Preparing For A Commercial Audition

 

How To Prepare For A Commercial Audition
When in doubt, follow the guidelines below to help your audition be as successful as possible. These are ten helpful hints that can give you more confidence in your audition, and help you present yourself as a winner!
  1. ALWAYS bring multiple copies of your updated headshot and resume to offer to the casting director. A professional 8x10 headshot and resume should never be more than a few months old. If you are professional enough to deserve the job, you are professional enough to handle this important part of your audition. Don’t hand the casting director smaller photos or photos that are not professionally done. Portrait style photos, snapshots, wallet size school photos, etc. are not appropriate. Your resume also needs to be an “Acting Resume” – we don’t need to know about your promotion at the mall job, or that you spend time traveling with your spouse as a hobby. Your resume needs to list your background as a performer. If you don’t know how to put these things together properly, either take a class, or find some books or search the internet to learn how.
  2. Dress appropriately. You should “dress to suggest” the role you are auditioning for, but when in doubt, just remember:
    • Never wear pure white or pure black
    • Never wear items with logos of any kind
    • Never wear small, busy, or geometric prints
    • Never wear anything which detracts from YOU
    • Never wear blue jeans (they are rarely flattering or polished on camera)
    • Always look like a high-end version of what you are portraying. Hair should be neat, clean, combed and/or styled, off of the face. Nails should be neat and clean (no bright/distracting colors). Make-up is a MUST! Look like you are ready for
    the actual commercial to be filmed – don’t expect the director, producer, casting director or client to imagine a better version of you.
    • Wear appropriate fitting/tailored cut clothing. Loose clothing, such as large or bulky sweaters, sweatpants, loose or baggy t-shirts, will make you look very unpolished, in addition to much heavier and out-of-shape.
    • Stay away from trendy make-up, hair or wardrobe choices. You may personally love the dark eyeliner, or the sparkly eye shadow, or even the neon color shirt in your wardrobe, which is great for the clubs, but does it look like what you see
    people on television wearing in the type of commercial you are auditioning for?
    • Look like your headshot!
  3. Ask in advance if there are “sides” (lines) that you can be working on.
  4. Arrive early, to receive any specific instructions you may have missed out on, and to show you REALLY want this job!
  5. Don’t yack with your friends in the waiting room. It is a business, not a social gathering. Treat it with respect.
  6. When you receive speaking lines to audition with, make sure you say them OUT LOUD before you enter the audition room and say them in front of the casting director or on camera. Sometimes, things don’t come out quite the way they sounded in our heads. Be prepared to deliver the lines more than one way, and be prepared to take direction and deliver lines in a completely different manner than you had prepared.
  7. If you blow your line and screw up, move on! Don’t stop and say “Can I start over?” IF the casting director wants to see you try it again, they will let you know.
  8. Don’t ask when you will hear if you got the job or if you got the part. The Casting Director will not be able to call everyone who is not selected.
  9. Don’t ever blame your agent, or casting director, if you were unprepared, or if you don’t get the part. Learn from the experience and do better the next time.
  10. Don’t utilize ear prompters during an audition. The casting director needs to know if you are professional enough to be able to memorize a few short lines – it is part of your job. If you can’t memorize a couple of lines quickly, you are not excellent at cold reading, then you either need to take classes to get better at those skills, or find a different industry to work in. Acting requires those skills.

If your agent does not have an account with Breakdown Services, it is strongly recommended that you create an account on Actors Access (it is free), so when your audition is posted, your resume and headshot will  also show up electronically (again, at no cost to you).  This will help "sell" you to the client.