Commercial Audition Tip #8


When a casting director is preparing a commercial breakdown, the first step is to read the director’s treatment. This treatment can be brief or the length of a novella. In the treatment the director describes his or her vision for the commercial from camera moves to casting. Inevitably, under the Casting Heading, a director will mention how crucial it is to get the right performers.

Something that you might not know is that directors frequently note they are looking for the unexpected – for the unplanned moments that just happen – the spontaneous moments that the actors provide.

Directors look to actors to supply magical moments that will make the spot memorable. These moments can be a look, a gesture, or a surprising line reading. These magical moments make certain commercials stand out and make viewers want to see them again and again.

How can you create these magical moments? As with any performance, you can’t guarantee an outcome. But the first step is to do your homework, the kind of homework you do for any audition:

Who are you, What do you want and What obstacles stand in your way?

Are you the hero, the Brand X character (meaning that you represent a competing product) or the victim?

Fuel your imagination. Create a life for yourself in the context of the commercial. Imagine the environment. Create a moment before.

Then when you go into the casting studio, stay in the moment and allow things to happen. Don’t try to force anything.

Over-prepare and then go with the flow. Trust that your instincts and your imagination will be there for you.

Remember one of the greatest joys of acting is the element of surprise. To go down an unplanned road can be absolutely exhilarating.

Now that’s what it means to have fun.

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