Sunday, September 18, 2005

Omaha boosters have a new slogan - "O!" Seriously, the slogan is "O!" ...Rare to find such cleverness....well done!

Ever been to Nebraska? Yeah, me neither.
Oddly enough, one of the ONLY commercial jobs I've booked recently was for a job in "O!"maha. Specifically the Nebraska Medical Center.

It's where they make credit cards. And it's the home of Omaha Steaks. "O!"maha, that is, not the Nebraska Medical Center. It's full of meat. And corn, that they feed the cows for the meat. Corn that is not the grasses or hay that cows need, the grasses for which they have an evolved ORGAN (the rumen) to turn the grasses into protein. This corn, fucking cornhuskers, tears up this rumen, nature's fermentation tank, and causes infection, sickness, deformity, and sometimes death. Then we have to give them antibiotics to treat the infections which they only have because of what we feed them. But, you're right, corn's cheaper and easier to transport. So anyway, whatever, let's get back to my COMMERCIAL!

You may think, "ohhhh, they prollly don't have many actors in Nebraska." You'd prollly be right. But, that's not the reason to cast from far away states, so says Anne Luchsinger--makeup/hair/wardrobe artist, who also is a former model, and current professional photographer, talent agent, wife and mom. She says there are a number (relative to the population and to the number of actors in cities like Atlanta and Chicago) of good local actors, but not enough to spread the work out....you'd see the same people over and over in tv ads, on billboards, in magazines, and conflicts would arise between companies/brands. ...I don't know if I believe that totally, but....

Regardless, I was glad for the job, cuz it paid pretty damn good for one day's work and I'm flat broke.

The flight out was on one of the smaller Delta Connection planes. I got the last row, the inside seat. It was loud, cramped and hot, but on the other hand, it was right by the bathroom..... These are the only seats on the plane that don't recline, even the couple inches that the others get, because the shitter's right behind us. Almost comically, me and the guy sitting next to me probably have THE longest legs of anyone on the flight. He's about 25 or so, from "O!"maha, grew up there, went to college at NU, but now works 2 weeks out of each month in D.C as a HVAC project manager on construction sites....so we had LOTS to talk about! ....... He comes home those other 2 weeks of the month. He really likes "O!"maha. But then says he's glad to be able to get out of town cuz he sees his friends who stayed there and got married and now are "stuck." But then he was picked up from the airport by what seemed to be a local honey. Hmmmm. And he says he doesn't like D.C. cuz it's too big of a town for him. ...Hmmm, Howsabout we talk about ME! So we do, and understandably he can't quite comprehend what I do, especially in Atlanta--I figure I give him the Aqua Teen Hunger Force stuff so at least there's something he's heard of. Nope, nothing. So I ask him if Nebraska's a "big Bush state." He giggles, I say, "Hey, maybe you guys should put that on your license plates, it'll probably boost your tourism. Or maybe do the exact opposite. It's a personal thing, I guess." He giggles, says, "I can't wait to tell my friends you just said that."

A couple people I met on the commercial set, the ones with families, seemed to like living there. Everyone else seemed to want to qualify their living there to me and the other actor, and excuse it for one reason or another. The guy who will be acting in the ad with me they cast out of Chicago! Just from one audition on one tape, they're flying people across the country. Amazing. The expenditure, not the actor.
Although I'm sure he's a fine actor, seemed to do mostly theatre. Nice enough, guy. Reminded me of Joe K. a little. Not quite as...dramatic. This, with the picture, reads as if Joe is gay, he is not. Just...dramatic. Hope Joe don't likes ta read the blogs!

The Chicago guy's name is James Foster--side note: Dan's sister, Jody, just married a guy in Chicago named Jim Foster. Not the same guy. But another side note: Dan's sister's name is now Jody Foster.

The place they set us up in was NICE. Not ritzy, but lodgy. Awesome. Went to a steak house that first night we got there---yeah, I know, nice boycott Mary--- and both our hostess (me: Are you from "O!"maha? hostess: "Me? Oh GOD no. I'm from Toronto.) and the waiter (somewhat gay sounding: "Look, the only reason I'm here is because I followed my ex-wife here, and now I have to stay til my son's 18, which is in 1 and a half years, then I'll be back in New Mexico so fast your head'll spin") seemed to loathe Nebraska. The waiter did point us towards the casinos (which are illegal in Nebraska, but are just miles away from "O!"maha a couple feet across the border in Iowa). And he told us to go down to the river. I ask, "what river is that?" Even he looks annoyed. He looks at me, waits a couple beats...."the Missouri?"

I think I actually said, "Duh!" ....Who's the yokel, now?

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