, which makes the wearer look like Pee-Wee Herman. Not only did get me another gig, but a compliment from a woman, no older than 30, who was waiting to cross in other direction: "Nice suit".
I replied with a startled, "Oh, thank you," when, deep down, I wanted to drawl, "Yup, this is what a real businessman wears." Or at least a guy playing a real businessman.
In case you never see it on your laptop, smartphone or TV, here it is. Or you can fast-forward like you would through any commercial.