Well, it was that time again. Time for new headshots, to better reflect who I am these days. I went to my buddy Hunter Canning, who, in addition to being an accomplished actor himself, is also an excellent photographer for theatre, fashion, and portraits. Hunter and I worked together on NY Classical Theatre’s production of King Lear in 2009, with the wonderful Donald Grody, and I was impressed with his headshot portfolio.
It was great to see Hunter again, and we had a blast doing our photo shoot. I’m thrilled with the resulting images, which are now on my home page and my downloads page. You can see more of Hunter’s work by clicking here. I recommend his work, whether it be for headshots, or for theatre or other images. In fact, Hunter ended up shooting the images for the production of Ghosts that I did this summer as well. I’ll be posting some of those images first chance I have.
My buddy Katherine (from my old BMI Workshop days) tells me that my Minute Maid ad has now surfaced in the May 23rd issue of People magazine. So my kiss-covered face is definitely making the rounds. Thanks for letting me know, Kathryn! If anyone else spots my ad somewhere new, please do let me know. It’s becoming something of a party game!
Well, that wacky full-page ad of me covered with kisses after drinking Minute Maid orange juice has now surfaced again on page 28 of the May 16th issue of ESPN Magazine. You can’t miss the issue–the cover has a really graphic illustration of a matador being gored by a bull. Charming. Instead of looking at the cover, I suggest you turn directly to page 28 and have a chuckle. No bull! The magazine is even larger format than Entertainment Weekly, and includes a related side bar on page 29, which gives the effect of an even larger ad. Very fun! Thanks to my buddy Aaron for giving me the heads-up about this one. And if you see my kiss-covered face popping up in other publications, please do let me know. Thanks!
I love this community. One of my students from last week’s Learning Solutions 2011 conference alerted me via e-mail yesterday that my Minute Maid ad appeared in Entertainment Weekly, and send me a black & white scan so I could see it. Another friend on Facebook told me the issue date, and armed with that information, another FB friend sent me a color scan, which you see here. I was able to go out yesterday and pick up a couple of copies on newsstands where the issue hadn’t already been replaced. It was the April 1st issue of EW, with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon on the cover. My full-page ad was on page 14 of that issue. If you see it popping up anywhere else in the media, please do let me know! My sister would particularly like to see it on the side of a bus or truck, I think. My thanks to Robin and Charlie and Cheryl for the detective work; I really appreciate it! When you look at this wacky image, keep in mind that Bertha the makeup artist painted on each of those kisses by hand. Pretty impressive! My thanks again to brilliant photographer Finlay Mackay, and all the folks at Minute Maid, the Doner Agency, and Jed Root, Inc. for a great shoot.
In an earlier post, I shared my tale of auditioning for and landing a Minute Maid print ad. When the shoot day came, I arrived a little bit early and as expected, the studio was already abuzz with activity. A series of people introduced themselves to me and welcomed me graciously. I was hearing a wonderful mix of accents from America, Britain, and more all around me. Everyone I met had a big smile, and was very eager to have the day’s shooting underway. It turned out they were shooting one other actor for the campaign first, so while the photographer and executive creative director worked with her, I was escorted back to wardrobe and asked to try on a selection of three different geeky outfits. The fashion stylist Jennifer Hitzges and I favored one shirt & tie combo in particular, and happily that one was ultimately chosen by the client. Then, it was time to have lots of kisses applied to my face. It was decided that drawing them on looked better than actually having people kiss me, so the talented make-up artist, Bertha, set to work. It took a couple of tries to devise a “kiss” that all the stakeholders felt was just the right size, but then Bertha set to work covering my face with hand-drawn kisses in multiple lipstick colors. Then she added a couple the traditional way, just for good measure. People walking by cracked up on seeing my new love-covered countenance, and a number of them asked me to pose with them for pictures. Stylist Wesley O’Meara put the finishing touches to my hair, and I was ready to go!
