When I found out I’ll never be an actor

Ah, memories – even bad ones.  Thanks, Facebook.  Seven years ago, I got a random email through this very website.  A marketing firm researched local funny people and somehow found me.  I was invited to an open audition for a commercial…the next day.  I had about 24 hours to prepare.  I worked a normal day Friday, then, of course, went to happy hour with my pals – after all, it was only a few lines.  I bought more beer and sat down to memorize my lines.  Can’t be that hard!

After an hour, I was so incredibly bored and started cranking some music.  From what I could tell, they wanted an upbeat, energetic man excited about telling people they could save money.  IT’S LIKE THEY KNOW ME ALREADY.  For some reason, I was 15% sure I could get this – it ended up paying something like $5000 if it took off.  Looking back, I knew I wasn’t going to get it unless no one showed up, but money is money and hope springs eternal.  I’d fight a tiger on TV for $300.

I woke up Saturday early and realized drinking 12 beers may not have been the best course of action.  Oh well, off to be famous!  I got there and one guy was much older than me and was pacing around like he ripped fourteen lines of coke in the hotel bathroom.  He was sweating profusely and talking non-stop.  I have to beat this guy, right?  I got called in and they had a professional actress (on some level) and a small crew.  I was all set; I had memorized every line.  They immediately said, “OK, now improvise a bit!”  I had nothing.  I just kept spitting out the stock lines.  The director, an increasingly angry lady, was raising her voice.  “Change it up!”  I didn’t.  In fairness, I had zero enthusiasm about saving anyone money and I really didn’t know what I was doing there, but I was starting to regret it.  Can’t you just film me getting kicked in the nuts and give $35?  I’ll take that right now.

My director finally said, “We’re done here!”  She waved me off like a bad fart.  Apparently, I was really supposed to dive into a world of saving people money at the store.  Maybe I should have done some Daniel Day Lewis level shit and lived in a grocery store for six months or some nonsense.  Sometime later, I realized it was a Wal-Mart commercial because I saw a guy in his late 30’s saying the exact same lines I had done.  WHERE’S THE IMPROV SKILLS ON THAT DUD!  He was actually friendly appearing and enthusiastic unlike me and not full of uppers like jittery guy at my audition.  I realized I am going to have to be more selective in my roles, like as in “Hey, we need someone to appear like a washed up drunk that hates human contact with strangers.”  I’m in!  Here’s my address to send the Oscar to now, to save you the hassle.

How I saw myself that day