Lights, Camera, Action

NOTE: Grab a cup of coffee (and be careful not to spit it out!)… because this is a longish but LOL post. (So stick around!)


Now I know why I have never Vlogged…
(for my non-blogging friends Vlogging = Video Blogging)

Wait. Stop there.
This is NOT a good place to start…

I think that I need to start this story at the very beginning.

1982 – The year Annie (the Movie) was Released

I was 7, and I was in love. Not necessarily with Annie… but with “the musical” in general. And for a very short time I thought for sure I wanted to be “on stage.”

I had convinced my mother to allow me to try out for my hometown’s big holiday musical production and when the day of the tryouts came I thought to myself:

“This is it! My big breakthrough to theatrical success.”

This is it!
Except… it wasn’t.

I sat at the production tryouts, with tons of other kids and within moments…

My dreams were shattered.

I knew, without a doubt, that acting was not in my future, because my musical/dancing/acting talent was non-existent did not even begin to compare to many of the other wannabe actors awaiting their tryout (and this was only in my smallish Ohio hometown!)

I may be a dreamer, but I am also a realist. And acting was noticeably not realistic for me.

Needless to say, I did not make the cut. I am certain I was disappointed. However… this was the first lesson that taught me that sometimes you can appreciate something without actually doing it.

I am still a big Annie fan (and my dog TOTALLY could have played Sandy!)

Fast Forward: January, 4 2012

3 kids, 1 dog, and 1 husband later the idea of being on TV or in a movie (for that matter, even finding the time to watch TV or a movie) is the furthest thing from my mind.

So it’s January 4th and:

  • The kids are in bed (finally)
  • My glass of wine is poured (of course!)
  • And I am sitting on my favorite chair with my iPad (shock!) on Facebook (I know, big surprise, imagine that!)

… when a message pops up from a friend asking if my family would be interested in being in a television commercial for the Library.

And my dreams of “Annie” return.

Shattered Dreams (Again!)

So this is it. My REAL breakthrough to theatrical success.
(Except, need I remind you that dreams don’t always turn out in reality like we envision them?)

First there was the schedule: Lets just say finding a night that would work for our family and the production crew to film was not entirely easy. (And that is not because the production crew wasn’t flexible.)

Family of Five. Need I say more?


Next there was our wardrobe: Not the wardrobe the production crew picked out for us… noooo! The wardrobe that  I  needed to bring so the production crew could decide what we should dress in.

At first glance their expectations didn’t seem too harsh… yet, well… why don’t you decide. Here were my orders:

  • Dress should be weekend casual/business casual (Jeans are business casual, right?)
  • Non-seasonal outfits are preferred. (Ummm… it’s winter and kids grow – fast! We have what we have what we have that fits them now! Nix about 75% of our wardrobe.)
  • Avoid large logos, trademarks or symbols on clothing. (That clears another 25% of the remaining wardrobe)
  • Refrain from tight patterns including small checks, stripes and dots. (Ok, there’s another 50% gone from the choices still left.)
  • Please bring a selection of 3 outfits, especially tops. (Note to wardrobe specialist – aka me: 3 outfits = 3 tops + 3 bottoms + 3 pairs of socks and shoes to match each top and bottom times (x) 3 kids and 2 very picky parents.)

In recap: 15 different non-seasonal, non patterned, non-logo’ed outfits that ALL LOOK GOOD TOGETHER…


And Finally there was the actual filming: After quickly finishing the kids homework, threatening them warning them over and over that they needed to be on their best behavior, driving to the filming location, piling the car high with luggage (I’m sure the neighbors thought we were going on vacation!), having the production team choose our outfits, changing 3 kids and 2 adults, feeding 3 very hungry children dinner (at the same time as trying to get yourself dressed and being primped by the make-up artist)

We were all very tired…

And we hadn’t even started filming yet!

Needless to say, this was not how I dreamed Aileen Quinn (the actress who played Annie in the 1982 movie) spent her days as a “glamorous” movie star.

Take Two-hundred-and-fifty-six One

(Important Note: Our toddler typically goes to bed at 7 or 7:30 p.m.)

Scene 1: Toddler is to be engrossed with a book that the librarian is reading to him.
(current time = 6:30 p.m.)

My son is actually fairly into books – but only “engrossed” by Cars. (You know… Disney’s Cars?)

So I proposed what any good mom would recommend when stressed, under pressure and challenged to make her toddler do what she wants him to do – I suggested that they insert a Cars book into the “real book” that they had chosen for filming purposes (which I am certain was a good book but is not a book that would “engross” my newly-turned-two-year-old).

Genius! If I do say so myself?
(Well, it might have been my mother-in-laws idea… but…)

It worked like a charm!

Really, he didn’t do too bad. He even smiled a few times (in between multiple escape attempts through the aisles of books towards the camera man). Scene 1 = complete. Whew!

(Said a sweaty, stressed me to the production team: I think I need the make-up artist to work on me again… please?)

Scene 2: Video shot of our entire family.
(current time = 7ish)

Taken entirely too close to our toddler’s bed time… BUT, we survived. And that’s the only thing that matters.

Family Filming Library Commercial

(Exit Mother-in-law with very tired toddler. Thank you MIL!)

