Now that the smooch is out the bag, many have asked what it was like shooting my first commercial…
Back in November I walked into my casting ready to give a few pecks to some man unknown. A little nervous to be kissing a stranger without liquid courage, (judge yourself, not me) I surveyed the room filled with beautiful people–both men and women.
So here I am sitting in a chair while on Pinterest looking up recipes — this is my thing I do in public to calm my nerves– and in walks this tall, milk chocolate specimen whose lips looked freshly exfoliated, and my insides are all like:
“Oh, there’s your boo!” a spunky, feminine voice to my right blurts. And yet I asked, “who–me?” with my hand to my chest, my temperature began to rise. He and I made eye contact and I smirked. Oh no, butterflies fluttered inside my belly. I’m like, holy crap I have to get myself together quickly! My eyes fall back to my screen, reviewing ingredients needed to make some “30 minute vegan meal” that I’m certain I mastered like 3 years ago.
“Alexis and Josh, you two can head over to the chairs here.” I gather my belongings, counting my steps to the chairs just outside the filming studio. We sit next to another couple and wait.
While waiting, I learned that my audition #camerabae is not only attractive, but he’s got a heart of gold– founded his own nonprofit, has a sense of humor– and that he doesn’t always read emails thoroughly! (No shame, I’m guilty of this sometimes too.)
Turns out he didn’t know that this would involve a lil kissing. Now, I know if you’ve seen the commercial it’s not a raunchy make-out sesh, but still…to me lips meeting other lips is kinda intimate. If you haven’t seen it yet, no worries! You can go view it on my instagram. The small talk before helped us get a little chemistry, and connection. So we walk into the room where the producers were sitting. Our scene was a romantic picnic.
A soon as I sat down to our designated spot I think I fell into a hole and became #Seventeenagain (the original with Tia and Tamara) about to get my first kiss from a crush. Yes, kissing is natural, fun, and whatnot but the stakes are heightened once you have 6 or 7 strangers plus a camera judging your skills!
And let me tell you, awkward baby Lex walked away from the casting certain that she didn’t get it. Listen, I wasn’t even upset either. I had already started making notes of what I could learn from this experience as it pertains to my focused training for acting. I know that I need to work on intimacy with other characters.
Weeks later I got a call on a Wednesday evening from my agent saying that me, quirky ol me, had gotten the part! Huge deal to secure a national hallmark campaign for only my 4th audition since starting this journey in August. I’d gotten a few call backs (meaning I was a contender in final selections) which was okay, but finally I secured the bag.
Flash forward to that chilly December morning where I finally met my #camerabae Marcus of Los Angeles. He was so chill and down to earth, too. At first things were a wee bit cumbersome. I was trying so hard not to exhibit nervousness or any traits of a novice actress. So my character choices of the day were my usuals:
- limited dissociation
- practical awareness
We had to create a believable chemistry and what other way to do it than humor. Bruh, in all my 26 years I never realized how funny sounding kissing is. With all the close-ups and resets between takes, we counted tens of sounds. I often hear of some horror stories of seasoned folks in the business being stuck up and I’m just thankful I didn’t have to experience that for my groundbreaking commercial. Everyone was super nice and encouraging.
The point of it all:
If you’ve been keeping up with me you know that I recently decided to pursue my dreams of acting and performing. Since publicizing this, people often tell me how brave I am, how tough my skin is and how hard it must be. They even wonder what I do on a day to day basis when I’m not on stage. I’m like, um…work, duh!?
Thing is, I’m a hustla baby (lol). Folks are suprised to learn that I have “a real job” to sustain myself.
Okay, but for real, I’m thankful that one of my acting gigs is as a teaching artist where troupes travel to schools and perform. Ending a performance last semester, a student came up to me and asked “how can I be an actress?”. My little heart jumped out my chest! I was delighted to learn that she, as a high school freshman was able to meet a professional and ask that question. For me, art is a form of advocacy, no matter the medium or platform. The age old adage of the “struggling artist” is a little misconstrued. Struggle is not synonymous to just art–like who aint struggling! But through our craft, as thought provokers and influencers, get to help others find their truths and inspire them.
For me this is the point of it all–fulfilling my heart’s desires and inspiring others to do the same. Change was an immediate consequence after aligning my life’s purpose and acting on it. #PunIntended
Whatever it is you believe you’re called to do–go for it!!! You never know where you can go. You just have to take it one day at a time and never forget why you started.