Take 2 … or 3 … or 4: My acting debut is now complete
That would be me, trying to look like a wannabe ballplayer in one of the Mariners TV commercial shoots on Tuesday. (Photos by Gregg Greene/Mariners).
Scratch acting off my bucket list. Not to mention my career ambitions.
Had a great time today though, playing a small role as an extra in one of the Mariners television commercial shoots in a humorous promotional spot featuring Franklin Gutierrez. Can’t give away the plot, but suffice to say they needed some extras who could look awkward while attempting to play baseball.
And for some weird reason they typecast me in that role. Hmmm …
To be clear, the real work was done by five professional actors and Gutierrez, who patiently went over his lines. And over his lines. And over his lines.
It took three hours to shoot what will turn into a 30-second commercial, one of five done over the past two days by Mariners players and manager Eric Wedge.
For the most part, I sat with the other extras — Mariners front office staffers — and watched the process while waiting our moment of glory. But first we went through wardrobe productions, being fitted — or not fitted, in some cases — with baseball uniforms that were then touched up with grass stains and dirt smudges in the right places to make us look like actual ballplayers. Albeit middle-aged wannabe balllplayers, but whatever.
I’d have figured that was plenty of realism, but then for our main shot they wanted us to look tired and worn out, so we ran a few laps back and forth across the outfield at Peoria Stadium in order to work up a legitimate lather.
And here I’d always thought acting was all about pretending.
There was plenty of that, too, as at one point I had a guy spraying me with a water bottle to make it look like I was sweating and a woman sprinkling grass on my beard and shoulders to make it look like I, well, had grass on my beard and shoulders.
By the end of the afternoon, I had a new appreciation for those who make their living in front of a camera. Being naturally funny and spontaneous is an art … and not one I pretend to possess.
But it was a kick getting a tiny taste of another world. No, I didn’t get paid. No, I didn’t have any lines. And, no, I probably won’t even be seen or recognized by anybody other than my wife and kids, this presuming all my fine work doesn’t wind up entirely on the cutting-room floor.
I did, however, get a new T-shirt out of the deal. Complete with fake grass stains …