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I was in a Chinese Christmas Commercial

Daddy Dec 23, 2021 · 2-min read
I was in a Chinese Christmas Commercial

Merry Christmas! This year I got to check off something that’s mostly likely because I live in China and not because I’m pretty. Usually making commercials in Shenzhen starts with contacting a modelling agency and getting catfished by Eastern Europeans on disposable visas. Good actors are out of the question. My team sometimes steps in to be a white face, and generally I’d save the feeling of embarrassment for another occasion, but when faced with the possibility of getting to be in a Christmas commercial, actually volunteered. My team was skeptical, “Wait, really?”

 

 

Where can you find a snowy landscape and an oven large enough to make an entire wall out of gingerbread? Well, we didn’t know either so we stuck with CGI and styrofoam. The entire thing was a glorious sham.

 

In the script I had a couple minor roles of a gumdrop affixer and then later portraying a peppermint grinder, neither of which required much face time. Halfway through the shoot I hit my big break – it was the moment any aspiring actor paid on company hours can ask for. One of the coordinators came in on the set and told the actors they had to leave; the police would be there any minute. Having a legitimate visa, I soon filled the A-list role of Cream Layer #2. It was a complicated part I hadn’t understudied, but to everyone’s surprise, I nailed in the first take. While I’ve laid mortar, spread cream, and done a bit with a palette knife, the inspiration behind these 0.8 seconds was the thought of simply enjoying what I was doing because it was important to me. It’s been a while since I had this feeling personally, but I still watch cartoons.

 

Several weeks later the video girl asked if I want to be a hand model, which was a bit of a let down because I thought she said head model (you know I have experience).

In a studio lot 10 minutes from where we work, I walked in on a white-on-white set contrasted by one of our big honkin’ black boxes. “Just press and hold for 3 seconds… wait for it to beep…”. “…uhp, too fast, pause longer in between…” “…plug the male into the female for the black cable, ok and now the red…” “Great work!”. I’d hop out of the set and nine guys would redundantly start doing all of the arrangements for the next set and call me when it was ready. It was as close as I’ll get to being a dignitary. The videos are to be for tutorials on topics that most people learned how to do in the 20th century, but I don’t let it get to me, my dainty mitts got air time.

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Daddy
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Technophobe gracing tech companies in the Global 500, Fortune 500, a Kickstarter unicorn, and several little dinky places. Bike touring is my sanity factory.