When it was my turn to go before the cameras, I found myself striking an unending cavalcade of silly poses, egged on by super-nice and super talented Scots photographer Finlay MacKay, and Doner agency executive creative director Murray White. Everyone watching was cracking up a lot, and I can’t even remember all the funny things Finlay and Murray said or did to promote an ever-escalating variety of wacky expressions. They were both fantastic at getting what they wanted for the shots. Finlay’s three assistants were also great about protecting me from the hot lights when we weren’t shooting, which I greatly appreciated, as we didn’t want all those bright red lips melting. Props maestra Janine Trott (who is also a wonderful graphic artist) was ready at hand with whatever accessory was needed.
Over the course of the shoot, I found myself romancing various sizes of product packages, from quart to half gallon to family-size jug. At the end of it all, everyone shook hands enthusiastically; it seemed like everyone was happy with the way the shoot had gone. Monica Tysell, Doner EVP Account Management Director, and Ashley Schmidt (Brand Director), Sara Litton (Associate Brand Manager), and Andy Deutsch (Advertising Manager) of Minute Maid, all said very gracious and complimentary things. I did see a few of the many images popping up on the monitor as we said our farewells, and they looked like a lot of fun. This is a bunch of people I would love to work with again. It was my first major print shoot, and I couldn’t have had a better experience. There were also other friendly and efficient people who helped keep the shoot running smoothly as well, including Simone Silverman of 3 Production Inc, and many others. My thanks to everyone for including me in the project.
My agent called last week to let me know that Minute Maid has decided to run at least one of my images, so I could soon be appearing on a web site, magazine page, or the side of a truck near you! I have a couple of cute pix from the shoot that I’ll post once the ad campaign has launched, so let me know if you see my ad running anywhere! The food by NOZ catering, by the way, was really good.
Every once in a while, I have an audition experience that’s just a hoot. And sometimes all that fun leads to a great gig! My agent recently scheduled me for a print ad audition for Minute Maid. The instructions were to show up looking like a particularly geeky and dull accountant type, mismatched shirt & tie, pocket protector, the whole nine yards. My inner nerd always loves to come out for an airing, so off I went the next day.
When I arrived at the audition studio, I opened the door, and was met with a classic sight: fellow nerds were lining the benches on all three walls. It’s hard to find the words to do it justice, but it was the classic audition visual: a variety of middle-aged guys decked out in intentionally unfortunate blazers, shirts & ties, thick glasses, with a clutch of pens sticking out of their breast pockets. To make it even more sublime, each guy’s face was covered with peel-and-stick red and pink kisses. The orange juice product in question was evidently a real life changer!
A very pleasant young woman came up to me, signed me in, and dutifully applied a healthy amount of plastic kisses to my face. As I was waiting for my turn to go in, I addressed the other guys in the room in general and said “This is a photo moment. We really should get a picture of this.” To my delight, three other guys took me seriously, and we decided to ask one of the other people there auditioning to take a few pictures of us with my cell phone’s camera. The casting director, Donna Grossman, came out to call in her next actor, looked around at her room full of kiss-covered nerds, and laughed out loud. I had never met Donna before, but already I liked her.
When it was my turn to audition, Donna welcomed me into the room where she and her assistant were recording the images. I slated my name, and then provided a left and right profile for Donna’s video camera. We were all having a good time, joking as we went. Then Donna told me that we were going to be doing a little improv, and she would interview me in character. Donna made a great interviewer, and I just winged it, responding to her questions in my role as bland accountant turned love object. Donna and her assistant were smiling and cracking up at my responses, and they were such a great audience that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Two weeks afterwards, I finally found a minute to e-mail the cell phone photos to the other three actors, and received nice notes back. I had mentioned that while the photos weren’t art, they did capture the giddy silliness of the experience. One of the gents said in his reply “”Silliness” is a good word; “hired” would have been even better.” I wrote back to say I could only agree.
The next day, Joe from my agent’s office called to say that I was on hold for the Minute Maid ad. I had thought the selection process was long over and that one of the many other worthy hopefuls had landed the gig. I was delighted to be mistaken. The next afternoon, Joe called back to say “Congrats! You booked Minute Maid!” I was thrilled. More on the shoot itself in another post.
I was going to post one of the silly pictures that four of us took at the audition, but now that I’ve booked the job, I won’t post it until after the ad campaign has launched. So if you see me out there anywhere looking even more geeky than usual, covered with kisses, and clutching a container of Minute Maid orange juice, let me know!!