John Sherman was recently featured in a national television commercial for Cutter bug-spray repellent.
Sherman, 15, a sophomore at La Vergne High, was cast as the lead guitarist of a garage band.
In the commercial, Sherman dances around playing his guitar and is eventually rocking-out so hard a stack of amplifiers topples over. The commercial ends with the tagline, "At least you can protect them from ticks and mosquitos."
Sherman is represented by an agent in Nashville who originally contacted his mother, Michelle, about the audition for this part.
"I thought it could be cool to try something new, and I figured, ‘why not give it a shot?’" John said.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to audition in person. Instead, with the help of his parents, John had to film his own version of the idea behind the commercial in their garage to submit as his audition.
Although it was a quick turn-around — roughly 24 hours to film the audition tape — John and his mother said the family had a blast filming the audition.
"His dad just went ahead and filmed it in our garage," Michelle said, "and then we sent it in the next day, and a few days later, we heard back that John had been picked for the commercial."
"It was so unexpected because the people who were auditioning for it knew how to play guitar," said John, who was excited for the opportunity, "and I was the only kid who didn’t know how to play."
Despite not knowing how to play the guitar, John was familiar enough and had enough energy and personality to be chosen for the part.
Michelle let out a scream when she took the call from John’s agent, and said, "He knew he’d gotten it."
When preparing John for their expectations of him on set, the Cutter group sent him a clip from the 1985 movie Back to the Future where Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, is rocking out to Johnny B. Goode on stage.
John was sure he could mimic the energy.
"John really just kind of hammed it up, and that’s what they were looking for," Michelle said.
He certainly enjoyed his time working on the commercial and is proud to say he was featured in a national commercial. However, when asked what he wanted to do as a career in the future, John said, "I’d either like to be a track star or go into sports medicine. I really just like sports."
He is also interested in modeling, which is what first caught his interest about the commercial. He saw it as an opportunity for some further exposure toward that goal.
John and his mother both expect this is not the last time he will do this sort of job and are excited to see what the future holds.
"I definitely wouldn’t mind doing this again," John said. "It was really, really cool. It was a lot of fun."
By PAIGE HOLLOWAY, Rutherford County Schools