Every actor has a “day job.” It could be anything from a waiter, to a toll taker to tour guide. If you’re an actor chances are you’ll need to supplement your income with a “day job.”
My go-to day job fell within the category of performing so it kept me in the world of doing what I set out to do. So while I never waited tables, took tolls, or guided tours, I did spend an ample amount of time in between acting jobs doing industrials.
What Is an Industrial?
It’s basically corporate theater—live shows to get a company’s sales force all pumped up about a new product, the launch of a new drug, what have you. It’s basically theater for products. And I’ve done a ton of them. Singing and dancing for companies like American Express to Staples and everything in between.
I’ve hawked for Smokeless Tobacco. I’ve danced for diabetes monitors. I’ve fan-kicked for pharmaceuticals. You name it, I’ve done it.
What’s the best lyric I ever sang, you ask? No question it was “Yasmin (birth control pill) is a girl’s best friend” sung to the tune of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Here’s the good news: you usually get paid a lot. Here’s the bad news: Sometimes you end up selling SKOAL while dressed in ill-fitting white dance pants and singing tailor made lyrics to KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Keep it Comin’ On” while playing catch with big red rubber balls. Or maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to go-go dance on top of a 25 foot tall scaffold with new lyrics to “Hey Ya” getting the STAPLES crowd all excited about 3rd quarter profits.
Creating a New TV Show
When I was working on new ideas for creating a TV show, it was suggested I follow the old adage: write what you know. It didn’t take me long to realize that the world of industrials would be fertile ground for a good and painfully funny story.
Thus, the birth of SHINY PEOPLE, a new improv TV comedy set in the world of corporate theater. Together with my co-creator Sandy Marshall and producer and director Matt Bennett, we’ve created a world where a small and fledgling production company does everything it can to produce quality entertainment for the corporate kings.
Extraordinarily talented friends (and siblings, like actress and writer Kate James) such as David Costabile, Daniel Breaker, David Hyde Pierce, Jennifer Prescott, and Terence Goodman, among many others, are just some of the SHINY PEOPLE you won’t want to miss.
I’ll post updates on my blog about SHINY PEOPLE, but if you can’t wait to know more, just drop me a line.