While I’m usually hired to simply lend a hand, periodically all of my appendages are employed. For instance, last week I worked on a commercial where I played a chef. Not only would I receive residuals (I’d be one rich woman if that were the case with every hand job I book), I was also delighted to discover I had my very OWN hand model. And not just any hand model – we’re talkin’ the best in the biz, the man of all hands, Mr. Bill Karp.
Bill is the hand model who inspired Jerry Seinfeld to write the infamous episode about George becoming a hand model.
Just like the Soup Nazi is apparently some real guy in New York, Jerry wrote the above scenario after meeting Bill on an American Express commercial. Bill says Jerry was fascinated to discover someone else was there to swipe his card, and began asking him questions about his job. The rest is TV history.
I met Bill when he interviewed me for Taco Bell, my first commercial job. No other hand model is entrusted by those in charge to make such a call…but no other hand model is regularly flown bi-coastally on first class to pour OJ or slice turkey. Bill has more than just attractive mitts, he’s a master technician. He can slice faster than most sushi chefs, section an airborne head of lettuce, and pour a more impressive drink than Tom Cruise.
In fact, Bill’s first job was for Budweiser. Previously a precision stunt driver, one afternoon a producer asked him if he wanted to do a hand insert. When Bill nailed the shot in one take, he became Budweiser’s right hand man.
“Beer pours are a lot messier these days,” says Bill, “Back then they wanted a perfect swirl topped with a nice thick head.”
In addition to pouring perfect liquids, Bill handles more dangerous material. For instance, when he’s flipping steaks on fiery sets for Applebees, he suits up from head to toe in Nomex – the same flame resistant gear worn by Formula 1 drivers. During these commercials, Bill’s hands are rarely seen.
Perhaps by now you’re wondering: How could Bill be my hand model? Well, filmmaking is notoriously full of illusions. In fact, Bill gave me an insider scoop on the 80s canine icon, Spuds Mackenzie, the partying pooch who attracted bikini-clad, viser-wearing, roller-skating “Spudette” hotties.
Apparently Spuds was no Stud – SHE was in fact a bitch.
Such filming fakery is exactly why you’d never know when watching my upcoming Kibbles n’ Bits commercial that THIS bitch’s hands belong to Bill.