You’ve gone on so many commercial calls, but you are not booking the job. Take a look at my 12 simple commercial guideposts to see what may be missing so you can nail your next audition.
1. Energy. Pay attention to the sales clerk the next time you go to buy something. Would you rather make a purchase from someone who is enthusiastic or just “ho-hum” about their product? You want to make the sale in your audition, so turn it on!
2. Natural and Conversational. Read the copy as if you are talking to your best friend. Make sure you are sincere, honest, and believable. Now add energy and you’re two steps closer to landing the job.
3. Smile. This should go without saying, but smiling will take you a long way in this business. Allow your charisma and personality to shine through.
4. Color. Use your voice to paint a colorful picture. Use your adjectives to highlight what makes the product special.
5. Variety. Change it up. Find the highs and lows. Where can you be soft spoken? Louder? Secretive? Sexy? Get the idea?
6. Inflection. You can go up or down or stay the same. Pitching down can sometimes be a boring or negative choice. Try pitching up at your next audition to brighten your read.
7. Product Name. This is perhaps the most important thing you will say. Make sure it stands out and is clear and highlighted.
8. Warmth and Humor. The company may be hiring you to be the spokesperson for their product. Be likeable and genuine. Find a moment to bring some humor into your audition. Advertising sells to the consumer. What better way than with wit, charm, and a bit of fun.
9. Articulation. Diction, diction, and better diction. Practice with tongue twisters so you can warm up the muscle before you audition.
10. Turnaround. What is life like before the product is introduced and what is it like after? Be mindful of words such as "and," "because," "then," "but," "so," etc. This is where the change up occurs and can be demonstrated.
11. Focus. Where are you looking? Hopefully into the camera, if that is where you are directed. Memorize the first and last lines so you are looking up and are present. In the first line you reel them in and capture their attention. The last line is what you leave them with. Make an impression.
12. Have Fun. If you are not having fun, it may be time to go back to your day job!
The next time the commercials come on while you are watching your favorite TV show, don’t get up. Watch and see what tips from this list you can spot and how they make the message resonate for you.
Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.
Denise Simon is an acting coach and career consultant who has been involved in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years as an actor, teacher, director, and personal talent manager. For 10 years, she was an associate with Fox Albert Management, one of the leading talent management companies in New York, where she managed such clients as Scarlett Johansson, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Lacey Chabert (“Party of Five”), and Judy Reyes (NBC’s “Scrubs”). Denise has coached hundreds of children and young adults appearing regularly on Broadway and in television and film, as well as educating parents on the business of show business.