So I thought since I’d be spending more time on Youtube starting now-ish, it would be smart to get my channel organized and up to date, and most importantly, PRETTY, of course. After I added a new header and updated my social media links, I realized I had a few old videos in my ’90s Features/ Random section from ages ago where I found a few things I had done in the past… and then I suddenly became obsessed with FINDING THEM ALL.
I know in the past I’ve mentioned here that I spent some time as an actor in my late teens and early twenties and was suddenly determined to add my old gigs to my repertoire of videos on my Youtube channel because, well, they are a part of me, and they tell a fun story while being hilarious at the same time. It’s a win-win, really.
… So late Saturday night whilst stuck inside due to the rain, I found myself rummaging through bins in our garage searching for my old VHS tapes and the lone VCR I saved for this sole purpose in which I knew some day, I’d get this very urge. I found them all pretty quickly, but wasn’t sure I’d find the right connection cords to really get it working but at around midnight the husband came to the rescue, found a working cord and hooked me up to the guest room TV so I could get to work. And so I began inserting tapes and rewinding and fast-forwarding searching for my commercials, laughing out loud, and recording them digitally right on my iPhone. Ain’t technology grand?
The spot I was most excited to find and watch again, twenty years later, was my Secret Deodorant commercial, which I booked when I was 19 years old in 1996. I remember auditioning and the callbacks and the shoot day vividly because it was a blast and though I think it was my second or third commercial I had booked since I started acting, it was the first one I was the “star” in, for lack of better description, rather than part of an ensemble cast of commercial actors.
We filmed for two days I think, partially at an old retro and very PINK motel deep DEEP in the valley and partially in a studio downtown LA. At the time, this commercial was supposed to be “edgy” mostly because of the navel ring shot, which is mine, of course, and as much as I loved the spot, I HATED the roller blading bit. They tried to make it look retro by styling me in a vintage one-piece bathing suit but added the helmet, the bad sunglasses, and the roller blades, and I still don’t think it looks quite right. I tried to convince them to let me wear regular 4-wheel roller skates because it would just look better and get rid of the helmet entirely, but they were having none of it. So that part always makes me cringe a bit, but overall, this is kind of the perfect ’90s feeling commercial marketed toward teens/young adults, and it just makes me smile.
Compared to my Burger King commercial, which ran on prime time network channels for nearly a year and then on cable, Secret didn’t run for very long, but they hired me again to voice over the next two Secret Deodorant commercials that I didn’t star in, but I don’t think I ever got tapes of them. I had just had foot surgery and remember recording in a sound stage in Hollywood on crutches. This is one of the only tapes I was sent by the ad agency where I had the full professional commercial instead of waiting for it to play on TV and trying to record it before it ended – there was no way to rewind live television then like there is now. So at least the footage I have is better quality than the others.
Anyway, here it is… if you subscribe to my Youtube Channel, you may have already seen it because I uploaded it a few nights ago and made it public. Below it are a few others I found and recored as well. It’s nice to have them all in one place now, I just wish I could find them all.
This was the first commercial I booked. I was 16 years old I think – or maybe 17 actually… And we filmed it at a Burger King deep in the valley in December of 1993. I was a senior in high school when it aired for the first time around Feb/April 1994 – which made for a fun final few months of the school year. The original version was longer and I had about three different parts but I can’t find that one. After the original aired though, they used bits of it to create other commercials that continued airing for the next year or so. The one I found below is one of the later ones made.
They booked me as a “young mom” for this spot, which I thought was hilarious since I was about 20 years old I think. The babysitter would have probably been more appropriate, but I’m the one holding the baby, on the phone to the pharmacist. It’s just for a second, and the quality isn’t the best. I found it in between Friends episodes I had taped from the ’90s. I actually have a surprising amount of Friends episodes taped which is ironic since I watch Friends on Netflix every night to fall asleep to.
Honestly, I barely remember doing this. I didn’t even know what it was when I popped the VHS in the VCR and then laughed out loud when I saw it. It must have been around the the same time because my hair was still short… but I think it was 1998.
This was actually years later… maybe early 2000’s? I was working at the art gallery and a woman who was working there temporarily also maybe worked another job … I really can’t remember BUT I was in the pop girl group at the time so she knew I was a singer on some level and she needed someone asap to record a new Speed Racer theme song. I “auditioned” by singing a PINK song over the phone and went to a private studio at a house in Santa Monica the following day to record it. The house was gorgeous and the studio door was hidden within/behind built in shelves in the living room. The producer pushed a button and a secret stairway appeared and dropped down into a huge sound studio. It was awesome… except they were really looking for a specific kind of sound for this Speed Racer theme song, and I don’t think I was quite giving him what he wanted… it’s slightly cringe-worthy for me because it feels forced, but it was a job none the less.
I did a KeyBank commercial with Anthony Edwards that I never saw in 1998 as well and was in a few random indie films too… itty bitty small parts, a part in my sis-in-law’s short film, a music video, and a few more randoms that I never did get my hands on. I think I did something exclusively for Germany? But it’s been so long I just cannot remember.
It was hilarious going through this little time capsule of my life, and I remember at the time not being totally into acting, though I booked jobs pretty easily, I never thought I was any good. Looking back, I wish I would have stuck with it, but at the time when I sort of lost my agent, I was in the girl singing group so I thought it was a natural ending/moving on to something else. I then worked as an MC at a Karaoke bar for a few years, which was fun and recently someone found a blurb of me singing karaoke with Britney… also laughable!
But now, twenty years later, I’m kind of feeling like I’d like to maybe dip my toes in the acting pool again, but I’m sure the scene has changed drastically since then based simply on technology. When I was auditioning, we’d have to bring a headshot and resume and have a Polaroid taken by the casting assistant and Polaroids don’t even exist anymore. It’s a bit funny, but I’m feeling like I it would be such a fun adventure at this point in my life.