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Finding the right Commercial

    This isn’t so much a general step in the acting process, but it’s good to know the basics of how to find the right commercial whether you’re auditioning for an agency, manager, agent, or a role.

    What’s kind of misleading is that for most auditions, it’s better to have a monologue memorized. Nonetheless, learning how to find the right commercial is pertinent to your success in the acting industry.

    The first step is finding a bunch of different commercials. They don’t have to be ones you like, you just need a starting point to find the right commercial. Sometimes you’ll be given a list which will make this step a lot easier, but you can also find commercials online. You might also be given commercial scripts in a beginner’s acting course.

    After you have your list of commercials, read them and think about whether or not you would use this product. It’s not the end of the world if you wouldn’t. In fact, most of the commercials I’ve done I wouldn’t use. My favorite monologue to perform is a Pepsi commercial and I’m more of a Coke person.

    Once you’ve evaluated the likelihood that you might use one of these products, think about your personality. Can you see your personality shining through in this commercial? It’s okay if it doesn’t and it won’t make your commercial any worse than a commercial that does fit your personality.

    Next you’ll want to think about what kind of character would recite this commercial. It’s common for people to act like angels when talking about Hershey's chocolates or be a sports coach during an Old Spice commercial. Whatever character you find for the commercial, you want it to be something that you can do without over doing. Keeping in mind that it’s better to go to the extreme than play it safe with commercials.

    Afterward you can start to think about what motions you can do. This might not matter if you’re going to be on tape, and you shouldn’t choreography any movement that might knock you out of camera frame. Doing so would almost guarantee that you won’t get the job. So, choreograph some facial and hand gestures, but let your legs stay where they are.

    Another tip for commercials is not think about a costume or props at all. No one you’ll be auditioning for will expect you to have either unless they specifically ask for you to be in costume or have a prop. That doesn’t mean that you can’t act out the gestures of eating the most delicious, creamiest, chocolatiest, chocolate pudding you have ever had.

    Now you can reassess which commercial has the best fit of: your willingness to use the product, if it fits your personality, if you could really make it into a character performance and blow someone’s socks off, and if the choreography fits.

Pictured above is actor Madelaine Petsch of Riverdale who got her start at Seattle Talent.