Reach Ceiling or Stars??

Don’t Reach For The Ceiling,

“Reach For The Stars”

This blog is about self limitation and thinking anew. As many of you know I am an actor. I shot a Toyota commercial last week and after chatting with the director I thought of this blog. With Hollywood’s recent improvement in diversity casting, now actors are cast not only as ethnic types but also as character types, ie. Businessman, rugged, slender, etc. About five years ago I had an audition for the lead role in an Old Spice commercial. When I got there I saw actors of all races. I was later called back for a second audition where they selected three actors and one of us would get the job. It was me, another black guy and a good looking latino guy. As I walked in the room I thought the hot Latino guy would get the job. This was a commercial where the actor was a sex symbol and I knew they would not hire a brother. Well, the other black guy ended up booking the job.
Fast forward 4 years and I get called in to read for the lead in a Lincoln car commercial called The Winning Hand. I go in for the audition and they ask me to read the leading man monologue. I thought to myself, “Everyone has seen Matthew McConaughey as the spokesperson for these commercials. Why are they asking me to read the lead’s monologue?” As a veteran actor I knew sometimes they ask actors to read for the lead role just to see if they can act, but having learned my lesson from the Old Spice commercial, I said to myself, “If they want me to read it, I’m not just going to read it, but I’m going to own it!” I learned the lines, made some acting choices and owned it for the audition. A week later they book me for the commercial. Turns out Matthew was still the lead in the commercial but they were doing a new three commercial campaign with other actors. The monologue I did in the audition was for an online Lincoln commercial of just my character called, The Art Collector. On the second day of filming, the Lincoln representative pulled me aside. He complemented me on my audition and informed me that they were looking to cast my character as Russian or British, but after seeing my audition the director said, “That’s the guy”. They called the writers in and instructed them to make it fit. He said they were looking for a guy that could hold his own opposite Matthew (Oscar winner for Best Actor that year) and they felt I could.
People that come from low-income backgrounds like myself, often limit themselves. Sometimes we use excuses and other times we just never think we can reach so high. Could be because we don’t know anyone that has made it to the stars. My point in telling you this is to push home the fact that you must never say, “N0” for someone else. Your job is to let your imagination go without the limitations your father, mother or anyone else may have. Your job is to think big, do your best and let the chips fall where they may. Times have changed and you must always remember to think big, think anew and without limits. Even a veteran actor like myself, whose job is to use his imagination, had to learn yet again, to reach for the stars
Mr. Ricco Ross
Owner: Something Positive Production
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