My Day as an Extra in a Super Bowl Commercial…No Kidding!


So what is the next best thing if your favorite team (Da Bears) doesn’t make it into the Superbowl?  Or even into the Playoffs, for crying out loud?!  How about being an extra in a Super Bowl commercial!  Yup…and that just happened to me!  2014 continues to be the best. year. ever!!

My dear friend, Connie…is to thank.  Well, her and her husband, Dave.  It was last-minute, but they needed “Moms”, and she thought I would fit the bill.  After-all I am a mom… a frumpy mom, but still a mom.  Connie, is not frumpy, btw…far from it!  They had 6 youth football players, and needed a father and mother to pair up with each.  Blood relatives were Not necessary.  I received this email:


Jeans, boots or Wellies, rain jackets, jacket with hood(bonus points for bringing a yellow one) sweaters, sweatshirts. Please layer with cold weather gear under your clothes…… we will be shooting this outside and you will need to appear to be wearing fall clothing.  Also please bring rain ponchos if you have them.

We are trying to match as close as possible to something we shot in the rain elsewhere, but god will be in control of the weather tomorrow. Please bring options! The wardrobe dept. begs you to pack a bag with more than you think you need.

The more you bring the better you will feel…. we promise!!!

So… downtown to Soldier Field, we headed, with more clothes than I would require…I packed my long black North face coat; Camel Hair, Etcetera coat, Yellow rain slicker; and navy patent leather rain coat…and 2 pairs of boots.  Speaking of boots:  When I called Meredith to share my good fortune, and boast a bit…we discussed my attire, she was quick to say, “Mom…No one ever made it to the big screen wearing your black sequin Uggs”.  So sad…so I pulled out my new Tory Burch Suede knee-high boots, and packed the grey knit Uggs…and off we went.  Dave, Connie, Alec (their son, who was playing a “youth football player”…no real stretch there), and Me… a frumpy Mom, but huge football fan!


We arrived to Very Exclusive signage:  We went to the “Set”.


More views from inside Soldier Field, with no one else, but the Extras.

soldier field filming




Notice, below…no Goal Post!


But the North side does.  How strange is that?  Almost as strange as the Bears losing in the final 5 seconds of the last regular reason game…but why live in the past?


So, we waited around inside Soldier Field for a few hours.  Coffee and donuts, were all that the “extras” were served.  The excitement began when they brought out the lunch buffet!  Salad (it was really fresh); meatloaf; chicken; lobster mac and cheese (2 words, lactose intolerant…I did not partake); rolls, and cookies.  This is what those, “in the business”, call the Craft Service Food Table. Or something like that.  Any-who…not bad, and topped with an ice-cold, Diet Coke…I was enjoying myself.  I had my iPad, so was able to keep current with work, and had fun chit-chatting with Connie and Jodie, Connie’s friend (my friend as well, now), who was also going to play a “Mom”.  The make-up lady, who was putting make up on all the adults, came up to Connie, Jodie and myself, and said, “you girls look great…you know how to put on make-up”.  I took that for code, “they are pretty”.  Best. Day. Ever!

The excitement continued when we were lined up like cattle (or a couple with a youth football player) and I was paired with Jeff, and a strapping young man, whose name I forget.  There were 6 family units, and Connie so aptly mentioned, “I feel like a puppy in a puppy store”…They literally looked all of us up and down.  I felt like I was at airport security with TSA checking us out…suspiciously!  Neither Connie, Jodie, nor I, were chosen for the “starring role”…that of a mom, consoling her son, but we were still cast as “extras” for the Big scene!!

Wardrobe came up to each of us, and we showed her what we had, and she picked what she wanted us to wear… I was to wear the camel Etcetera coat, with my Burberry earmuffs and scarf.  Connie was to wear a gold-tone puffy jacket.  Jodie could wear a short black North face.  Here we are primping (or goofing off) before our close-ups!

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Did I mention it was 10 degrees outside?  And they decided not to film, ON the field (Soldier Field), but rather, outside on the lawn, outside Solder Field.  Hmmm…not sure what the point was, to come down to Soldier Field…but I’m only an Extra in a Super Bowl commercial, and they did Not ask my opinion…

Here are some “action” shots…and I use the term “action” loosely.

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Yes, it was exciting as it looked…Lots of milling about.  We started “filming” around 4PM, and had to be done before dark.  It gets dark here in Chicago around 445PM.  The story, we were part of was of a young football player, who “blew” the game, and the parents consoled him…except, they only used the mother, who was not Connie, Jodie, nor I… and we were truly only filmed in the background as parents waiting for our children to come off the field.  Did we make the cut?  I guess we have to wait till Superbowl Sunday, February 2nd, to find out.  The commercial is for the NFL.  I guess you can find me by looking for the Burberry scarf and ear muffs!


Connie, Jodie and I… basking in the afterglow of our first commercial!  And that glow is not from chardonnay, but standing outside in below 10 degree temps!


The Jacobs Family!  Dave, Alec and Connie…who made this day possible!


The boys…the stars of the show…I mean, commerical!

Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Such fun, and not sure if I earned my SAG card (sorry, Lora), which is why I entered the drawing, at $10/pop to walk the red carpet with George Clooney, in early Feb.  Meredith is my plus 1.  Can. Not. Wait.  He will totally love us.  If we win, of course.  Money was No object when it came to this lottery.  Sorry Kev…who from this point forward shall be referred to as “my first husband”.


One of my favorite super bowl commercials…and one, in which, I cannot tell you how many ppl called or texted me, and said, “that’s you”… Yeah, maybe!

My second favorite Super Bowl commercial

Doing it Old School!!  Love it.

2014 continues to be my best year ever!  While I don’t typically co-mingle my blog with my “paying job”…I do want to give a shout out to Loews Hotels…and the Loews Vanderbilt (sweet Caroline), who helped arrange for Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels (and owner of the NY Giants, which is how I can feather this in)…for calling my client (my dear friend Wade) to tell him how much they want his business.  Totally cool…and this on the day when they were opening up the Loews Regency in NYC.  Both my client and I, are tickled pink!  I met Mr. Tisch in early November, and we discussed football, my take on Eli Manning, the Giants, da Bears, the Superbowl, etc…and since his eyes did not roll back into his head, I’m guessing we are now friends for life!  🙂

And speaking of the Super Bowl… since the 49-ers “choked”… I mean, lost to the Seahawks, that means the tickets Kevin secured for the Superbowl, are for naught! 🙁  But no worries, my friend D has a Superbowl party, each year that totally rocks!  So much so, she’s been featured in the Northwest Herald!  So fun…cannot wait!

Donna Penyak Superbowl Party Thrower


More on the Superbowl and Richard Sherman early next week…and since you are all curious as to my Superbowl prediction.  Go Broncos!  Love that Peyton Manning.  Total, class act!







don't quit your daydream


  1. Only you!? Amazing. Now all over the country/world, your friends will be watching the Superbowl with bated breath..will she or won’t she make the final cut!!? My money is on WILL. Loved the behind the scenes look. Best year ever, alrightee then, and it’s only JANUARY 22!

  2. I was asked to be in the BEFORE Seattle Sutton commercial, but respectively denied!! your day sounds better!:)

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