Down the rabbit hole of another series of lucky coincidences while I was in Addis Ababa was an opportunity to play a white tourist in Ethiopia in a commercial for an Ethiopian Travel Agency… and yes… you read that correctly… basically me being myself (at the time, a white tourist in Ethiopia), but just in a commercial. I’m pretty sure you all can guess my response to the question of do you want to do this… a very emphatic “yes!” It turns out that one of the guys in the house where I was staying… another tall, white, guy around my age (he’s from northern Italy)… was originally asked to be in it, and had said yes, but something work-wise came up and he could no longer do it. He asked me if I could take his place, and arranged for me to meet the production company filming the commercial, which, as you can tell by me posting about this, worked out. Now, the commercial was filmed for National Tour Operators, which is Ethiopia’s largest travel agency… and the company wants to start convince more white tourists to come to Ethiopia (and, of course, partake of NTO’s services)… so, the gist of the commercial is a white tourist couple enjoying various Ethiopian scenes/activities. It was a nice little gig… I even got paid in Ethiopian Birr… it took about five days of filming over eight days to finish… included some nice activities (hot air balloon ride, a massage, seeing some nice lodges and a couple places I in Ethiopia that I hadn’t yet seen), and I got to meet some pretty cool new people. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know, stop blabbing and link to the commercial already… here you go (it’s the one labeled National Tour Operator):
I’m apparently in the other ones on the web page as well (hmmm… no mention of those in my payment contract). And supposedly there’s a web version, but I couldn’t get the link on the company’s home page to open (someone let me know if they can do it). All in all a good time… and maybe… just maybe… he first step on a new career path?