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That New Commercial Glow

By Ched Rickman · June 3, 2010

So I've mentioned here recently a few things about my acting pursuits. One of them being my recent exposure on a National commercial. This particular commercial didn't actually achieve the status of going National until well after I filmed it, so this little timeline is a little fictionalized, but today I'd like to share with you the stages of semi-pseudo-sort of-successful acting.

1.) EXCITEMENT. Holy shit, I just booked a commercial! A National one. Oh my God, I have to quit work immediately. Fuck that worthless job, they don't deserve my two weeks, I'll just stop going in, cold. I'm never going to have to work a real job again in my life! … Hmm, although it will take a while for the residual checks to start coming in…RESIDUAL CHECKS!!! I'm going to be RICH!!! I have to call Mom and Dad! No, fuck it, I'll fly home right now!!! [checks bank account]…Oh…

2.) CAUTIOUS EXCITEMENT. Okay, chill out. You got the job, that's good. Make some calls, brag about it coolly next time you're out with the guys. It's just a commercial. We'll see how good the money is, but don't kid yourself, this isn't a total game-changer. Better keep the day job. But uh, hey man, good job. Better just lay low until we shoot in a few days.

3.) ON-SET OVERWHELMED EXCITEMENT. Wait, I get my own trailer? Is that an omelette bar for breakfast? I'm actually getting called to make up. I'm…I'm on a set. I'm not moving furniture or getting someone coffee, I'm the talent, people are treating me really nicely and politely. The director knows my name. Then he laughs after a couple good takes. I signed some contracts, so I'm getting paid. Yeah it was a long day, but now I'm out of here, and the money isn't in my account yet, but it will be. What's everyone doing tonight?…


5.) IT'S AIRING. THIS IS FUCKING SURREAL EXCITEMENT. I've been getting a lot of texts and phone calls from numbers whose only portion I recognize is the area code…belonging to the Midwest. A lot of people from the old neighborhood and high school are coming out of the woodwork. It's partially kind of an, "oh, look who it is, yeah, you want to befriend me now," type thing, but more prevalent and real is the realization that these people, however random and peripheral, remember me and are excited to see an old (very old) acquaintance make it good. Mom and Dad are noticeably proud, even though you can tell in their voices they've made the realization things are happening out here and I probably won't be moving back home particularly soon.

And then a residual check comes in. I'm not moving into my own place, or getting a new car, or anything crazy like that. But I'm breathing easy, I'm buying a few rounds at the bar here and there, I'm paying for dinner when I'm out with a girl, and I know I'll be able to afford some airfare back home in a few weeks. And hopefully a couple more will be in, in a few weeks' time.

I go to church, submit on the kneeler and Thank the good Lord for doing whatever he's done, because I feel like I don't deserve all of this love and luck and livelihood in my life, but I'm so impractically happy that I have it.

6.) LACK OF EXCITEMENT. I call my agent and bitch that I haven't had an audition since the fucking commercial began airing. I'm going to go do that right now…

But what the fuck would I know, I'm just an actor.