I let this old post get buried…It was written probably about eight months ago. So here it is to all those who might be interested in reading it:
For many of you who are not aware, a few weeks ago, people who lived in the L.A. and N.Y. area were contacted through Daily Strength to audition for a Rheumatoid Arthritis commercial. Luckily, the very day that it was posted, I contacted Sessions West Studios and scheduled for an audition. But here’s the thing….I’m terrible at public speaking. My knees get week, I start to sweat and shake, and you would think I was about ready to go into convulsions. The director at the studio was very sweet and did his best to get a good take of my audition. I was hoping I would just be going in to talk about my experience with RA. No such luck however. They required actual acting!
Thinking that I had completely blown my chances, I got back to work with a sad look on my face. I really wanted the gig, and the pay wasn’t too shabby! My finances were particularly poor at the moment. My husband was out of work, I was working part time and barely surviving, wondering how my husband and I would get through the next few months. That $4000 could keep us going! So the pressure was definitely there. It’s like someone handed me a check and said you can have this if you can just do this one thing right. And in this case, it’s acting!
That day I got a phone call from the casting studio. “You have a call back” they said! I was thrilled, to say the least! My nerves were at an all time high as I waited for the next call to let me know what time. Days passed. When I never received the call, I started to grow worried. The call back was for Friday and here it was Thursday. Was it just a mistake? Was I not getting a call back? Finally that afternoon, the phone rang again with the time I was needed to come in on Friday.
I arrived at the Santa Monica studio, after having rehearsed from what I could remember of the script. “My RA is not the same as your RA” I kept repeating in my head. But when I got there, my nerves just got worse. The people around me chosen for the call back looked beautiful and confident. When they called my name, my legs started to tremble again. This time there were more people watching me and a different director. Everything had changed, the room, the placement of the camera, and even how I was to say my lines. I became as stiff as a board without even noticing. The director tried to get me to be relaxed in front of the camera, but for the life of me, no matter how much I wanted the gig, it just wasn’t happening. I told him, “If I can just get my knees to stop shaking, I’ll be ok.” He chuckled.
They took two takes and then had me wait out in the lobby. They called two girls back and sent me home. “thanks”, they said. I walked out to my car, holding back tears. I was so close. I wanted it so badly. I needed it, but it was too late.
And now you’re hoping for a happy ending. Well, I’m not sure I can deliver what you may think so just keep reading… I knew I didn’t get the gig I was hoping for, but what I did get was another call. “We’re thinking about using you for print,” they said. I didn’t hear back from them for several days. I got a call back and they said, “The print job is no longer available but we may use you as a hand model.” Hand model? Crazy…never thought of my swollen fingers as being great for modeling.
It was fun being on the list of producers, directors, photographers, etc. as “talent”. It was definitely a fun experience!! I was also used a little in part of the commercial, where you see my shoulder and barely the side of my face. It’s unrecognizable really, but I had a good time. I was a little concerned that my hands were swelling more and more. I was part of a clinical trial at the moment, and so I was getting worse because the medication I was taking for it was giving me a reaction. And I wondered if I would be turned away. But the truth is, I think the director made up the job for me. He told me, he had never had an actress be so honest. And he told everyone what I said on set, about how if I could just get my knees to stop shaking, I’d be ok. He thought that was so endearing, he said, that he wanted to find a way to make me part of this. Awwww. What can I say, How cool is that?
So here I was, on a shoot, watching the commercial be created right before my eyes. I’m in the entertainment business, so this wasn’t too crazy for me, but what was great was that one of the girls, the print model became a good friend. Both were from N.Y. The other girl, is a dancer in N.Y. for Broadway. I got to eat great food. I got to be part of the commercial on both days. And as a hand model, the pay was not bad! So it wasn’t much compared to what it could have been, but I was still very very grateful! And the commercial came out excellent. The girl who acted in was fantastic and I just loved her voice for the part!
So as you can see, when an opportunity comes along, I take it! And it works the same way for this disease… I give most things a chance, given that I’ve looked into the possibilities on how it will affect me. Life is full of opportunities and new experiences if you let it! And I don’t believe that things are always, “too good to be true.” Sometimes things are simply too good and too true. :)
Filed under: Personal Stories, Recent Blogs, Sarah Keturah | Tagged: acting, broadway, casting, commercial, cool, Daily Strength, directors, fun, los angeles, luck, new york, old posts, old stories, Personal Stories, photographers, poor finances, rheumatoid arthritis commercial, santa monica, Sarah Keturah, sessions west studios, too good to be true |