“Okay, ask her if your application is complete. Tell you wanna do this quick, hurry it up!” So I am sitting in an actual Bank of America location with a camera, boom and light perched in my direction. Next to me is a handsome twenty-something actor who is posing as my husband, across from me is another actress playing the Bank of America loan consultant. I wasn’t aware we would have to be speaking since my role is a B-role (I think it’s a nice way to say “extra) and I didn’t receive any copy in advance. Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I sat down and the producer-director-tell everybody-what-to-do in-a-New-York-accent guy started spewing direction at us. The woman playing the consultant was on fire, she snapped back with an answer and was quite believable in her role.
So me and my hubby followed suit. We teamed up and improvised a scene where we go to a loan office to inquire about getting a first-time home buyer loan. Thank God for those Improvisation classes at Second City Training Center in Chi-Town!
The following day we actually visited several homes and improvised a scene from the one or two sentences the producer gave us. I just trusted my instincts and reacted as naturally as possible to the circumstances. If I didn’t like the room, I politely said so. If I didn’t, I would say that too -- just as a real prospective home buyer would. Who knows? They most likely won’t be using the sound anyway, but that’s not the issue. This was a small job, but I think there is a very valuable lesson here. Flexibility and a positive attitude. Never leave home without them.
As an actor, those traits will set you apart from the other gazillion actors in your area and also make you easy to work with. And being easy to work with begets more work.
I will keep you updated on the air date. The show is called Designing Spaces, and these clips will be playing intermittently throughout the show.
Designing Spaces, TLC, Saturday Morning 7am