Readers of this blog may remember that I am a client and a big fan of the Smile Direct Club (SDC), the invisible aligners that allowed me to create the smile I’ve longed for all my life. So last September, when I received an email from SDC looking for participants who might like to be part of a promotional campaign for its aligners, I thought, “Why not?” So I replied to let SDC know that I’d be happy to lend my voice to their campaign, even though the details of what that entailed were still a little hazy.
Saying an immediate “Yes” to SDC is so unlike me. I am deeply rooted in my comfort zone of certainty and low-risk endeavors. Though it may seem as though I can be an adventurous brave-heart, behind the scenes hide many hours of risk-analysis and planning, and most times I won’t make a move until I’ve accounted for every “What if?”
Weeks went by till I finally got a reply from SDC asking me to submit a 60-second video, sharing the story of my “smile journey” (SDC buzzwords). Knowing I would definitely be much older than any other SDC member, I used that as my strength, focusing on why it is never too late to have the smile of your dreams. Click here to see my 60-second submission.
Weeks went by without a word, and I moved on to other things. Then one day in late October, an email from the campaign producer invited me to interview with her and the director. Wait, what? That little girl part of me, a part that I likely share with some of you, had visions of Hollywood, Oscar acceptance speeches… let’s just say it all felt pretty exciting.
More weeks went by (show business moves awfully slowly) and I finally had a Zoom interview with the producer and director. They asked me questions about my smile journey (read the story of my little girl smile here), they asked about hobbies, interests, etc. To be honest, they were both 20-something, and I think they regarded me as an anomaly, some kinda cool, if slightly weird, old lady. They recorded the interview to share with whoever it is that makes or breaks Hollywood careers.
More weeks passed. Either way, I felt fine. Choose me or not, the experience had already been fun. I felt a new compassion for people who actually carve out careers filled with auditions and long waits for a thumbs up or thumbs down. Then finally, just before Thanksgiving, word came… Yes! SDC invited me to be part of the video campaign! Like a silly little girl, I danced around the house, singing “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” so excited for this new adventure.
Filming took place mid-December at a studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Of course it did. Where else would 20-something film crews work? And “studio” is kind of a stretch. My visions of a Hollywood sound stage were replaced by a converted garage in the middle of an industrial neighborhood.
The place was buzzing. Lots and lots of youngsters beginning their film careers behind the camera. Yes, you really do see plenty of lights and cameras. But before the director was ready to call “Action!” I was treated to a Cinderella moment. Hair and makeup professionally applied, a stylist to outfit me with just the right look (turned out to be a mint green twinset which I would NEVER choose for myself. But wouldn’t you know, it really did look good!)
All this time, I never once felt nervous. That is, until I finally stepped before the camera. My mouth was suddenly as dry as the desert, my armpits sweating inside my borrowed twinset. The director was so sweet. He started filming and we just talked about my smile journey. He asked questions, and sometimes had me repeat something that he liked. This went on for about 20 minutes, and slowly I relaxed, at which point my storytelling felt more fluid. After that came some still photos. It was just like a modeling shoot! Music was playing, they asked me to dance around, of course while holding the SDC merchandise. The producer had enlarged my first grade photo so I could hold it next to my 66-year old smile and show how long my smile journey has been.
Needless to say, I floated out of the studio on a cloud. I really did feel like a princess, a once in a lifetime adventure that I won’t soon forget. The commercial itself? It’s in post-production. Who knows if or when it will premiere? Who knows whether or not my best work will be left on the cutting room floor? In the end, none of it matters. The experience was exhilarating, a moment in time to be cherished. All of it made possible because I said “Yes.” I think I’ll have to try that more often…
What about you? When have you risked saying yes? What experience did your “yes” create?