While most people were out enjoying the best weather we’ve had on a Sunday since last year, I was busy at work. I starred in a commercial for Android. It will air during the upcoming Google I/O 2018 conference. According to their website, this event ”brings together developers from around the globe for an immersive experience focused on exploring the next generation of tech.” It’s Android’s ten year anniversary, as well, so it’s quite a big deal. They needed a big name to headline their commercial – enter yours truly. I arrive in Queens bright and early at noon (I’m not a morning person). I take the twerp with me in case I should need a body double. It’s a good thing I do, too, because right off the bat he has to stand in for me for camera framing and lighting. I stay in the comfort of our truck meanwhile, doing my meditation exercises. I need to center myself before getting into character.
Rodney takes this opportunity to schmooze the ladies and chat up the director. He makes friends everywhere he goes, he’s annoying that way. With cameras positioned and lighting just right I step onto the set. Picture this; a 2015 Beverly Hills inspired, slate and limestone, 10,000 square foot mansion. A modern, gated estate featuring a ball room with twelve-foot ceilings, seven generously sized bedrooms, eleven mosaic tiled bathrooms, a great room with two marble fireplaces, four art gallery reception halls, a billiard room…too many rooms to mention, really. The word “palatial” comes to mind as you step into the dual staircase foyer with handcrafted moldings and trim.
No expense has been spared. Now remove that image from your mind and picture a 1950s house that realtors would kindly describe as “charming” or, even worse, “cozy”. Yes, this is the house I step into. The scene calls for close ups of me doing various tricks. During some of the tricks, the camera is about six inches from my nose. I’m nothing if not tolerant and am unfazed by the proximity of the lens. I make sure to keep my face turned just right so that it captures my good side. I sit, stand, dance, beg, wave, speak, put my chin down, bring it back up, speak, chin down, head up, speak, chin— you get the picture. I do all this while facing a television set, which will presumably be airing something interesting. I work non-stop for over an hour. Everyone is impressed by the ease and speed with which I perform my tricks when asked to. I’ve got to be honest, I enjoy the “ohhhs and ahhhs” I hear from the crew.
Once we’re finished inside, we step outside for some natural light shots. I have a moment of panic wondering if the makeup I’m wearing will photograph well outside, then relax as I remember that I’m a dog and don’t wear makeup (yay, me!). Outside, the camera is again placed half a foot from the tip of my nose. I am asked to look into the lens, which I do willingly. Squirrel! Mom chastises me and reminds me to look into the lens. I begrudgingly comply. The director would like ten uninterrupted seconds of this. I try, I really do, but a bird flies by and I am compelled to watch this majestic creature. I am again directed to look into the camera. Butterfly! In the end, they’re lucky if they get maybe seven or eight seconds of eye contact. Hey, have you ever tried to stare at an inanimate object for ten seconds? Yawn.
They wrap me and I head for the truck. Don’t worry, “wrap” is entertainment talk for “finish”. They don’t actually cover me in wrapping paper. Dad opens the door. In I jump and we head home. I am comforted by the thought of the spectacular job I’ve done. If you’d like to see the finished product, Google me.