Teacher’s son stars in a commercial

Katie Cashman

Impersonating a “kidzilla” in Nissan Altima’s new ad campaign, Justin May, seven-year-old son of health teacher Ms. Alisa May, stars in the company’s newest national commercial.

Ms. May has had Justin enrolled in acting classes at John Robert Powers acting school for about a year, but she never believed he’d land such an exciting role. “I’m amazed at how the whole thing happened,” said Ms. May.

Last January, Justin went to a camp in Los Angeles. At the awards ceremony he ended up being in the top ten for three different awards: Top Monologue, Actor of the Year, and First Runner-up for commercial. “That’s when we knew he had something,” said Ms. May.

Justin’s agent wanted him to come to Los Angeles for the summer to audition, but Ms. May was worried about the financial risk. However, she feared that they’d have regrets or what-if feelings if they declined, so they decided to go for it. They rented a studio apartment for two months and flew west.

About 300 other kids tried out for the role, but only a few got callbacks, including Justin. He was more than thrilled when he found out he had landed the role. “He was jumping up and down screaming ‘I got it’,” said Ms. May.

Justin got to live the Hollywood lifestyle for two days while they filmed; he had his own trailer and even a stand-in actor for when he got tired. His favorite parts to shoot were stomping on toy cars and throwing dirt bombs.

The “kidzilla” commercial started airing on TV on August 29 and will run for at least six months, on many different national networks including ESPN, National Geographic, USA and others. The commercial can also be viewed on YouTube.

Ms. May gets calls and e-mails all the time from friends who are surprised when the commercial comes on TV and they see it’s Justin. “Last week I got an e-mail from BSM Alum, Bo Selleck, saying he saw Justin’s commercial while watching SportsCenter,” said Ms. May.

Justin is still taking his acting classes and both Mays are excited about his future. In the end, said Ms. May, he’ll probably go back to California for more auditions.