Thursday, June 10, 2010


Attention would-be actresses and actors: How would you like to be the perky, pretty, optimistic, affirming Insurance Lady in a white outfit, selling Progressive Insurance ...?

She is seen every day, sometimes MANY times a day, depending on what channels you're watching ...

She has a right look, she's the right age. And there's no other TV ad with a bright-eyed, positive, friendly saleslady advising audiences about insurance.

In fact, there's no other female doing what you're doing right now, Flo!

There are a few recognizable men, selling brooms, bulbs, and cleaners (other than Billy Mays, who still appears, though he's not on the earth anymore.) There are women touting anti-depressants for their Alzheimer-ish parents, and Sally Field touts Boniva but we don't really believe her, a few others are touting other products, but nobody who's consistent or memorable.

So Stephanie Courtney, (Flo's real name) you're making it. Playing Flo is probably making it bigger and better than if you were in a sit-com that might get picked up for another 13 weeks. Also sit-com stars compete against each other, looking for work. Hey, Steph -- you've already got the brass ring on the merry-go-round -- being Flo is IT.

Wherever you go, you're recognized. I'm sure you're getting offers -- invites to galas, benefits, fund-raisers -- you're picked up by stretch limos, and seated at the best tables. Manufacturers are already offering you clothes, jewelry, household furnishings, even cars (if you'll get your picture taken using the item).

So what's next for Stephanie Courtney? The comic touch you have, the pep, the joy in your voice and look of you -- have you been offered a starring part yet in a movie, or a Broadway show? If you haven't, you will be.

What I really want to know, Steph -- do you feel successful? Is playing Flo bringing you the rewards you sought when you decided to become an actress? Was it a lead in a Shakespeare play, an appearance on Saturday Night Live? (I know from your bio, you've worked as a comedian.) Was it a star-turn in Vegas Hotel?

Acting in commercials is not much different from being in a play, or a film, or doing a club date. You have, in these past two years as Flo, gathered up a lot of know-how. Know-how makes the artist an artist (not Shakespeare, SNL, or Vegas).

Here's what Em, an experienced, theatrical, artistic director who's hired and fired actors and dancers, (and watched over a very successful actor's career), wants to say to Stephanie Courtney, a/k/a FLO.

Keep doing the work of your work. Enjoy it.
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