♦♦♦ “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar ♦♦♦
Last week I shared how daydreaming helped make my aspirations of moving to Los Angeles come true. I imagined a whole lot, but never that my daydreamy attitude would lead to altitude of…other kinds.
One of my first acting jobs in L.A. was a European energy drink commercial. I played a grad student in a physiology course, studying a cadaver with a group of classmates. We shot it in a functioning morgue.
My scene’s premise: Before “Joe” became a cadaver, he’d consumed a GoFast energy drink. As I bent over the body in the purposely low-cut scrubs, Joe’s manhood gave my chest a firm salute. Yes, friends, GoFast energy drinks keep one excitable—even postmortem.
The star of the set, in my opinion, wasn’t me, the other actors or even Joe’s elevating manhood. It was the manhood operator.
I don’t remember the man’s name, but I recall his attitude. He not only operated but created the remote control penis, precisely for such purposes. He sat off camera, pushing buttons to stimulate the punchline fodder like a professional fisherman—awaiting the next nibble, activating when necessary. He didn’t laugh or blush or show off. He simply did his job, took pride in it but stayed humble, and was happy to answer a curious actress’s questions. (You’d be amazed at just how handy an erectile contraption can be in Tinseltown—and no, I’m not talking projects rated X.) In a word, he seemed grateful.
There were numerous complainers on set—understandable to a point; the place did smell of embalming fluid and who knows what else. And there were actual corpses on the premise. But Mr. Manhood Operator stayed pleasant. I know what some of you are thinking: How could a manhood operator not be happy? Well imagine sitting still in a stinky, weirdly lighted corpse-cooler for hours on end, waiting to push a button then being scolded for being a half-millisecond off. It’s not as sexy as it sounds.
When the day was done, Mr. Manhood Operator smiled, thanked us all and left—probably eager to spend time with his wife and grandkids I learned some about. Arguably the most crucial piece of that commercial’s puzzle gained the least amount of praise or glory. Hopefully he was paid well. I also hope he talks about his job at his grandkids’ school on career day. Regardless, the experience and his character have stuck with me.
As they say in theatrics, there are no small parts. I think the same holds true in our careers. Not all of our work will be glamourous, or even pleasant. But if we do what we love and love what we do, and keep our chins up and hearts open, we can go a long way. More importantly, we’ll better enjoy the journey.
Before writing this post, I hadn’t seen this video—yet another perk of blogging. Thanks to YouTube, I can welcome you to sit back and enjoy the show. Have a giggle and let it be a lesson to all: Do not walk or drive mindlessly. As for stimulant use, I’ll save that for another post.
Who’s YOUR manhood operator? Let me rephrase. Have you encountered someone with an odd or unpleasant job who knocks it out of the park positivity-wise? Do you find it easy to stay positive through the grunt work? Any zany invention stories to share?