At Camden Yards, child 'star' finds 30 seconds of fame

June 24, 1994|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,Sun Staff Writer

Seth Cohen lived an American boy's fantasy yesterday.

The 9-year-old stood in Oriole Park at Camden Yards palming a baseball while enthusiastic fans looked on. So what if it wasn't a real baseball game and the number one fan looking on was his mom? So what if it wasn't even a fantasy, but a job?

Baltimore's Camden Yards was transformed into a set yesterday as Seth, and others, filmed a commercial for Bell Atlantic Mobile. Seth, described as the star of the 30-second commercial, hasn't become jaded despite all of the attention.

"It's cool," he says. "I feel cool!"

The Columbia youth was selected from about 60 children to star in the commercial. The commercial is scheduled to air on July 8 in the Baltimore and Washington areas during station breaks for an Orioles game.

It's about a special day in a young boy's life, says John M. Sitnik, a senior vice president at W. B. Doner & Co. ad agency.

"We really needed a boy who could show amazement and humor," Mr. Sitnik says. "We needed to capture that sparkle in the eyes. For a little boy, Seth can turn that on and off when he wants. He's a natural."

The filming began at 7 a.m. and was expected to continue well into the evening. Like most filming, there was plenty of waiting around and shooting the same scenes over and over again.

But Seth took it all in stride.

Although he's relatively new to acting, Seth's work includes print ads for Nordstrom's, a part on "America's Most Wanted" television show, a small part in the motion picture "Major League II," and a few other commercials and industrial films.

He's a straight-A student who enjoys math, drawing, video games and "playing outside." He's getting used to being recognized. "Friends always tease me," he says.

"It all started two years ago," says Seth's mother, Amy Cohen. "Seth was a gymnast and Prudential Health Insurance needed a gymnast for a commercial. Seth liked doing it. So we thought we would find an agent."

Mrs. Cohen, who has one other son, says the family had no idea the business could be so time-consuming. Seth has either an audition or filming to attend -- sometimes in New York -- at least once a week.

Right now, it's manageable because Seth's father, Jeff Cohen, is a telecommunications consultant who sets his own hours. But the time it takes away from the family is a major consideration for how much Seth will do right now, his mother says.

"We turned down an audition for a Broadway show," Mrs. Cohen says. "It would have meant living in New York for six months." That Broadway show was the blockbuster hit "Beauty and the Beast."

But there will be more auditions for Seth, who is only now beginning to realize that acting is a possible career choice.

"He just recently asked, 'Do people do this for a living?'" Mrs. Cohen says. "He just realized that this could be a job."

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