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First Class ticket to Spain

Do you have any regrets in life?

Me? yes. That I didn’t take Spanish class more seriously in school. Why? BC of this experience. 

In 2011, I was living in NYC. Full time media spokeswoman for major brands. I had just wrapped a huge digital campaign for Ronzoni Pasta as the Pasta Evangelista (I’ll share that video next). Ronzoni’s sister company in Spain contacted my manager and asked if I would fly to Madrid to be the face of Arroz Brillante; the largest rice brand in Spain. What do you think I said? Aye Dios Mio  YES YES YES!

First time to fly business class from NYC to Madrid and upon arriving at the Plaza San Miguel, where I met the team of designers/directors/agency, I was in awe of all the Spanish sounds and sites around me. No one spoke English except the PA. She loosely translated everything to me as best she could. They told me about the set, the costumes, the storyboard and then handed me the script. It was in Spanish. I smiled and scanned it with my english speaking eyes and said, “tienes uno en ingles???” they starred at me and all said, “No”. I understood that Spanish word. 

So the script was in Spanish and the shoot as in 2 days. 

I smiled and headed out to explore Madrid and learn the damn script. How? At a rooftop bar, I was having a Rioja and asked a gentlemen if he would speak the lines into my phone. I recorded multiple Spaniards speaking the lines and listened to it over and over. and over and over. 

Day of shoot. I spend hours in the hair and make up room filled with coffee, coca cola and cigarettes and arrive on set for my first take. The process of their reaction was this: 1. wide eyes 2. smiles 3.chuckles 4. applause! ‘Very good Ana…now….faster!  Vale Vale’

In post, they ended up dubbing my voice to make it look more ‘Castilian’ but I sure learned Spanish very quickly and was brought back at Barbara Brillante the next 3 years!

So what language are you learning so that when covid is over and you take that long awaited trip….you can communicate to the locals? I’m still working on my Spanish! Ole


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