Thursday, March 11, 2004

Posing for consumer products 

I’m going to be a model. This could be the first step in broadening my earning options. I took my daughter this morning for her 3rd casting for an advert. There are a lot of these things shot in Cape Town because the weather is reliable, everything is cheap, the locals speak English, and the time zone is about the same as Europe. The first of these castings I had gone to was on a Saturday, and I took Jen because the boss was busy with something else. I was about the only Dad there, so had a certain rarity value, we played a bit on camera and they took my details too.

This morning, they had specifically asked for me as well, so I went along. They are trying to cast a baby and dad for a new pull-up nappy TV commercial (nappy = diaper; try to keep up). All the "Dads" there were trendy model types with great tans and cool shades. Then there's me. My hair isn't nearly sexy enough, but I've got a secret weapon: Jen. The cutest 2 year old in the world. And she will not go near any other bloke (let's hope that lasts for another 20 years or so). When it comes to the screen-test, they want her to 'ride' a broomstick horse. No problem. Then they want her to ride on a guy's back. No way. My back? No problem, so off we go. A room full of poncy filming types, and me and Jen playing horsey. Very cool.

This afternoon, they called me back. Can I come for filming tomorrow? This is the actual filming of the actual ad itself. They even pay us for this, because obviously they want Jen too. I think the fact that they won't have to spend 3 hours persuading a kid to ignore all the advice it's been given its whole life about strangers is a bonus. They can just saddle me up and Jen will hop on. So I've given them my measurements, and now I'm waiting for them to call back so I can negotiate a fee.

This all started as a favour for a friend who is starting an agency for kids. Now I could find myself on TV in the middle of Sex & the City. Targeted advertising – you’ve got to love it. I always love the way that the condoms and the pregnancy tests occupy adjacent shelves in the chemist. Cause and effect.

Anyway, Jen is experienced at this stuff: she’s already been on a soap powder box. I’m nervous as hell. Hope she’ll look after me.

Listening to: Don Henley, Boys of Summer: got the top pulled down and the radio on…

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