When Santa Clarita letter carrier Mike Andrews began his morning shift last October, the day seemed like any other — until another employee suggested he audition to appear in a commercial, in less than an hour.
The United States Postal Service shook things up this past holiday season when they had employees, rather than actors, sing lines from the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in three commercials shown nationwide.
Although Andrews found out about the opportunity at the last minute, he felt confident that his impromptu audition tape would be a strong contender.
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Andrews has worked at USPS for 14 years and plans to stay there until he can retire, but his first love was music. After graduating from Cal State University, Northridge with a music degree, he struggled to break into the industry but never quit participating.
He has been part of Santa Clarita’s Master Chorale since 1999 and has been singing in church choirs since he was 13 years old, including the Valencia Methodist Church since 1996, where his wife Michelle is the assistant pastor.
Out of more than 500 applicants, Andrews was one of a select few chosen.
Filming took place at Walt Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch on Nov. 6. Andrews said he wasn’t nervous about singing his line, “five mysteriously heavy holiday fruit cakes,” but was surprised by the amount of time and work that goes into a commercial.
“My part was about five seconds of the second commercial, and I was impressed with how much goes into it, the lighting, the set, everything they do to make it look easy,” he said.
It took over six hours to film six people, and while Andrews enjoyed watching the process unfold, he was most surprised by the directors appreciation for the “actors.”
“Usually they say cut and that’s all, but he actually shook my hand and said great job, that was the best part, it was just nice of him,” he said.
Since the commercial aired, some of Andrews co-workers jokingly call him “movie star,” or say he’s now a big shot, but it’s easy to see the sense of community keeping the casting of such a widely seen commercial in-house has brought to USPS.
Last summer a couple of his co-workers were also in a USPS commercial, and although they did not have speaking roles, Andrews hopes using actual employees in advertisements is a trend that is here to stay.
“The money is great, but the idea of postal employees in commercials puts an emphasis on, these are the real guys that are out there.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News