Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I spent the afternoon in bed with my friend, Sarah, today.
A few years ago, I kissed her in an old Tercel.
Yesterday, while I was having no luck looking for jobs on the Internet, I got a call to do background work on an episode of House. I had to explain to the casting lady that I had moved. It was sad for me. There weren’t any jobs that interested me, but a fun opportunity from whence I just came called me. It was an employment bootie call. As I was wallowing, I got a call asking if Michelle and I would be interested in being in an infomercial taping tomorrow. Of course, I said, “Sure!” However, Michelle, of course, had to work so I had to find someone else who could work as my wife in the infomercial.
So, I called Sarah, my friend and fellow improviser, who I was in a movie with a few years ago, that involved an awkward front seat to back seat kiss (I missed the first time and hit her chin). She said sure, so, instead of being on an episode of House, I would be on a headphone infomercial to air in Europe. Who needs Hollywood? I’m huge in Europe. Did you know that a lot of the infomercials you see on TV are filmed in Springfield, MO? It’s true, even this wonderful thing. I’ve done a couple of commercials with them before, including this spot, where I do my best Ryan Seacrest impression. The other one was a part of a longer informercial where Michelle and I gave a heartfelt testimonial about what a food processor meant to us. It aired in Barcelona, see, huge in Europe.
This time, I arrived late, because I wanted them to know that I’m a diva and I’m in charge, or because I drove to the wrong place because of my Achilles’ heel, e-mail skimming. I was excited to learn that we would get to be the black and white, frustrated people in the infomercial! That is a dream come true. We got into bed and made the magic happen, and by magic I mean mediocre acting. I wanted to watch TV, but my wife wanted to sleep, she was frustrated, which made me frustrated. When I see the final spot, I really hope for a red X to be smacked over our faces. But wait! Is there a solution? You are damn right there is. What if there were headphones where I could watch TV and my wife could sleep? It turns out there are, and it turns out it saved our marriage.
In my infomercial marriage, without the headphone solution, my wife woke up tired and cranky, which affected her productivity at work. Eventually, she got fired for mouthing off at her boss, Jerry, who deserved it, but she wouldn’t have mouthed off at him if she had had enough sleep. The firing was tough on our marriage. Sure, she could stay up late and watch TV with me now, but she had underlying resentment towards me due to the firing. We had to get rid of the cable due to only having one income, so there ended up being no more late night TV anyway, but at that point, our marriage had grown distant. Instead of talking about our days, she would come home and start drinking, while I would head to the nearby riverboat casino to gamble. It started out as fun, but then became something beyond my control. Finally, I found myself in a tank top gambling with a homeless man in an alley trying to predict which drunk bar goers would vomit as they passed by, and what makeup and color the vomit would be, when I heard from her lawyer requesting a divorce.
The thrill of correctly guessing hot dogs and yellow was squashed by the thought, “This wouldn’t have happened if I had only had headphones for the bed.”
This stuff has stakes.
The shoot was fun and easy, and if you know anyone in Europe, tell them to look for the commercial for headphones that look like the married couple may have only kissed once, sort of, in an old Tercel. That will be Sarah and me.