Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Smashing Debut

I am not too picky about food in general, but I am particular about the ripeness of my bananas. They have to be bright yellow with some sign of green at either end. Any sign of brown spots or stripes and it is past the point of consumption. I think this stems from a childhood experience of forgetting about a banana at the bottom of my book-bag for a few days in the summertime.

The bananas in Denmark turn brown pretty quickly. I picked up a banana in the lunchroom yesterday and was planning to eat it for breakfast this morning. I was saddened to see is was turning brown when I woke up. But because I was running late and it was the only thing I could throw in my bag and eat on the way, I decided to suck it up and eat it. I won't eat it right away though. I will eat it when I am nice and warm on the train. Oh, but the sign says no eating on the train. Oh well. I will eat it on the walk to the bus. The bus is here already! No time to eat the banana. Aw shucks, well I'll eat it when I get off the bus on my walk to the building.

On the bus, I took the banana out of my bag and put it in my pocket for easy access (yes, that is a banana in my pocket). The bus drops me off at the side of the road. I have to run across 3 lanes of highway going one direction, jump the median, and sprint across 3 lanes of highway going the other direction. It is the most exciting part of my commute. I am amazed at how close some people cut it wearing high heels, carrying brief cases, and running right in front of cars going 50-60mph. The cars don't even honk! This is just how it works. I usually wait until there is a clear break in traffic, but in my tardiness I decide to be a little bolder today. I can see a small break in traffic coming up but I am waiting for this slow poke to get by...Wait for it....Wait for it, go....sprint!... Step 1... Step 2.. Banana comes flying out of my pocket...Step 3...Boot the banana across the median... Ha! Oh no, on-coming vehicle!...Splat!...Banana pancakes ..No more banana for breakfast. Although I go hungry for a little while longer, I am slightly relieved I do not have to eat that browning banana. I am also slightly relieved that no one else saw that. At least no one from work did....hopefully.

Well, an awkward morning gave way to an even more awkward day...

Walking down the hallway at work, a clearly frantic woman asks me a question in Danish. I politely recite my most rehearsed line: "I'm sorry, I don't understand Danish...."

Lady: "Oh, do you work here?!"

Me: "Yes, I do, but I am from the US office. I am only working here for a few months."

Lady: (Her eyes light up with relief and excitement!) "You're American!?!!!! Do you work in R&D? I was looking for this girl (so and so), but I can't find her. But I think I could use you, would you mind helping me with this photo shoot?!"

Me: (Unsure... thinking I should probably say no and get on with my day...) "Suuuuure."

(I am immediately concerned about her overly enthusiastic response. What are the chances she just needs help holding the camera? Likely not, why would she need someone in R&D to hold a camera?! Does she want to take a picture of me? Maybe. I would be ok with that, although I am haunted by visions of red yarn and "let's connect" slogans used in the last batch of corporate photo shoots...)

Lady: "Perfect!!! Would you mind bringing your lab coat?"

Me (to myself): What have I gotten myself into!?!?

Me (to her): "Sure, I'll go grab it."

We get to this little room with lights, and cameras, and backdrops. Oh dear lordy. My heart is racing. I can feel my face turning crimson with embarrassment. I suddenly regret running into this lady. My only comfort: there is another young girl who works in the lab next door who is also in the room with her lab coat on. Whatever this crazy lady makes me do, at least I do not have to do it alone. Ok. Just stand and smile. Right? Fine, I can do that.

Crazy camera lady: "Ok, I think we should have Julie do most of the talking. No offense (to the Danish girl), I just think it would be nice to have an American accent for the commercial."

My heart stops. Time stands still. The room is silent. All I can hear is my internal voice screaming....COMMERCIAL!! TALKING!!! ME DOING MOST OF IT!! THIS is my worst nightmare. I feel like my head will explode!! There might have been a time and place in my life when I was obsessed with Johnathon Taylor Thomas and considered acting, but no no no, not now, not like this! Immediately I am running through a thousand excuses in my head of why I need to leave the room as soon as possible. None of them make any sense....I cannot do this. Can I do this? I don't really want to do this.

Did I ever tell you how much I desperately despise the sound of my voice being recorded? I cannot stand it. It makes me cringe. I am sure it does not sound as bad to you as it does to me. Or at least I am sure that is what most of you will tell me. =) Then there's my voice when I'm acting! I cannot act! I can act like a goofball that's for sure and that's about it.

Anyway, it was a completely uncomfortable, embarrassingly humiliating, mortifying and humbling experience. They made me say things like "I LOVE Science" and "My favorite aspect of my job is TEAMWORK." Ugh. But I survived. I was so happy afterwards, actually. I conquered two of my most mortal fears: public speaking and having my voice recorded for public display. The lady was quite pleased with my performance. Now if I can somehow avoid seeing the final production and keep everyone I know from viewing it...

I admit I have completely mixed feelings about the whole experience. I am quite proud of myself and am curious to see how it turns out. But at the same time I hope that video tape accidentally slips out of her pocket, gets booted over the median, and is run over by on-coming traffic.


reni said...

Awesome, I'm going to throw rotten bananas and sour cream at you and Trevor on your wedding day.

Anonymous said...

That is so funny. Please get a copy of it. What does that wierd word mean?

Ginger said...


Why am I reading your blog when I should be studying?


PS If you travel back through England, make sure you catch the program (or programme, as it were) called "Embarassing Bodies." I forget what channel it's on, but I think you'll really like it.

Colleen said...

hahahahaha, well at least one erickson was bound to be famous...guess you got that award!

Anonymous said...

I love it! Can't wait to see the video. And I thought having a huge headshot was bad!!!


P.S. I hear ya on the bananas:)

Bridget said...

I NEED to see this video. Only this would happen to you Jewel!!!

Bevin said...

Julie---I read this blog a couple of days ago and I still can't get the image of you kicking a banana out of my head.....I crack up every's slowly replacing the image I have of Lexine giving a goodbye hug to one of our relatives that uses a motorscooter as she accidentally hits the power trigger and jumps on the foot pedals for a crashtastic ride across their apartment

Anonymous said...

Eman, this would be a great time for you to post the videos we made in 2007... who wants some sandwiches?????

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