Harley Davidson

by Ash Williams


In 2014, I auditioned for a Harley Davidson TV commercial. It was paying $10,000 US. 

When I arrived there was a middle aged casting director with styled grey hair, he looked like Richard Gere. I introduced myself and then Richard Gere said "time to try on the leather jacket".  I slipped into this jacket and everyone gasped. Richard Gere said "Bro, we’ve literally seen 50 dudes today and you’re the first guy who it fits perfectly. You’re our man." People were clapping and marvelling at how well the leather jacket fitted me. About ten people went up to the stylist and patted her on the back.

I thought, “fuck yes, I’m going to be rich”.

By this point there were fifteen people in the room, and someone said "oh wait, we forgot to ask, do you ride?". I said "yeah yeah yeah, big time". (I'd never ridden before, but rule number one of show business is to say yes to everything and worry about the truth later, this strategy had worked well for me in the past with a surfing commercial).

The casting agent said “what do you ride?” I said "you know, um Harley Davidson". He gave me a thumbs up. At this stage people were still amazed at how well the jacket fitted me; I overheard someone whisper "wow, the jacket is a perfect fit". I started thinking about what I'd spend the 10 grand on.

Then Richard Gere says "well, let's some footage of you riding the Harley." I go “yeah no worries” (thinking we will probably do this another day, and by then the job will be mine). 

The casting director says “great follow me”. I follow him through a door, then through another door that led to a carpark, and waiting for me in that car park was a Harley Davidson. The Harley Davidson was idling loudly. I was still wearing the leather jacket.

A cameraman yells loudly over the Harley “I"M ROLLING ALREADY, JUST DO SOME CIRCLES IN THE CAR PARK AND WE'RE DONE".  I walked up to the bike confidently thinking “how the hell am I going to fool them here?”. I'd seen "Magicians's Secret Revealed" just that week, and they made a motorcycle disappear, surely I could trick these guys into believing I can ride. 

I hopped on the bike and it almost toppled over. The owner of the Harley (some old dude with a beard) came running over and said "be careful". It wasn't a good start. I laughed it off and said “nice bike, how much is this bike worth?” he said "$100,000".

And another guy yelled out “and the jackets worth $1000”.

I gave him nod. A nod that said I'm impressed.

I said  "hey guys, my right leg is a bit shotty at the moment, why don't we just can do some still shots?"

They said "no no no we need the video." The crew were starting to get ancy, it was a hot day, like 40 degrees celsius. 

I was debating whether I should just try and ride this thing, maybe I could fluke it? But what if I crash it, it’s worth $100,000 bucks.

So I said to the main casting director “look, I’m going to be honest with ya, it’s been a while”.

He said “how long?” I said “twenty years”. And to be honest I didn’t really ride it well back then.

Richard Gere knew I couldn't ride a Harley, he said  “you better take the leather jacket off".

I got off the Harley, took the leather jacket off, walked out of the carpark and never saw them again. 

I then rode home on my bike, a push bike. 

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