For beginners and even seasoned pro’s, getting in front of the camera and acting natural can be seriously daunting.
However, it can also be a blast if you come at it with the right attitude and some good solid knowledge about how it all goes down!
The commercial world is a lot different than Film and Tv. It's its own beast! Hopefully this series of “#GoodToKnow” pointers will help you be more comfortable when you walk into ‘That Room’, helping you to relax, breathe and actually enjoy your audition!
NOTE: Please keep in mind that auditioning is a bit like a lottery, especially for commercials. You may need to ‘buy’ many tickets before you ‘win’! Often there are so many other actors vying for the same role. (Consider your audition to be your ticket, and if you book, well that's your win!) There are So many things that are absolutely out of your control! In this series I will discuss some concepts that will help you use what you Do have control over. Hopefully, you can stack that crazy deck a wee bit more in your favour!
Ok, so first up...this point can be awkward to talk about, but let’s get it out in the open & shed some light on it!
HOW YOU LOOK is close to being the most important thing about your audition. It's ok, it's ok! Let me explain.
As soon as you walk in the room, we are considering if you have the right look for the role. This might seem cruel or unreasonable, and it is the truth. It is especially true in the commercial world where the way you look is super important to how the story is told. The finished spot may only air for 30 seconds! In that time, the character has to be established and a story must be quickly revealed. The audience who is watching the finished commercial needs to engage and understand immediately who the character is.
So, we have a pretty clear idea of what characteristics we are looking for.
And! Just to clarify, we are not always looking for models or that Superstar quality! Actually, these days we usually aren’t!
Here is what is really great. There is a trend for commercials to reflect more accurately the world and the people that surround us. There is still a ways to go, but there is a definitely more of a desire to showcase humanity in all it's diverse glory!
This means that there is now more opportunity than ever for actors and even non-actors to land a role in a commercial. Every Ethnicity and Ethnic Blend. Every Age from Newborn to Centenarians. LGBTQ+ and Differently Abled. Extreme Athletes and Couch Potatoes. Unusual character looks as well as those that are almost just too gorgeous to look at! ;) Everyone.
However! And this is the kicker! This is what you need to remember. The creative team already has a certain look in mind and if you don’t look close to what they have envisioned, it is unlikely that you will book the job.
Not impossible (because on rare occasions they will adjust the look they are seeking) but honestly, it’s unlikely.
But all is not lost!! There are Many looks that we search for. And if you aren't quite right for this project, then perhaps the next. We never know what is coming down the line, and are often very pleasantly surprised! It is Fun to look for and Find that perfect person for a part! This is why it is so very important to carefully choose the photos you submit on Casting Workbook or on Casting Calls. Your job is to show us how you Actually look! Whatever it is that makes you uniquely you. We need a clear up-close photo of you that is Honest. This way, when we are looking through submissions and selecting who we would like to see, we can bring you in for something you are actually suited for.
You don’t want to waste your time coming in for something that isn’t a good fit for you, right? And we know you don’t want to waste our time either! We may only have mere hours to cast for a character, and we like to bring in people that we believe are Perfect for the role. This works awesomely for all of us, and as casting directors, that’s our job!
Remember too, that if we have asked you to come and audition for us, it is because we believe you are a good contender! If we Haven't asked you in, it may be because we think you Don't have the right look for the part. No biggie...we might catch you on the next one.
Please use wardrobe choices to make yourself look more like the role you are auditioning for. Ask your agent what you are coming in for. If you are coming in for a Doctor, wear a smock or stethoscope. Construction worker? Wear a tool belt or a hard hat and a plaid shirt. Business woman? Dress like one! I can't express this enough. Dressing the part does 2 things. It helps You mentally get into the role, And it helps the viewer Believe you in that role. Another great way to stack the deck in your favour!
Also, when you walk into the room, present yourself as if this is your only chance! (and it very well may be!)
Don't squander your minutes by being shy or cranky or low energy. Be ‘On’. Show us in your demeanour that you are pleased to be there! Focused and ready to roll! Leave any problems you may have outside the door and rally forth your ‘A’ game. You only have a few minutes to shine, and how you conduct yourself is just as much a part of your appearance as your unique look! Everyone wants to work with someone who is enjoyable to be around. This could be the little somethin' somethin' that gets You chosen down the line when our client's choices are really narrowing down! Bring it!
Bottom line? Having the right appearance is NOT something you can totally control, and it ain't always all about who is the most gorgeous. The Right Look is always a bit different from project to project, and that's a Good Thing!
What you Can do is be the best You you can be.
Trust that we have brought you in because WE think you have the right look, and we Want you there.
Dress the part.
Bring your 'A' game.
And...for goodness sakes, Enjoy your audition!
Stay tuned for more #GreatToKnow Commercial Auditioning tips. And...I LOVE questions! Ask away and I will answer as soon as I can! ;)
Do your best and keep rockin' your good stuff!