Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Audition for TV Commercial

“Hi, I’m Tay (not the real name) from M Entertainment. We would like to meet your dog. Do you have time?” That was the first message I received from the company. They were looking for a dog with white hair and a bit of golden hair for their commercial. I was still at the clinic after morning walk so I asked him to come there since he was also in the area.

He was happy with Misty’s appearance, and he showed me the scenario of the commercial. When I looked at it, I told him that I don’t think Misty can do it. Maybe she can but need to record it in smart way, because what was on the paper was really hard for a dog to do. He said it’s okay, he sure Misty can do it. He also told me there would be another dogs doing the recording as well since we never knew which dog can do the act. I don’t mind with that.

Things that I wanted to know was what would I get for doing this? (other than experience of course). Should I asked him or should I not.. I decided to not asked about it and just go with the flow. I was excited to make Misty act anyway. But then he told me! He told me if Misty is chosen to do it, they will give us USD$100. And if she failed, they will give some kind of compensation, for 500k vnd. Not bad eh? Before we parted, he asked me to make Misty do some tricks while he recording it. So we did it. I ordered Misty to do sit, shake, hi five, spin and laydown. And he was very pleased with it. According to him if Misty can do this, they will use her for other commercial as well because they have been looking for a dog like her but never found it. Ohh Misty! You’re gonna be a star!

That’s not what I thought that time. I was more excited in trying out the shooting than becoming a star.

Several days after the meeting, nothing came up..no phone call, no email. When I was already forgot about it, I got an email. It was from another staff of that company. They asked me if I can come on Sunday for fitting. I don’t understand what is fitting anyway for dogs. They told me to come at 9.30 am, on time. Also told me to bring a carpet or anything that usually Misty sleep on, because there is one act that needed the dog to lay down and sleep.

Sunday before 9.30am, I arrived at the studio. There were many people at front area of the building. I think they were there for an audition as well. A staff came out and ushered us entering the building. They gave us a chair to sit, even for Misty! She sat on the chair as well haha. They seemed to like her, but I can tell that they don’t have knowledge on how to approach a dog. Never mind, as long as no one bother her.

Apparently we were waiting for the director! He hasn’t come yet. We waited about 1 hour until he finally showed up. There was another dog who came to the set. A cute poodle,  but very dirty and her hair was really messy. The owner is a security guard. She was very friendly to the people there. Misty was the other way around. She was nervous with those people. She didn’t feel relax at all there. We also saw the actor and actress for that commercial. Photographer were taking their pictures in many styles. It was funny to see those things closely. I used to see it only on korean drama 😀

After waited for 30 minutes (since the director came), it was finally our turn to go into the room! The director told me that he wanted to see the dog doing 3 things, which were ‘sleeping with closed eyes’, ‘jumping up and down to show excitement’, and ‘running with happy face to the actor’s arm’.

I was staggered. I didn’t know how to make Misty do those things. But I was still in positive thinking mode. “Don’t worry, the director will help me by shooting different movement and they will do post editing later”. It was not happening. He really focused on getting the dog did what he wanted. He gave some suggestions though, but I was guessing that he never worked with animals before (or maybe he did, but then must be a very talented ones).

So these are his suggestions for each of the action needed :

  • Sleeping with closed eyes : he suggested we give tranquilizer to make Misty asleep. Tranquilizer? Seriously? :O
  • Jumping up and down : he said we should use mini trampolin and let Misty jump on top of it. Hmm..not sure if I like the idea. Didn’t sound safe for Misty to do that. And anyway jumping up and down is not a good thing for dog, especially for Misty because she has a long body.
  • Running with happy face to the actor’s arm : no suggestion. Misty is not the type who will go for stranger and wag her tail. And according to my vet it is a good thing that a dog doesn’t easily go to stranger.

In the end, she failed all the requested scene. They told me to wait outside and they would let me know further instruction. After a while, one of the staff gave me money 200k vnd for taxi and I left the studio.

On the way home, I just remembered that they told me if I didn’t make it, they would gave me 500k vnd. Why did I only get 200k vnd? Feeling cheated, I sent message to the contact person and asked him if any miscommunication happened. He didn’t reply.

A few minutes later, he sent me message and told me to stand by the next day in case they decided to use Misty. He didn’t respond to my message at all. I have morning dog walking group everyday, so I didn’t want to be on stand by for something that was uncertain. Especially when they didn’t give me explanation and I was not the one who wanted to be in the commercial. They were the one who asked me to do it. So why didn’t they give me time to do my schedule and then do something with them. I was very upset so I told him that I would not be on stand by because I had something to do during that time. He replied back to me, still not mentioning about the difference in money I received.

And there it was, my first experience doing audition for commercial, even though it wasn’t me who would be in it 😀 From this experience, I can tell that I can’t work in entertainment world. Too annoying.

Thanks for reading my experience. Ciao!

 

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