The Holiday Season is often filled with memories, some lovely, some bittersweet, some that make your heart fill with love and hope. Others are just plain silly and fun and can be brought on, as in this case, with a random Facebook post.

In the early 80’s I was living in Chicago and working to make a name for myself as an actress and voice-over artist. This generally meant waiting on a lot of tables, picking up other part-time jobs, and scurrying around to agents and auditions.

One Christmas season my agent sent me on an audition for a Sears commercial. There sitting in the lobby was a good friend of mine (okay, true confessions, we used to date) from graduate school, who had the same agent and had also been sent for the job. We chatted and caught up on old times as others were called into the audition in pairs. As fate would have it, he and I were called in together to read for a happy couple opening Sears appliances on Christmas morning. Since we knew each other well we had a nice chemistry and got cast together.

Soon we spent a fun day at a production studio (which would later be Oprah Winfrey’s studio) and filmed the commercial. I felt like a big deal. Later our agent called to tell me the checks were in, and I was floored by the amount. Looking back, it really wasn’t that much but it surely seemed like it then. I mean, that was a whole lot of table-waiting. My partner was playing Santa at a big department store downtown (actors take all kinds of interesting gigs) so I took the train down, stood in line with the kiddos, sat on Santa’s knee, and told him how much the checks were. Santa sure was jolly about that one.

This year, he somewhere, somehow found that commercial and posted it on his Facebook page. There we are, so young, me with incredibly big hair, lounging in my blue robe costume and getting really excited about getting a Sears mixer for Christmas while other small appliances littered the foreground. My part lasted all of about five seconds, but it was a big deal at the time.

It’s truly a Christmas blast from my past, so I thought I’d share it with you. Have a good laugh at the hair.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may the Season bring blessings and joy to you all.

Susan Burk

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