When No One Else at the Audition Looks Like You...

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Have you been there? You walk into the audition wait room and there before you is a sea of other actors, not one of them has the same look as you.

“Maybe I’m in the wrong room,” you think. “She doesn’t look like my type. Am I early? Did I miss it?”

Nope. You’re in the right place, you just happen to be the only waiting to audition who isn’t sporting the same look as everyone else. Awkward.

But it doesn’t have to be. Take a breath. You are supposed to be there.

Keep in mind that the commercial industry is rooted in fear. They have no idea if the spot is going to work until it runs, so sometimes they shotgun their choices.

You can hear the screams from the production offices and casting director, “BRING IN WOMEN!? BRING IN MEN?! BRING IN EVERYONE!?”

READ: 7 Things to Write Down When You Book a Commercial Audition

Maybe the fact that everyone else in the waiting room looks alike (except for you) is a coincidence or maybe it’s purposeful. Either way, it doesn’t matter because you are supposed to be there. You got the call. They know what you look like and what your skills are—they would not have brought you in if they weren’t interested. You have as good of a chance as everyone else if you audition well.

So when you are the only one of your type in that room, your very first thought should be, “YES! I’m going to have a great audition, they have no idea if this spot is going to work, this job is mine.”

I once walked into a commercial casting session for the roll of “boss.” I stopped in my tracks. It was a sea of white hair. Everyone there was at least 20 years older than I was so naturally, my first thought was, “What the $*%? I’m never going to book this. What am I doing here?”

But then I took a breath to evaluate. I have great technique, I trust my agent, I’m supposed to be here. My only job is to give a great audition.

And I booked it. Left those white hairs in the dust.

A producer said on set that they had decided to go with a younger boss after seeing my audition. Bam. Ten grand in residuals. Thank you very much.

That said, what happens when everyone one in the waiting room looks like you? What should your very first thought be? “YES! I’m going to have a great audition, they have no idea if this spot is going to work, but I’m right in line with what they’re looking for, this job is mine!”

Either way, don’t talk yourself out of a job. You’re supposed to be there. Take a breath. Have a great audition whether it’s amidst the sea of different humanity or in a hall of mirrors.

Bill Coelius has been in numerous television shows including “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “Parks and Rec,” “The Office,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Law and Order,” and many others. His movies include “Taking Woodstock” directed by Ang Lee, and “Brave New Jersey” with Tony Hale. He has also booked 49 national commercials which has allowed him to visit Buenos Aires, hang out with James Gandolfini, and get naked on 43rd Street. He also teaches acting in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Detroit. Visit theworkingactorsolution.com to learn more.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Bill Coelius
Bill Coelius has been in numerous television, movies, and over 50 national commercials. He also teaches acting in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Detroit.
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