That Time I Was Almost a Big Star in Argentina [Video]

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I was almost the star of a Quilmes Copa America commercial in Argentina. Quilmes is the biggest beer brand in Argentina. The Copa America is like the World Cup but only for South American countries (except this year for the 100th anniversary it is being held in the United States and six North American, Central American, and Caribbean teams are playing too.)

I assume this commercial will be running nonstop for the next month in Argentina, where the Copa America will be one of the biggest stories, and I auditioned for the lead role of American Border Patrol Agent!

Back Story

There is a very active Facebook group called Buenos Aires Expat Hub where all things interesting to expats are shared. Last month, a casting agent posted in that group that they were seeking Americans for a commercial audition for the next morning. I replied because I always seek out unique experiences, and she got back to me with the script and address for the audition.

I memorized the stilted English that only an Argentine could love.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 6.17.37 PMThe next morning I walked a few blocks to the casting office. They were casting commercials for several huge companies, and I was surrounded by professional actors and their girlfriends.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 6.18.02 PM

One pretty actress came in to audition, and when she turned her head I noticed that her face and neck were completely different colors from all the make up she had caked on. These people were serious. I, on the other hand, was carrying the little bag they give you when you fly Emirates First Class with a water bottle and a protein shake so I could go to the gym afterwards.

About an hour after I was told to arrive, they called three of us into a small room to audition. There was a 40-something American guy who was clearly a professional actor who said he had been living in Buenos Aires for ten years. There was a Dutch guy who spoke English like a Dutch guy. There was a frequent flyer miles blogger.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 6.17.44 PM

We had to stand up one by one and have pictures taken straight on and of our profiles. We introduced ourselves, and then we ran the lines.

When it was my turn, I channeled the menacing Border Patrol Agents who threatened to x-ray me on my way back from Central America. I tried to over-act my part, since subtlety doesn’t seem to be prized based on the TV I’ve seen in Argentina.

It was over in five minutes, and I was out the door. I figured I had a very slim chance of hearing from them again, but I actually got an email that night.

“QUILMES PRE SELECCION” the subject blared, and it asked several questions that they’d already asked me like whether I was available on the day of filming and whether I’d shave my beard.

Five days later I got another email telling me I was still in the “PRE SELECCIONADOS” (what is this a credit card mailer?) and telling me I’d get a call first thing in the morning and that wardrobe fitting was the next morning.

That was it. I never heard from them again.

I never expected to get the job, so I put the whole thing aside as a funny story and travel memory.

Then, last night in Prague, I got an text from my friend in Buenos Aires saying she had seen the commercial. Here’s what I am not starring in:

I’ll give the commercial a 7/10 and the actor an 8/10. He certainly did better than I would have.

Are any readers “big in Japan (or Argentina)”?


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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