A few weeks ago I got an email that read:
[Important stuff]… [random stuff]… [we have a small budget]…. you are pretty… Funny or Die… Get Fresh With a Friend.
Except that it was two pages long, and it was from the folks at Cottonelle . I was actually in the car with my husband and my kids, and might have shrieked a little bit. Cottonelle and Funny or Die were making a video featuring their Fresh Moist Wipes (you know you’ve heard Howard talk about them), and they wanted ME. Apparently they wanted Mom from the social media space (that would be me), who has a good sense of humor (that would be me), and who can give a little bit of a judgy look (that would be me?).
The Cottonelle Fresh Moist Wipes (FMW) team was amazing, they had to coordinate the kids and I returning from Florida on a 6am flight, getting us all to my house, and then having me on set a little later in the day than what might have been ideal. My kids were BEAT. We had to leave Orlando at 4am so in the spirit of being a Hollywood Diva I asked for car service.
The kids and I arrived at LAX and there was a line of drivers with signs, and one guy who looked like he was from the Secret Service. The Secret Service guy was our driver. The kids were hopping up and down, because really what could be more fun than a ride in a limo? I ended up letting the kids enjoy the gigantic back seat and I chatted with the driver, who had been Mrs. Nancy Reagan’s personal driver for at least a dozen years.
A great start to the day, no?
So I got home, got the kids situated, took a quick shower, and ran to the set. Mercifully it was a five minute drive from my house. My hair was still damp when I got there, and from my appearances on Dr. Phil I knew exactly what to do.
Kiss up to the hair and makeup lady.
So I got to the set, which is basically a gated estate in a swanky part of town that I can’t afford would like to live in, and there’s a huge crew. There are about 20 people milling about, there’s a tent, there’s lighting, there’s a minivan, some cameras, there’s a director, and there are actresses. They are acting.
This is where I panic.
I had, once again, lost the forest for the trees. I was totally enamored with the thought of working with Funny or Die. I was thrilled that the folks at Kimberly Clark had any idea who I am, and I was tickled to be asked to be part of the Cottonelle FMW campaign, but I’d forgotten one quick thing.
I am not an actor.
True, I do plenty of video. My main gig is Momversation, but that’s just talking to the camera. I’m not acting, there is no script. I don’t have to look a certain way, and there aren’t TWENTY PEOPLE STARING AT YOU.
So yes, I arrived at the set of Funny or Die, and thought about what it was I’d agreed to do for the first time. Sometimes I’m not brilliant. But I did have my plan. I met the director (who was super nice) and then I went inside the house for hair and makeup. The makeup lady did not require kissing up to, she was super sweet. So I plopped down in a directors chair which is in the family room of this estate that we’re filming in, and had my face painted and my hair blown out.
I had arrived on set at about 10.30 and my hair and makeup was done at at about noon, and then I noticed that the house was pretty warm. Actually, it was suffocatingly warm. I found out that they have to keep the air conditioner off because it interferes with the sound.
So I made my way out to the video playback tent. The video playback tent is a shady tent where they have instant video of the scenes being shot. It lets everyone see what the camera man is seeing. I’m not sure why the other people were sitting there, but I was there because it was very very hot outside and I was wearing jeans.
Here’s the view from the tent, see all those young men? They have to soap the minivan in between takes so that it looks like everything was filmed all at once. There are jobs that I’d never really thought of.
I watched Jean Villepique and Deanna Raphael do their scenes a half dozen times, each time with more enthusiasm than the one more, and when the cameras weren’t rolling they went back to their own personalities. Which was weird. Again, it dawned on me that I AM NOT AN ACTOR. These are extraordinarily talented women.
So I snuck off the set and called my friend Anna (who IS an actor) and I said, “Anna, I’m in over my head. I’m on set with Funny or Die and I am just realizing that I don’t know how to act.”
She calmly said, “Sure you do. What’s your line?”
“I don’t have a line. I just have to push a stroller and give a judgy look.” I said.
“Oh please, you can do that in your sleep.”
It was time for lunch, and it was catered by a local bakery. I had a sandwich and tried to calm my nerves.
Next we went out on the street. All twenty of us, camera guys, lighting guys, a director (who is part snake charmer I think), assistants, sound people, traffic people. There were people for people, and everyone seemed to have a very real job to do.
All I had to do was push the stroller. Stop. Look. Do a double take, and then continue walking. I was hearing Anna’s voice in my head, “You can do that in your sleep.”
Until the director sent out his guy who was like, “Okay, this time I’d like you to be amused.” ACK I didn’t practice an amused face (I didn’t need to practice a judgy face, that’s just the one I own) so I tried. And I know it sucked.
After the failed “amused” take the guy comes running out to me, all smiles and he’s like, “was that still your annoyed face?” And since I was busy dying a thousand deaths in front of strangers I was like, “uh yeah, sorry.”
So we did it another seven times, and they had everything they needed.
I went home and slept for three hours. It was the longest toughest day I’d had in many years. I know, limo rides, makeup, tents on hot days, catered lunches. But I’m telling you it was exhausting.
Now, if you’ve never tried Cottonelle Fresh Moist Wipes today is the day, until supplies last (and I worry they won’t last long) you can go to GetFreshWithAFriend.com and send a tub of wipes to a friend, and one to yourself. I’ve already sent one to my cousin, mostly because I want to see how in the world he’ll ever thank me.
This post was written through my partnership with the Cottonelle Brand. All opinions and thoughts are my own.