Lights, Camera, Sauce!

Can we get a few more people to simultaneously primp me? Ohhh, that sounds dirty.

Let's rock.

“Can we pour that steak sauce microphone more aggressively?”

In the history of our universe, I’m not sure how many times that particular sentence has been uttered.

But for perhaps only the 3rd or 4th time since invention of the spoken word, so spake the Director to me Sunday during the A-1 commercial shoot in Burbank.

Our Director, Matt (left) and DP, Giles (right). There are only 2 requirements for being a Director: 1) Have a beard. 2) Frequently stroke beard pensively.

Our Director, Matt (left) and DP, Giles (right). There are only 2 requirements for being a Director in Hollywood: 1) Have a beard. 2) Frequently stroke beard pensively.

This being my first commercial ever, I was worried arriving on set 5 minutes late for the 8am call time would be a criminal transgression.

Turns out not such a big deal.

“Commercial shoot” is roughly Latin for “Let’s all wait the fuck around for 8 hours and… oooh, catering!”

My Saturday was basically spent doing laps from makeup, to wardrobe, to set, back to makeup, back to set, until someone decided they didn’t need me until Sunday.

No complaints. All told, I spent my Saturday afternoon getting paid to eat cantaloupe.

Sweet.

Somehow looking at this I suddenly feel like the free credit report.com guy

Somehow looking at this I suddenly feel like the free credit report.com guy

I showed up Sunday at 8 and luckily didn’t have to wait long for things to start popping.

Trayce the super-stylish wardrobe master took custody of me first, kitting me up in a punk rock uniform — ratty jeans, tight t-shirt, stud belt and converse.

Jamie in makeup took me from there, caking me in foundation, eyebrow mascara, and some sticky white substance I can only hope was a cross between vaseline and Elmer’s super-duty hobby glue.

For my performance, I would be playing the role of “Heavy Metal Sauce Lover” — which under any ordinary circumstances would be a suspect moniker on so many levels — but today was considered perfectly normal.

My character, who apparently plays punk guitar in his backyard while barbecuing, would be extolling the virtues of A-1 Sauce by way of the Partridge Family standard, “I Think I Love You,” tastefully altered for shilling purposes to “I Think I Love Beef.”

Oh? Not ridiculous enough, you say?

Let’s hear a metal version of that tune, you say?

Well fuck why not.

Side note: my life is surrealy intersecting Danny Partridge’s in altogether too many ways.

Believe it or not, I kept screwing up the "saliva" line. Maybe having it fall like rain is not the best lyrical choice. Great visual there. Thanks A1 marketing.

Believe it or not, I kept screwing up the "saliva" line. Maybe having it fall like rain is not the prettiest lyrical picture to paint. Thanks A1 marketing.

Thoroughly made up and wardrobed, I am escorted by Dan the PA — who wears no fewer than 6 walkie-talkies at a time — from trailer to set at 11:34am.

“Now with talent,” reports Dan through talkie 3. “Talent is en route to set.”

Having people call you “talent” takes getting used to. Especially when you’re doing something that doesn’t seem to require a remarkable amount of talent.

But being an actor on a set is a funny thing. It gives you an entirely new perspective on the prima donna cussing, bitching, cell-phone-throwing celebrities you hear about all the time.

After a couple days of having people wait on you hand and foot — not letting you so much as carry a ham sandwich yourself — this really odd sense of entitlement starts to creep up on you.

You get so accustomed to special treatment that at some point you come to expect it (as in, “Hey, where’s that guy who carries my sandwich?”)

Keep in mind too, this shoot is only 2 days long. And it’s for steak sauce. Imagine being treated like this day and night for 10 years, and see if your internal yardstick for “What level of coddling is considered normal?” isn’t totally shot to hell.

That was PRETTY good, but I'd like to see it more... saucy. Yes, more saucy.

That was PRETTY good, but I'd like to see it more... saucy. Creatives? Yes, we'd like it to read "more sauce."

Back in reality land, I’m in a Burbank backyard with 42 assorted crew, wardrobe, producers, caterers, and food stylists — none making so much as a peep — staring me down as the director yells “Action!”

I make my best punk rock face and sneer into the camera.

57 seconds later, I am kicking over a lawn chair, smashing a potted plant, falling off an amplifier, and psychotically dousing a grill in a fine coat of steak sauce… in that order.

“CUT!”

Off-set, I hear 3 or 4 people cracking up.

Jamie from makeup is instantly beside me with an ear-to-ear grin, wicking sweat from my face with cotton swabs.

“Dude, the clients are laughing their asses off.”

She notices my blank, slightly anxious look.

“Oh, don’t worry, that’s good!” she says.

“Love it, love it!” says Matt the bearded director, animatedly approaching my patio stage. “Keep it over the top, the more the better — just explore the space, explore the space…”

Explore the space? We’re on a 20 square foot patio, Magellan.

“Oh. one more thing,” he says, turning around in front of the monitors.

“Can we pour that steak sauce microphone more aggressively?”

…yes. Yes I can.

6 Responses

  1. Ri-fucking-diculous.

  2. oh. my. god.

  3. filling life with beefy days? is that really what i heard? hilarious.

  4. AHAHAHAH i found it!

  5. He-larry-us Rob…waiting for the remix of one of those Croatia songs

  6. holy neato burrito cheesey cheese core. but rad still.

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