That’s Southern with a Capital S.

During my ad agency years in Little Rock, I would sometimes travel for recording sessions or commercial shoots. Before you start thinking that I led a glamorous life, let me tell you about some of the exotic locations I visited: Monroe, Louisiana; Texarkana, Texas; Blytheville, Arkansas.

One trip though, was different. We were doing a series of animated spots for a bank that was rebranding itself. All our work was done in great secrecy. The animation company was located in Minneapolis which was, at the time, the scene of the country’s most creative advertising. During the production process, my boss–the creative director–and I flew up there to audition and record the talent that would provide the voices for the commercials. We were met at the airport by a stretch limo which took us to our very upscale hotel. We had an early night in preparation for our big day ahead.

We were driven to the studio the next morning and passed out the scripts to the actors and actresses who were auditioning. The first guy up started reading his lines in a very exaggerated, very hick sounding–and very bad–Southern accent–he was straight out of Tobacco Road. Before he got too far into the script, I leaned over and pressed the intercom button.

“Thank you, that’s all,” I said.

“Huh? What do you mean,?” he said.

“I’ve heard enough, thank you for coming” I replied.

“Oh,” he said…”did I offend you? Let me start over.” He was appealing to my (male) boss by now.

“Sorry,” the boss said. “She’s the producer, what she says goes.”

Perhaps I was a tad hasty. Maybe a little too sensitive.

But damn, it felt good.


Filed under General Frippery

13 responses to “That’s Southern with a Capital S.

  1. yay! not too hasty at all….

  2. Ha! Even if he hadn’t annoyed you, it would have been fun to cut him off just because YOU HAVE THE POWER. I need to find out how to become a casting director.

  3. The power of the button . . . funny . . . they pay us to use it, but then doubt ourselves when we do.

    Glad you didn’t have that problem . . .

  4. You go girl!

    I love times like that.

  5. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your job! 🙂

  6. All I’ve ever wanted to do was squish little people. But I’ve never been in the position to do so.

  7. DF–Now that I’m older, I might let him go on a little longer…if only to dig his hole a bit deeper.
    Erin–That little intercom button is a wondrous thing.
    TD–My boss loved telling that story when we got home. It was the “Revenge of the Southern Bleached Blonde.”
    Jen–Unfortunately, those times are few and far between.
    Ellie–Wish I could say the same today. But that job was the best ever.
    UB–Yes, I take great pleasuring in squishing little people. But I make up for it by going to church on Sunday. 🙂

  8. Jud

    Having lived in the Deep South nearly all of my life, I cringe when I hear a poorly imitated accent.. Dan Akroyd in Driving Miss Daisy leaps to mind.

    It is better to strike swiftly, I think, than to give someone false hope.

  9. Jud–welcome to Franklin. You know what’s worse than a bad accent to me is the improper use of y’all. It’s almost like you have to born here to understand.

  10. That kicks ass. And now your job sounds ultra glamorous.

    The only thing I’ve done even remotely similar was refuse to interview someone who did not turn up in time for his scheduled interview and did not call to say he was running late. when he turned up I told him that the interview had been canceled by me, ten minutes after he was supposed to be there and still hadn’t called to say he was running late.

    Later I thought about what an ass the guy must have felt like telling his wife/girlfriend/roomate/parents how his interview went. I didn’t feel bad though. The way I think about it, I probably helped him out for his next interview.

  11. Ingrid–Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Come back anytime.
    Blues–Oh how I love opening my e-mail and seeing 9 comments from you. You’re kind of like Costco or Sam’s Club–commenting in bulk.

  12. Hell yeah! What a cool job that must have been.

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