I’ve booked more advertising gigs than any other type of acting work. I don’t know what that says about my face, my acting, or my agent. I do know what it says about my bank balance (current balance not included…). People have asked me how I book ads so consistently, and to be honest I have no idea. I think the best way I can help is to share my process, which sometimes leads to booking well paid advert work. Here is how I book commercials…
These are the steps for how to book commercials
My agent submits me for appropriate roles.
The most important ingredient to being consistently cast in a commercials is being submitted for the right roles. Every audition I receive is right up my alley. The roles I usually go for are described like this: “Friendly, loveable; Goofy. A good actor.”. Now, I’m not saying I’m naturally goofy or loveable, or even a good actor, but I can play this part, and my agent knows it. If you are going into the audition room with a sense of dread, trying to squeeze into the mold of a character to earn money, you won’t book. Make sure you are being submitted for appropriate roles.
I dress appropriately.
Advertising is a genre. Stylistically, commercials are clean, sharp and very positive. When I’m choosing what to wear to a commercial audition I make sure I wear clean, average guy kind of clothes. Think H&M autumn collection. I hint at character. I look sharp but not too sharp. In a word I look nice. In order for you to be cast in a commercial lots of people need to say yes. Don’t let your clothes give people an excuse to say no.
I smile in the pre-audition photo.
Before every commercial audition begins, casting will take a photo of you. I always make sure I am smiling in this photo. It’s the picture that every executive, producer, and creative will look at when they are considering you for the role. You want to look like you are happy to be auditioning. I truly believe this photo is more important than what you do when the camera is rolling. At the very least, don’t give people a reason to not watch your tape. Smile!
I genuinely enjoy the product.
Let me repeat that for the viewers at home. Genuinely enjoy the product. Time after time I audition with actors who oversell their love for the product. Yes, the casting director and client need to see that you like the product, or at least that you can pretend to like it. They don’t need to see that you would be prepared to exchange your first born for it. Before every commercial audition I go to, I think about what I like about each product and focus on that element in the room. Avoid criticism at all costs; It’s not welcome.
I act appropriately.
Commercial acting is all about moderation. It’s a fairly conservative space. Make your performance similar to the way you dress, standard, loveable, and positive. If the script hints at any negative emotions, try and twist them into something funny. For example, I would never play genuine anger in a commercial audition, I would chose to play humour filled frustration instead. Everything should be light hearted and fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Get in and get out. And get that money.
Good luck in the room!