Monday, October 5, 2009

The Ad Biz

Atlanta didn't work out the way I thought it would. My career as a mural painter generated $200 and 35 free lunches. I decided to pass on the opportunity to paint the administrative office  ... despite the attractive offer of working weekends for an extra $35.

I headed back home to New Orleans. Fortunately, my parents hadn't moved into a different house that month. They had changed the locks ... but that didn't deter me.

I was able to land a job with my first ad agency. It was not very large. There was one desk with two people who shared it ... the owner and his secretary. We had one client .. a car dealership. My job consisted of cutting and pasting little cars on the drawing board in a corner of the office. Every once in a while I got to design the whole ad ... squeezing in as many descriptive phrases like "good as new" or "rebate with the purchase of tires" or "spare tire not included" (in microscopic italicized font).

You might think that with only one client, I'd have alot of time on my hands. Not so. I was constantly busy at the office. In the morning, I'd go out for the donuts. Lunchtime, I'd pick up the poboys. And in the afternoon, my job was to organize the files. Sometimes I would set appointments for my boss ... like haircuts and doctor's visits. And the secretary ... who was apparently overworked ... would usually leave a few hours early. She must have even been too tired to drive because the boss would take her home occasionally.        

But I stuck it out because I knew one day we'd have a big project and I would earn my stripes. That day came when our client chose to try out a television commercial. The boss took a chance on me ... it was the first time I actually got to work in a studio. It ran during Morgus's show (my childhood hero). I was IN IT. I called all my friends to watch me.

Of course, it was hard to recognize me in the Pelican costume.

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