There have been more than a few times I've said a silent prayer of thanks to the automotive marketing gods for having a position involving minimal humiliation. The most fervent thanks recently came while watching in horror as the Chevy Volt dancers convulsed across the show floor to that creepy pseudo-hipster kids song. It was like America's Worst Dance Crew-meets-Romper Room.
In our line of work we are often asked to do some patently ridiculous stuff. We then have a choice: do it and get paid, or refuse and be forced to do something even more humiliating, like sell our souls to Corporate America and sit behind a desk all day working for The Man (an utterly horrifying thought). Being born performers we often suck it up, embrace whatever diabolical plan the PR team has come up with to ruin our day and just do it. Our motto: "Remember the paycheck."
How are we shedding our dignity for your edification at the auto show? Toyota has some shenanigans going on this year involving plastic buckets, feather boas and three-part harmony. My understanding is that not only did the performers eagerly volunteer to do this, but that it was their idea in the first place. They strangely seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves (which might be the most frightening part) so I guess that doesn't fall within the realm of humiliation - although just watching the stilted choreography makes me burn with shame. (The singers have great voices, though.)
The single most humiliating auto show gig I've ever heard of doesn't come courtesy of a manufacturer but one of those accessory booths outside the main show floor. A friend (let's call her Jane) no longer on the circuit relayed this little beauty to me...
Jane had been offered the gig by her agent but was already booked that day, so referred another model friend instead. All she knew was that it was at the auto show and paid $500. The friend was only told that she would be repping a chamois brand.
After several weeks of ignored phone calls, Jane finally got ahold of her very pissed off friend. Apparently the job was not talking about the cloth or ringing people up. The job was to wear a mini skirt and bikini top made out of chamois cloth and buff a car with her ass.
All day long she rubbed her fuzzy ass all over that car with the most aggro look on her face you've ever seen.
Why didn't she just walk out if she hated it so much? If we walk out on a job for any reason other than our personal safety is immediately at risk, our professional reputations will be as dead as a Chrysler tranny at 50,000 miles and we will never be hired for any promotional work again. Most of these jobs do not involve buffing anything with any of our body parts and pay very well, so you can see where the dilemma lies.
I guess it all comes down to how hungry you are. What was the most humiliating thing you ever had to do in the name of a paycheck?