I would never have believed how difficult it was to make a 30-second television ad! Humiliating does not sum it up! I had arrived well prepared. I had written the script and rehearsed. I knew my lines; and after all, I had roles in several high school plays. I was practically a professional, right? LOL! First take the Director praised me highly. I felt so relieved. I must have nailed it, as it was high praise indeed. Fifty takes later, I was sweating like crazy and dying a death! First of all, my delivery of the lines took 45 seconds, when thirty was all we had. Back to the script and edits. Terrific, it was down to 35 seconds. I took deeper breaths and paused less. Finally we were within the accepted time frame. I gratefully breathed a sigh of relief.

Alas, not so fast. “That’s really terrific!” drawled my wonderful Producer, Brian Henderlong from Spectrum a/k/Brighthouse. “Now, what we need is more enthusiasm! Try this. Stand on the balls of your feet and lean forward, toward the camera. Then deliver your lines to me with great energy!”

What? I am wearing 4 1/2” Jimmy Choo heels. Why? I don’t know. You can’t see them in the commercial. I just figured a girl in the right shoes has more confidence. (Plus I always wanted to be taller!) I grit my teeth and lean forward on my aching toes. We are nearing the second hour now. Makeup has been refreshed more than once! I give it the old college try! I give it my very best. I am Little Orphan Annie on the stage. Brian is pleased. I am mortified! He says, “Trust me!” I do.

I think we are done. Foolish me. Brian quietly asks, “When you talk, do you normally use your hands?” Are you kidding me? I use my hands so much you would think I was Italian! But I know where this is going. So I timidly nod my head. “Great! Then let’s add some gestures!” my tormentor, formerly known as Brian, says with a beaming smile. Oy vey, I suddenly have “jazz hands”! I am leaning forward, smiling my guts out and pointing, nodding, waving my hands about like Mickey Mouse in the Christmas Day Parade. This is a nightmare. What am I selling used cars now? I am about to crumple into a heap in this gorgeous 2/2 condo with terrific water views that I want to sell for my lovely friends, Joe and Rhody Nuccio. That brings me back to reality and I remember who I am. I manage to find my dignity again – with Brian the Producer’s help. He shows me how to make smaller gestures. We leave out the pointing, thank God. Another half a dozen takes and Brian has managed to transform me into a very plausible spokesperson. Well, at least after he spent several hours in the editing room, he ultimately managed to make our commercial look terrific, despite me!

Stayed tuned for the Debut of the advertisement next Friday, as well as Making a Television Commercial – The Sequel, where I wrangle my beautiful niece Maggie into joining me in this enterprise. After all, misery loves company!

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