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To Be, or Not to Be-yonce?

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That was the question I pondered after receiving a call sheet the night before a L’Oreal commercial that listed me and “BK” under the talent section. I knew Beyonce Knowles was contracted by L’Oreal, but in all my experience, I had yet to hand-double for an African American. I’m fully aware of the extensive post-production work on these commercials, but wouldn’t there be an additional effort required to match our skin tones? After all, we weren’t shooting the sequel to Avatar.

I’ve worked with a number of celebrities over the years, but I have never been as excited as I was about the possibility of meeting this superstar. I’ve admired Beyonce for years, putting her in a category of esteemed artists that include Prince, Jim Carrey and Olivia Newton John. So I kept my fingers crossed that BK was in fact the Queen B herself!

It’s no wonder I arrived on the lot the morning of a bit giddy…

When I met the Assistant Director however, I refrained from revealing my eagerness, and successfully kept myself from grabbing him by the collar and yelling, “IS IT BEYONCE?? WHERE IS SHE??!”

Instead, I remained calm and professional as he guided me to a warm room upstairs, where, next to the couch, was a massive amount of mascara.

Suddenly I hoped this mountain of mascara was NOT an indication of a fussy director, who had reserved this colossal quantity for my insert shot requiring innumerable takes later that afternoon.

As I pondered and prayed, celebrity manicurist, Bernadette Thompson, entered. I had worked with this talented nail tech before, and asked nonchalantly, “So…Um…I noticed on the call sheet…”

“It’s Beyonce,” she quickly responded.

Adding after a perplexed pause, “She is light.”

I shared with her my excitement, admitting the last time I was this star struck I was in Whole Foods watching Sheila E pick through mangos.

As soon as my nails dried, Bernadette and I walked to the craft service table, poured some tea and sat on an outside bench absorbing the brilliant February Southern California sun.

Then the moment came… Beyonce, in all her satin robed glory, dewy flawless face and freshly coiffed lighter-than-usual ‘do’, rolled up on a golf cart accompanied by a big bodyguard in a slick dark suit and shades, an assistant who was better dressed than most couture runway models, and a hair person adorned with accents of black leather.

And much like my moment with Shelia, I carefully avoided eye contact, trying to appear fully immersed in my Earl Grey as her majesty, along side the bling-brigade, walked by seemingly unnoticed.

Alas, that’s as close as I got to The Fiercest Of Them All.

A few hours later, the AD informed me that production was running behind schedule and I wouldn’t be needed. Although this was not the first time I’d been hired and held all day, this was the first time I wondered if those in charge may have been equally as surprised to see me in my pale flesh, as I was to see Beyonce…


9 Responses to "To Be, or Not to Be-yonce?"
  1. Lynn Zavaro says:

    So if you were needed what would they have done about the skin tone differences? what was the mascara for? interesting…

  2. Adele Uddo says:

    Not sure, they could have used makeup which they've done before… Or perhaps they intended my shot to be used on another commercial entirely – Beyonce could have just been shooting that same day. The mascara was likely the product featured in the commercial.

  3. joni allen says:

    Yay! This was so fun.

    if Beyonce was an adjective, you've definately tapped your inner Beyonce, in fact i'd hasten to say you were born with more "Beyonce" in your little pinky than all the bling bling and the schming schming following her around in her entourage~but the other thing is you two would probably be great friends if you ever got to have 1 on 1 together. And she would belly laugh if she could see your imitation of her! XO

  4. Adele Uddo says:

    Thank you Joni! If I die tomorrow I can say I've 'tapped my inner Beyonce', YES! I would hope that if I ever got the chance to do an imitation for her, she would find it equally amusing 😉

  5. Comedy Karma says:

    I loved this! And I really love where you say:
    "…the last time I was this star struck I was in Whole Foods watching Sheila E pick through mangos"

    Haha! Chippiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!

  6. Sundevilgrl says:

    What a "Glamorous Life" M'lady! At least you got your nails did! 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    i certainly cannot relate, but i can imagine! i went crazy for a week when i saw hillary swank in whole foods santa monica a few months back! i thought for sure she smiled at me. ah those stars…….

  8. Adele Uddo says:

    Whole Foods must be the place celebs shop, funny.
    And yeah you right Sundevilguurrl, the nails did get did.

  9. Alyssa Boyle says:

    What a great story! You do wonder what goes through people's head when they are casting sometimes. At least you were paid and actually got to see BK up close. And there was no drama. And we've all been there… 😉

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