There are a handful of things that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m talking since birth. Since being a fetus. Since being a mere sperm. Always. I was just cut out/destined to do certain things. Like I’ve always seen myself in television commercials. As a kid I would watch Saturday Night Live! and dream of being in commercials; but not just being in them; writing and directing them. There was a “cereal” commercial on SNL in the late ’70′s where they ate breakfast cereal made of rocks. It was the funniest thing I’d seen at that time. I would laugh and laugh and laugh. TOO FUNNY to a kid.
Those very SNL commercials sparked a dream in me.
While in college I created a whole new concept of skit players where we performed during the huge annual talent show between acts, actual commercial segments with voice overs. It was a HIT. In fact, it was such a hit that the crowd started chanting during lulls in the program “We want the commercials!” or something like that. I was gushing. GUSHING, I tell you.
So one of the skit players, a buddy of mine that I’d known throughout the campus and who was from back home in D.C., got bitten by the acting/comedy bug and now when I turn on my television I see him in Progressive insurance and Maxwell House commercials. Eeesh. The dude went for his dreams and look at him now.
I’ve had several friends/acquaintances in the acting business–most in the peripherals only–but the word on the Television Commercial Acting street is that a typical national TV commercial yields around$250K. Yep. So whenever I see an actor in a television commercial, particularly a recurring/popular one, I think they’ve probably made three times the aforementioned amount. Of course the magical number is not $250K, no, it varies. But the point is, over the years as I fretfully languished in cubicles shuffling papers from one desk to another, or whenever I’d turn on the TV and see my college buddy on yet another Home Depot commercial, I would do the math:
I figured if I worked on television commercials for ten years versus working in a cubicle for the same ten years I’d come out on the flowery end with commercial work.
But then I’d languish and languish and procrastinate and bite my fingernails and ponder and wonder and sigh heavily and wrinkle my forehead and fret and continue typing and shuffling papers and pressing SEND on the fax machine and glaring at my boss’s backside and sending out resumes and cover letters and sulking and writing another draft to a manuscript or a screenplay and then I’d find myself still in a cubicle five years later watching my college buddy on television sipping coffee or smiling while holding a wrench or selling car insurance.
The thing that excites me as I age is this. IS THIS…Hollywood (nor any dream) is not closed. I can still talk and walk and make contorted facial expressions and dance and stare into space and chew and laugh and shout.
(You know, things people generally do in television commercials.)
Now if I can only capture fear in a bottle and bury it.
What IS IT with resident procrastinators? I’d like to have a private session with Dr. Phil.
Working on My Next Project in Washington, D.C.