The first week of full madness has almost come to a close. Last week I was blessed to shoot some television commercials for ShopNBC as their Santa. The crew were magnificent and fun to work with on the shoot. Not only were they professional and quick, but they fed me cookies. Lots and lots of green cookies. Why green cookies?
Well, let me tell you a tale out of school. When you shoot television or movies you have to worry about something called “continuity.” This means that you wear the same shirt, same jewelry, same hat and have the same position in the scene for each take. And because you do some shots from a wide angle and some close in, it’s the details that kill you.
Green cookies were a killer. Santa had a plate of them in his hand the whole time, and there had to be three uneaten cookies on the plate and one in his paw when the shot was taking place. Turned out that I chose a green sprinkled cookie for the first take. And, consequently, that cookie had to be replaced with another green cookie for the next series of takes. It would be subliminally jarring to people for the cookie in my hand to change color three times during the commercial as it went from wide to close up to wide.
And, since we weren’t using a “spit bucket” to get rid of the food between takes (yeah, kind of gross but a reality. I once did a commercial without one and didn’t eat pancakes for over a year. Kind of overdosed on the buggers) I was forced to eat about 8 cookies. The first 4 were tasty, the next two were so-so, and the final two were a bit of a chore.
But, we wrapped it up in a reasonable time frame and I was off to bed.
The next event was Saturday and I spent 4 hours doing photos with the families from Hope Kids. If you’re looking for a charity to support this year with your “gotta have a deduction” dollars, go to http://www.hopekids.org/donatenow/ and do your soul some good. These are truly fine people. Most charities have a detractor or two around, but I’ve yet to hear a bad thing about this bunch. We hold an event called “Cookies with Santa” each year just before Thanksgiving so that the kids have the pictures when they see family for the holiday. I am honored to be their Santa, and we turn out some very special moments each year. I’m blessed to be allowed to know those kids.
Finally, got word that my audition last week was a hit, and I got the job as Santa two weeks from now via video! I’m ready and willing to take it on. I did find out that pants were required, no shorts. I have to be able to visit the kids in the room if there’s a technology failure along the way.
So, one week, two events and a successful audition. God’s looking out for me as usual. It’s been a lovely start to my favorite season of the year.