I read this article on Jezebel yesterday about actresses who play "concerned moms" in political ads and it reminded me of the time I played the "concerned child" in a radio spot as a kid.
The background is that my mom ran a small advertising agency in the late '70s and early '80s. Occasionally she'd put me in a commercial and in this instance, the client was a group seeking to halt the overturn of the "blue laws" in Missouri.
I only had one line, but it was the opener of the spot, "Oh mommy, do you have to go to work on Sunday?"
No points for subtlety there.
I remember getting to leave school in the middle of the day to go to the studio for the recording. My mom coached me on my line all the way there, which is probably why I can still hear my young voice in my head saying it.
As an adult who enjoys the option of being able to purchase liquor 365 days a year, I must say I'm glad that her client ultimately failed in their quest to keep keep Sunday sales illegal.
The only other memorable ad I appeared in was memorable because it was so incredibly mortifying. It was a TV spot for a car dealer that involved me and the handsome son of one of my mom's friends playing a young teen couple on a first date having their first kiss at the front door. Not only was I a glasses-wearing nerd of the first order, it actually was my first kiss ever. Anyone watching the spot must have thought, "Ugh, he could do a lot better than her."
The only reason the memory doesn't still make me flush with embarrassment is that 30-some years have passed in the interim.
So that was the beginning and end of my acting career. To this day I can't deliver a scripted line without sounding stilted and awful, which is one of the reasons that all of my speaking engagements are so loosey-goosey. I sound like I'm speaking off the cuff because I'm making it all up as I go along. Really, it's for the best.