I’m not a good actor. Thing is, I don’t care. I don’t care that I’m bad, and that puts me at least on par with Kristen Stewart, or Shia La Booooof. Just without the success and millions of dollars and fame.
What’s funny/sad, is that even though I’m bad, I’m not absolutely horrible. I know, because I’ve worked with absolutely horrible “actors.” They say they’re part of the local theater system, list their credits and can carry on a completely relaxed and normal conversation with you while the cameras are off, but the instant the camera starts rolling they lock up and become wooden.
“Hey, nice to meet you. Come on into my office” becomes: “OH. HELLO. IT IS NICE TO MEET, YOU. LET ME SHOW YOU, INTO MY OFFICE.”
You can see the terror in their eyes, the thought, “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up” running through their head.
Me, I’ll just say the lines I’m given, and figure if the director doesn’t like what I’m doing he’ll yell at me.
All I really do is local commercials and training videos in Iowa, so don’t look for me on the big or small screen. I’m a nobody, and I’m fine with that.
Last week I did a promotional video for a motor home company; I played the role of “Dad.” I had a wife, a 10 or 12-year-old son, and seven-year-old daughter.
The video contained no lines, so there was no audio rolling. We were providing background action as a happy family using their RV and a voiceover was slated to do all the heavy lifting.
When there are no lines, there are no microphones, so you can screw around the entire time you’re “acting.”
In one scene, my family came bounding out of the RV, towels in hand, headed to the lake. I was fussing with a fishing pole, sitting on the picnic table. As they walked by, I was to smile and converse with them.
Here’s what I said as they passed me, take after take after take.
- Wear your swimming helmet, kids. Safety first.
- You guys have fun, I’m gonna go in the camper and drink a container of Nyquil and take a hazy nap.
- If you two sass your mom, I’m taking you to the orphanage.
- If I’m not here when you get back, it means I’ve moved on with my life.
- Look everyone, Grandma and Grandpa died and left us their camper.
- (To my “wife”) I told your mother she couldn’t visit.
- I read they released piranhas in the lake yesterday, so yeah. Enjoy swimming.
- (As bikers pass) Son, if you can hit one of them with a rock, I’ll give you a dollar.
- Tell me if any strange men talk to your mom at the beach.
- Does anyone know where daddy hid his Vicodin?
- Remember, this is Camp Crystal Lake. If you see anyone in a hockey mask, run.
- Just a heads up, kids: you two fighting is what made your first dad leave.
- I’m having grandpa put in a home.
- Have fun swimming; I’m gonna go look for meth labs.
- Watch out for the bikers, they look drunk.
- By the way, kids, you were adopted.
Nathan Timmel: Serious Actor.