|Yours truly still waiting for his star|
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Once I started attending casting sessions as a producer at Smith Burke & Azzam, I saw just how hard how it was to be a good actor. Not only did you have to deliver the lines convincingly, you also had to know how to handle your entire body in the process. Especially the hands. When I would try acting, I always found myself worrying about my hands. They seemed to have a mind of their own.
Still, despite my wayward appendages, there was a time when my friends would often put me in commercials. Not surprisingly, considering my build and personality, I was usually cast as the jovial, heavyset guy. The commercials came at a rather fortuitous time in my life. Most of my commercial work was done at the dawn of the Age of Internet Dating. A couple of these long-airing spots gave the online girls a chance to see me in action on television. That was essential since the first picture I would send them of myself was the one below. (I felt if they would still go out with me after that, I had it made.)
|My Internet dating photo. To quote Charlie Sheen: "Winning!"|
This next commercial for Towson Towson Center, directed by David Butler and written by John Patterson, actually gave me a line. I'm the guy who says, "You should see this place." By the way, this spot is a good example of that hands thing I was talking about.
Director David Butler also gave me a starring role in this spot for the Adventist Healthcare System. They didn't have a harness for me to swing upside down in, so they just tied a rope to my leg. I didn't enjoy that part, but I got to keep the boots.
John Patterson wrote this spot for the Baltimore Zoo during his tenure at W.B. Doner. This time I got to push a big ball of yarn for the big cats.
My commercial acting career ultimately petered out after I was cast in a national spot for Waccamaw stores by my friend Pam Poertner. I was my third Taft Hartley spot and I would have to join the Screen Actors Guild in order to appear in another one. I opted against joining the union. I didn't feel I could recoup the union fee without actually soliciting work, and I was too busy as a writer and editor to do that. Of course had I known the union card could get you in the movies for free during Oscar season, I would have done it....
BTW, you don't have to be a member of SAG to read my tale of first faith and first love and how the two became almost fatally intertwined: