They needed an ordinary guy. Jon Reep could do that.
They wanted someone who could deliver five simple words in the form of a question: “That thing got a Hemi?”
Reep threw in a “hey” at the beginning of the question and landed the part.
You might know Reep from his victorious run on “Last Comic Standing” or from one of his acting roles on TV such as “Eastbound & Down” or in a movie like “Into the Storm.” Or from stand-up – he’s coming to town for a string of shows in Liberty Township.
But the place from where most people know him is from commercials. The North Carolina native was “the Hemi guy” in a series of Dodge truck ads 10 years ago. “That was the first thing I did, and it was on lots of different television stations for a long time, and it was before you could fast forward through commercials,” he says.
Reep found a couple of ways to augment his performance at the audition, in order to increase his chances of booking the gig.
“I used to work at a Goodyear, and I wore that old nasty Goodyear outfit. The script just had one line. I went in there, and I thought if I’m sitting at a stoplight, in a muscle car, and a guy with a Hemi engine pulls up next to me, it’s gonna be kind of loud. So I sit in this chair at the audition, and I felt like it would be funny if I started vibrating,” he recalls.
“So I’m vibrating in this chair because I’m thinking the engine would make it vibrate. And I added the word ‘hey’ because I thought I would have to get his attention.”
It’s important to think about the right angle from which to approach an audition. Auditioning is a big part of Reep’s career. On the same day as this phone interview, he completed an online audition for a role on a Netflix series from his home in Los Angeles.