Scene 3: Kids playing on the computers with librarian.
(current time = 7:30ish)

THIS, my 2 older kids had NO trouble with at all (as they got way more “screen time” then they ever would have on a school night playing educational computer games. Definitely a Win/Win.)

Kids Computer Filming Library Video

Scene 4: My husband, myself and the Librarian… speaking. (Ugh.)
(current time = 8ish)

(Another Important Note: Our kids typically go to bed at 8 on a school night)


  • My husband is very good at public speaking.
  • The Librarian (who was an amazing woman) seemed to have way more speaking parts than anyone (and thus way more opportunity to mess up then me).
  • They based the script on actual things I had mentioned that my family loves about our public library. (Non-professional Acting Tip #1: It is much easier to act when it is not really “acting.”)


  • I have a bad memory. (Even when I only have one line to remember.)
  • I was still sweating from the stress of watching my toddler “act” and continued to sweat as my older two kids are trying to entertain themselves quietly (??? Really???) as we do take after take (after take) of our scene.
  • Please see 1982 Annie-influenced attempt at acting mentioned above.

It was 9:15 p.m. by the time we returned home that night. Somehow we all survived.

Knock one off my bucket list.

And now you know why I have never Vlogged… (or at least you will after you watch the 30 second spot below!)

Leave a comment: What do you think? Movie star in the making? Maybe I missed my calling and should have been a Wardrobe Stylist?

Want to see the other great commercials in the series? Check them out on the Toledo-Lucas County Pubic Library’s web site!

I am linking this post up with Kelly’s Breakroom and My Life and Kids
for their finding the funny Link-up. (Hope you found this funny?? 🙂 )

This entry was posted in Family, Little Things About Me and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Lights, Camera, Action

  1. Kori says:

    Kate you guys did great!

  2. Jill Berry-May says:

    Wow lady…missed your calling for sure!! Funniest part for me while reading this is remembering when you tried out for “Annie”!!!! Great read all the way!!!! 🙂

  3. You never would have known if you were it
    Coffee Lovin’ Mom recently posted..Galway Graffiti

    • Kate says:

      Do you know how many takes it took?! Ugh… I knew there had to be at least one take in there that better masked my nervousness! Really though, it was a very fun opportunity (for all of us!) and what a neat memory for the kids!

  4. Sara says:

    Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes, Kate!! It turned out great, and what a cool thing for your family to have done!! The kids must be super thrilled :).

    • Kate says:

      The kids were SO excited Sara! It was a really neat experience for them. And how cool to also be able to promote and endorse such a great resource like our local library!

  5. Go Kate go! So exciting! I love the commercial! You guys all looked great! It’s no Annie, but you are right – it’s definitely bucket list worthy!
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..I’m Not Perfect, I’m Just a Mom

  6. Julia says:

    Great commercial! Emma and Claire wanted me to play it twice.

  7. Susi says:

    That’s so great that you got to do a commercial for your local library. I’m sure the kids will talk about it for a long time to come. Love it!!!! 🙂
    Susi recently posted..Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun #50!!!!!!!

    • Kate says:

      It was such a cool experience Susi! I didn’t realize how much my older kids were looking forward to it until I told them that we might not be able to do it (there was a time when I really thought that we just couldn’t fit it into our schedule and the library’s production schedule). My kids were surprisingly much more disappointed then I thought they would be. I’m so glad it worked out. What a great memory for all of us!

  8. Justin says:

    Can’t believe it took so much work for that one little spot – unbelievable! Gotta love the entertainment business!

    • Kate says:

      Having came originally from an advertising background, I new it would take longer then I expected – it did, though, surpass my original expectations 🙂 Thank goodness my Mother-in-Law came (in a separate car) and was able to take Nicholas back home after his part was done!

  9. Luke says:

    and now we know, the rest of the story! LOVED the behind the scenes look. Great final product! We are jazzed about the library and we’re already big users. Do you know that a survey stated that 80% of people paying city taxes NEVER USE THE LIBRARY?!?!?! I was floored. I can’t think of life without the library.

    Great job!
    Luke recently posted..The Myth of Darwin

    • Kate says:

      We also love our Library! I can’t imagine the 80% of people who don’t use it?! That’s crazy! Have you traveled down to the Children’s portion of the Main Library in downtown Toledo? I highly recommend it if you get a chance. We actually used to travel there nearly once a week for their story hour because of how cool was. Plus, they have a puppet show theater where they do the story hour and often do puppet shows for the kids. It is really neat!

  10. Susan Gibney says:

    The Fineske family rocked in this commercial! Great job – they really represent the Library well. Just love this blog Kate! All around – great work!

  11. Anna says:

    This did make me laugh! And I was sweating right there along with you about a toddler acting so close to bedtime. I’m VERY impressed with the finished product – you all look amazing! And PS – I’m from Cincinnati!!

    Thanks for linking up to Finding the Funny!
    Anna recently posted..House Sitting for Young House Love

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Anna! One of these days I am going to link a “shorter” post up to your link-up 🙂 I don’t always write this long of posts! But it was SO hard to cut…

      P.S. – Nice to meet another Ohio girl!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge