I don’t know if anyone pays attention to the commercials during the Oscars but I do. Why? Because some years back, I was cast in a JCPenney commercial to be aired during the Oscars. Oh yes. It was titled First date. I was the ticket manager in a movie theater where a couple meets for the first time. She’s dressed in her nifty JCPenney outfit and he ‘s delighted to meet her. He comes to my window to buy two tickets. Got it so far, folks? No biggie, right. So he asks me something and I interact-the key word here-by handing him the tickets, taking his money and smiling.
My paycheck arrives. It’s a regular check for the work with nothing added. Then a few months later, I see it on the Oscars. Wait a darn minute. I should get extra bucks for ‘interaction’ with the lead. So I called the union. Don’t you know, the next time I saw the commercial, they had CUT the close-up of the lead guy with me to save a few bucks.
Last night as I watched the Oscars, it all came back to me. I’m an author now of nineteen books, # twenty on the way and those days are long past. Suddenly JCPenney and all their commercials are right in front of me and I recall the frustration of me-the small fish in a big pond-fighting for my rights.
Oh well, I’ve never shopped there before and never will.
Show business; There’s nothing like it.