Monday, April 18, 2005

See Spot Run

I found out today and over the weekend from friends and family who are living in a particular state that one of my regional spots is running again. My agent told me back in January that the client wanted to resurrect this particular spot (after having let it lapse for 8 months or so) but I had no confirmation it was running until now. Kind of a funny spot, too, so I'm happy.

But, of course, exposure is a double-edged sword.

For those who don't know, acting in commercials is one of the few jobs where the better you do, the less you're wanted. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but look at it this way: If you were the manufacturer of, say, a popular soft drink, would you want the actor who played Mr. Whipple as your pitchman? (Provided, of course, you remember who Mr. Whipple was.) That's why, except for the Celebrity Spokesperson genre, most advertisers want "complete unknowns" for their spots. That's also why, for all the fun-verging-on-abuse that's poked at "high-priced actors" for supposedly reaping huge windfalls from commercial residuals, the system is actually based on fairness. Speaking as one who has, a few times, received national exposure in a commercial and then suffered through months of being unemployable (including one stretch of more than a year), I can verify that the "huge windfall" barely seems like adequate compensation for one who values work above fame (and let's face it -- being Mr. Whipple barely qualifies as "notoriety" let alone "fame").

So anyway, as I was saying, my spot is running again and I hope I'm not screwed. My character in this particular commercial is humorous, but ever so slightly creepy, and I can just imagine Bad Things happening if other advertisers take note.

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