Yes That’s Me in That Cisco Ad

Cisco Commercial - Next Big Thing - Tomorrow Starts Here

I got a text from Brent yesterday: “Are you in a Cisco commercial?!” And I knew my fraction-of-a-second of fame had gone live, on nationwide basic cable (namely, CNN). It all came about the Sunday after I moved from Echo Park to Venice (in October). I was walking around Abbot Kinney Festival when a young woman with a Flip camera stopped me. It was election season and I was initially skeptical as dozens of people were roaming about with clipboards and Roseanne/Cindy Sheehan 2012 stickers. Then she explained that she was sent out to cast a specific role for a commercial and the director really liked working with regular, man-on-the-street types found at farmers markets and street festivals. I spoke to her casually on camera about how I had just moved to Venice from Echo Park that week and was looking forward to a nice change of pace on the west side.

A couple days later I got a call.

Of all the “auditions,” the director, Mike Mills, chose me for the role of 40-something “CXO.” OK, so I’m only 37, but I’ve got the gray hair to pull off 40 and coincidentally, I do have a C-blahblahblah-O position (CIO at Adler). I showed up to a residence in Long Beach for my shoot. Mills was friendly and cool – I could tell everyone on the set enjoyed working with him. We rapped about east side / west side differences (he lives in Silver Lake) and after about 45 minute of sitting, looking at the camera and smiling / not smiling / smiling on the inside I was done. I learned from other people in the production crew that Mills had recently done a very successful ad for a beer company featuring fast-paced video stills and that a similar concept was at play for this Cisco ad (working title “The Next Big Thing”). I also learned that Mills had a reputation for bringing in musicians and others to entertain the crew during lunches on set.

As a “principal performer” in the commercial, I was compensated at the Screen Actors Guild day rate and will also receive residuals. I also have the opportunity to become a SAG member which I’d almost consider depending on the likelihood that I’d ever have such an opportunity again. After all, I do live in L.A. 😉

Check me out at 0:54 in the clip below (don’t blink!). I’m there and gone within a fraction of a second:

Clip via ispot.

3 Replies to “Yes That’s Me in That Cisco Ad”

  1. Nicely done. Mike Mills is a good director. Would love to work with him some day. You should definitely join sag. You’ve got a unique and distinguished look. I’d cast you.

  2. Andy,

    It was nice to see that Mike Mills and his staff recognized what many of us have come to know. Thanks for being a great inspiration (for so many years) to those of us at LAFD who struggle with digital engagement. We’re thankful that you still call Los Angeles home – and wish you the best in 2013.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    1. Thanks for the kind reply, Brian. Your commitment to exploring the latest digital communication tools and educating/training others is an inspiration. And thank YOU and everyone at LAFD for all that you do.

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