Recently, I was shortlisted by a modelling agency to audition for a skincare TV commercial.
I doubt my skin is in any condition to endorse a skincare product so I didn’t think I had half a chance of getting the job. But I went anyway because auditions are good networking opportunities, whether or not you end up getting the job.
So I went to this production house and found out that they were doing another round of shortlisting before the final candidates are sent off to meet the real paying client.
Production House Person was actually someone with whom I had worked in the past. She said, “Aiyah, you should have told me you were coming. I would have just sent you directly to the client, no need to waste your time come here.”
“Never mind lah,” I said. “I live nearby anyway.”
I should have said something PR like, “Oh, I wanted to drop by and catch up with you.” But curry favouring has never been my forte and I never can do it spontaneously.
Anyway, PH Person told me that the client wanted a fresh face because the commercial is going to be one of those before-and-after thingys.
Before: Ugly duckling from Pimple City
–> Use XYZ skincare!!
After: Magically become princess
I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to appear on TV with a face full of fake pimples.
Besides, I’m not exactly a “fresh face”. But PH Person said to go anyway. So I did (the following week) and I met the other contenders.
There were three of them and they were all 19-year-old sweet-young-thing students, all innocent and fresh looking.
I felt like I had mistakenly taken part in a beauty contest for which I was overqualified. Not in the looks department, but age. As I sat there in the room, I waited to be disqualified.
Diiiing! You’re out you’re too old how the heck did you sneak into the finals?
I tried to blend in by not talking too much and giving myself away and I think they didn’t suspect a thing because one of them tried to start a conversation with me by asking me which school I was from.
After making us wait an hour, the client finally decided to see us. I went first because I was the first to arrive at the office. I was the only punctual one, in fact. As if that makes any difference.
When I entered the room, the first words from the client were, “You look very familiar. I’ve seen you on TV before.” Except that she didn’t know who I was nor where she’d seen me before.
“You look familiar” is one of the most uttered phrases uttered to me, right up there with “How old are you?”
Yeah, yeah. I am 929 years old and I’m your second uncle’s twice-removed cousin’s colleague’s gynaecologist’s great grand aunt.
Well, Ms Client said that if people have seen me on TV before, the before-and-after ad might not be too convincing.
PH Person was there and tried to put a good word in for me by saying that I was the only one who could act, and they did want someone like that.
Then, there was the customary “we’ll let you know” bs and that was it.
I think I need plastic surgery to change my looks. Everyone and his garden rake finds me familiar looking.
But no one knows who I am.
I think that is really insulting. And saddening that I’m too “famous” to appear in certain TV commercials but not actually famous enough to get celebrity endorsements.
I am the unwanted middle child.
People stare at me on the streets because they find me familiar, so I have no privacy. I suffer the disadvantages of fame but do not enjoy the benefits.
I think I must have messed up somewhere.