When I was eight, I went on about 25 commercial auditions with my maternal grandmother in NYC. I once went up for a peanut butter commercial against the boy who played Mikey in the famous Life Cereal commercial— you know, they one where the brother says, “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” Well, “Mikey” was about 9 or 10 by that time. Of course, he booked the gig and I saw him on TV a few weeks later. There’s nothing like auditioning in NYC as a child to make your life surreal. I would see the competition in the waiting room and then see them on TV a few weeks later. It was strange and disappointing to audition and never get anything. Eventually, I stopped getting calls from my agent.
Apparently, none of the exhuberance I had on the train to the city translated to the studio once I got there. I would be an excited little ham on the train, telling anyone around that I was going to an audition, but I would clam up in the audition itself. Of course, I never had any acting training or preparation for commercial television. Oh well.
Thank God I went to the School of Creative and Performing Arts when I was 11 and got a great performing arts education for 7 years. I’m happy to say that I’ve had many rewarding performance experiences in my life since then. I even finally got to do a local television commercial.