July 13th, 2007

Extreme Closeup

Well Toss My Peach and Rub Me Down With Carrot Cake!!

'Twas a good night tonight.

Another shoot for Safeway.  This one, while not a principal role, was a principal for the SCENE, which was a cutaway for a larger video entitled Professional Image.  It's all about making a good impression on the customers, and how to present yourself professionally.

I was one of the "Don't be like this guy" guys. :)

Yes, color me Bad Employee.

The first scene was me and another actor working in the produce department.  We were culling fruit bins (pulling bad fruit).  I had the cantaloupes, and he, the peaches.  While going through my bin, I found a peach.  Turned to him, whistled, and lobbed it his way, almost clobbering a customer in the face with it in the process.  Rather than apologize, I just smiled weakly and went back to my culling, then gave her a funny look as she walked away.

In the second scene, I was organizing salad dressing bottles on the shelves.  One of the bottles was covered in something sticky, and rather than removing it from the store floor, I just wiped it on my disgustingly dirty apron and put it back, looking around first to see if anyone was watching.

The cool thing about tonight was that it was the same director from the last project I was on, which meant alot of the same crew.  (Yes, aussieactor, Nichole was there)  I was greeted with a hearty handshake and "Hello, Klae!" by the director, outside the store.  Nichole, the makeup artist gave me a big hug when I arrived.  Even the Safeway official, who made sure what we were doing was "official" recognized me from a shoot I did MONTHS ago.  So that was a nice perk.

The other two Safeway officials were apparently THRILLED with my extremely animated facial expressions.  Bob, the director, told me we were going a little more on the funny side with these "bad employee" cut aways, so I didn't play it totally serious, and got a little expressive at times.  It really worked well, apparently.  The look I gave to the woman that I almost tossed a peach into (see, title reference #1 explained!) had the official folks roaring with laughter immediately after the director yelled cut.

For the dirty bottle scene, we'd shot it a couple times, and it was good, and we were about to wrap when one of the officials pointed out that my apron really needed to be filthy.  So Nichole perked up, vanished, and returned with carrot cake, which she proceeded to smear all over the apron, finishing it off with a light dusting of flour (see, title reference #2 explained!).  It was GROSS, but smelled very tasty.  The camera guys were joking that I was lucky to get paid to have a woman rub food all over my torso.  If only the apron had been a LIIIIIIIIIIITLE longer.  ::sigh::

But again, the non-suit-wearing "suits" loved my facial expressions, especially when I dipped my hand into the imaginary gross stuff, wiped it on my pants, then wiped the bottle with the carrot cake apron.  Much laughter ensued.

And the whole face thing ties back into notes I got from Joe Bill and Mark Sutton from the Annoyance Theater in Chicago.  They told me that I need to animate myself (face and body) more in the work that I do.  It's just that I've had it beaten into me to play "The Straight Guy" for so long, I instinctively DON'T go for overly animated characters (unless I'm playing a puppet).  So it was nice to see that actually working when I apply it. :)

Finally, I asked Bob what the chances of getting a copy of the Direct Deposit video (the one on the golf course) was.  He smiled, walked me to his car and handed one over.  How awesome is THAT?!?

Oh, and the PA bought me Starbucks.  Sugar high WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

me
WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!