My TV debut - JD Williams "I AM" campaign

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to this extra post which brings you my 15 seconds of TV fame. This is the culmination of a roller coaster ride which started months ago when I attended a casting session in London. There had been a call out on Instagram for bold, colourful women who refuse to go quietly - surely this had my name on it? I applied, was shortlisted, later I sent a video of who "I AM" and was shortlisted again and invited to attend the London session. 

Annie, Rachel, me, Savi and Paulina - the five stars of the I AM campaign.

This is my first attempt to be taken on by a major fashion brand and so the casting was a nerve wracking event. In fact, when I arrived at the venue I took one look through the open doorway and walked right on by. I'd seen too many beautiful and colourful women inside that it freaked me out. I stopped further along the street and called my best friend Bo. And she did what everyone's best friend does, she talked some sense into me. Yes, of course I could travel all the way from the Scillies to London to just take a peek through a door, but maybe that would be a bit too crazy, even for me! "Go girl!" she urged, and off I went.

The audition itself is a total blur as I think I was awash with adrenalin. I stood under a bank of lights and talked, nay, jabbered on like an idiot, although a very passionate one and at one point was asked to dance. "Will it be Abba?" I asked. " I'm afraid not." came the reply from one of dimly lit casting couches. The soundtrack started, something new to my ears, not a beat I recognised and yet in front of me, cameraman and producer were urging me on to show my moves. After a slow start, I got into the rhythm and then everyone in the room blended away until it was just me and the music. 

I love to dance, and have no idea of it's mum dancing I do, but I don't care. I somehow don't think it was my dancing that got me through the audition though, but it doesn't matter, cos hey, some 10 days later I got the call to say they wanted me for the campaign. 

My summer has been a very different one to any I could have imagined, with me somehow keeping all the plates spinning - summer exhibitions, wardrobe fitting, swimming, blogging, filming, artists visiting and me finally becoming au fait with the timetable for flights between Newquay and Manchester along with the small corner of the city that has now become familiar to me.

I'll just let vanity have her say here. These are the very first professional shots I've ever had taken and it's quite a surprise to see what I look like at 60. My own diplomatic blog photographers (and the restrictions of my amateur kit) all manage to avoid revealing the honest truth of a face that has lived, loved, swum and embraced the big outdoors without much in the way of sunscreen for these past 60 years. I somehow also think that exercise helps to feed that illusion, as a trim figure, a youthful stride and a young at heart attitude is deceptive, but what it all comes down to is - This is what 60 looks like! My bubble may have been deflated a little here, but in the nicest possible way; after hours in hair and make-up I've been turned into a star for a day. 

The final line up from the TV advert here - Annie, Kath, Paulina, Katie, Andrea and yours truly. I've not tried to post a video link before, so if it doesn't work then please click here to see the full length version on the website along with more about the campaign.

Today's post features some of the images sent to me by JD Williams and is just a taster of what I'll be featuring later next week as I've got lots more to share with you from behind the scenes. I'm obviously very biased, but I think this campaign showing real women of ages 45 and over, of all shapes and sizes is a great stride forward for fashion. Hurrah therefore to JD Williams for breaking ground here!

I'll be back on Monday with the monthly post from our Style Not Age collective - see you then!

Anna x

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