It’s a fair question isn’t it? Can you get scouted just by surfing in Malibu? After all it is LA and you hear stories like that all the time. How did you start modelling? Well I was shopping and a talent scout handed me her card and told me to come into their agency.
But surfing in Malibu? Can you get scouted doing what you love to do?
Apparently that answer is yes for two guys we met last week. They were on set when my daughter filmed her first commercial. It’s not out yet so I can’t say too much–except of course that it’s very exciting!
Living the Dream
It’s all very exciting securing a commercial but it’s a whole ‘nother thing getting to Set. It’s quite daunting when you’re the youngest there and you’ve never done this before.
That is until you find out it’s also the first time for your two co-stars who happened to be scouted while surfing in Malibu. Don’t get me wrong, they still had to read some lines and answer some questions, it’s just that their audition was on the beach. In one case it he went up to get his car and came back to get his mate. That’s when they asked him if he’d be interested in being in a commercial. He was still reeling at the fact that he offered to get the car and pick up his mate. If he hadn’t have done that he would not be in “the right place at the right time.”
Immediately the fog lifted from the actor’s holding area as everyone compared notes about how they got to be, sitting there about to go into hair & make-up and shoot by the beach in Malibu!
It was so refreshing to sit there in LA and hear from these guys about how grateful they are to be there and how happy they are to be living the dream. It was like one of my “never-in-my-wildest-dreams” moments Zero pretension and attitude.
Ron E Laybacks
You know you walk into a room or a place and you look at someone and you pass judgement on them–positive, negative or neutral–you come to some conclusions about who they are and what they are. Location (a commercial shoot) has some bearing on it as well as their general attitude.
We walked in and Ron E Laybacks was laidback, confident and happy. He was a natural conversationalist and everyone around him was listening and engaging with him.
Quietly I filled in the forms for Miss 16 while she got her schoolwork out and started work. We listened in trying not to seem like we were listening but the general banter was on commercial work.
It could have been safe to assume that Ron E has been doing this shit for years–no trepidation, his body language was all confident and, while there’s not the slightest bit of pretension about him, there was not the slightest bit of self-doubt either. None of the “where-do-I-go” hesitation my daughter and I were wondering about.
One by one the talent would go to hair and make-up until finally it was me and Ron E. I introduced myself and he to me. My accent gives him a new conversation point: “I was in Australia a few years back surfing. Spent two months surfing in Ulladulla and Mollymook.”
“Oh cool,” I said, “we have a house not far from there in Jervis Bay.”
It turns out Ron E got his hands on a $299 Virgin flight so he thought he’d go visit a friend who was there for a year. He packed himself up and together with his surfboard headed for Australia. He got himself a job on a Roadworks sign directing the traffic and he was able to do this while “living the dream” surfing.
We talked about meat pies, the best surfing spots and the laid-back “charmed” Australian life.
Back in the US
Then all conversation turned to the day’s shoot. Where else in the world can you be surfing in Malibu and someone comes up to you and asks you if you’re interested in filming a commercial? “We’re living the dream,” he yelled for everyone.
Better still for Miss 16 she was immediately less anxious and enjoying the moment. Ron E and her “co-star”, Matt, were such sweet breaths of fresh air.
The shoot seemed to go by so quickly. People were lingering trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on and taking photos of the “stars” shooting this commercial. A number of takes, re-starts, changing things up and their bit was done. Following this was a long series of still photos taken by the Director (a renowned feature film and Commercial Director) and another photographer and they were a wrap. Time for craft services!
Stay true to yourself
Before they wrapped there were many photos taken of Miss 16. “Mum/Mom it’s clear who the star is in this shoot,” the boys said to me. They were genuinely so pleased for her and were still reeling in the fact that they were on a commercial shoot living the dream.
As Miss 16 finished up there were High-fives all around. The boys repeated their words to Miss 16 about being their rock star. “Awww,” she said loving hanging out with these guys.
Then they hit her with the best advice they could: “Be true to yourself, remember this, remember us. You’re going to be famous but don’t change.”
Matt, her cute co-star said, “I’ve seen too many lovely people change who they are and are just no longer nice, don’t let that happen to you.”
They then turned to me and made me promise I wouldn’t let that happen.
I promised there are too many people around her that would definitely NOT let that happen!
It all depends where you live in LA
LA is like 20 small cities stacked next to each other–they’re all so so different. You can literally walk a few blocks into the next city and it will be night and day from the one you came from. It’s possible to find your peeps in LA, you just need to find the right area.
It’s also possible to find good eggs everywhere throughout LA. We’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing, kind, warm, fun people. Probably the thing all these people have in common is that they’re all true to themselves. And they don’t take themselves too seriously either. A great combination.
So thank you Ron E Laybacks. And Matt. What a pleasure it was hanging out with you for the day “living the dream”, soaking it all in, not taking ourselves too seriously and just having fun. I hope that attitude comes out in the final product.
Thanks for the great influence you had over my daughter in such a short time. She’s truly blessed and I hope she remembers it for many years to come.
And if they don’t get cut out, and they manage to get some airplay I’ll share the ad with you. Here it is!
xx It Started in LA xx
updated January 14 with the ad–poor Ron E didn’t make the cut but he got himself a lot of fun and a “great feed”.