How to Audition for a TV Commercial

Actors of all ages, looks, shapes and sizes are necessary to help brands and companies sell and promote their products. Doing television commercials can be lucrative for actors and open doors to bigger roles. You do not have to be a professional actor or model to audition for a TV commercial, but having a little experience in front of the camera is a plus. Start by preparing properly for the audition. Then, give the casting director energy, excitement, and variety so you book the job.

Preparing for the Audition

Get the details for the audition.

The details should include what the product or service is in the commercial, how long the commercial is, and the role you are auditioning for. You can find the details of the audition on the opening casting call website or flier.

  • If you have a casting agent, they will be able to provide this information for you.

Review the script for the commercial.

The script, or copy, for the commercial is usually released a few days or hours in advance. Get the script and memorize it. Prepare several different interpretations using different tones and inflections. Always memorize the script with a positive, uplifting tone, unless the script calls for a different tone.

  • Practice performing the script with a friend or peer. Make sure you know all the words by heart and can perform it with confidence before the audition.

Dress the part.

If the role you are auditioning for is supposed to be a casual, laid back person, do not wear a suit to the audition. Instead, dress according to how you interpret the part. Look professional and polished, but also like you fit right into the role.

  • For example, if you are auditioning for a role as a manager, you may wear a suit with no tie. If you are auditioning as a young, hip professional, you may wear a hip outfit that has a little style.
  • Do not wear offensive or aggressive clothing to the audition, such as a t-shirt with a large slogan or an outfit that shows a lot of skin.

Read up on the product or service in the commercial.

If you have time before the audition, do a little research into the product or service you will be promoting in the commercial. Watch their other television ads and spots to get a sense of their brand and approach.

  • Notice the tone the actors in their other commercials take and how they present themselves. You can then mimic this tone in your own audition.

Have your headshot and resume ready.

Your headshot should show your profile in a flattering, professional way. Your resume should outline your height, weight, hair color, and eye color as well as any previous credits or roles. Have these two documents on hand for every audition you go to.

  • If you do not already have a headshot, make sure you get one before the audition.
  • If you do not already have an acting resume, you can learn how to create an acting resume for auditions.

Performing Well

Greet the casting director with a friendly, energetic demeanor.

Enter the audition room with a smile. Be polite to the casting director and bring energy into the room. Casting directors are usually tired, overworked, and have seen many other actors before you. Stand out by being energetic and friendly.

  • Greet the casting director by introducing yourself. Shake their hand, if offered.
  • The casting director may ask you to state your full name into the camera and turn to one side to see how you appear on camera.

Enunciate your words and speak slowly.

As you perform the script, make sure you pronounce your words clearly and loudly. Do not mumble or speak too low, as this will negatively impact your audition. Speak slowly and take your time. Use a positive, upbeat tone.

  • As you will have the script memorized, look up at the casting director and make eye contact as you perform.

Act natural and sincere.

Most casting directors are looking for actors who can be natural on camera, especially for television commercials. Try not to appear too staged in your audition. Project sincerity and honesty when you perform. Act like yourself.

  • You may find your first read is much stiffer and staged than your second read. Try to relax, take deep breaths, and act more natural on your second read, if you are asked for one.

Improvise when asked.

After you do a first read, the casting director may ask you to improvise or give variety. Change up how you approach the script. Alter your voice and your body language. Do a different character or persona when you perform the script.

  • Most casting directors will ask you to do this so it is smart to have a few alternative interpretations of the script on hand for the audition.

Respond to direction from the casting director.

The casting director may give you suggestions on how to perform the script or adjustments you can make on your second read. Always follow their instruction. Respond positively to their feedback and use it to make your performance better.

  • Being able to take feedback from the casting director and run with it will show them that you are adaptable. It will also make it clear that you want the part and are willing to act as required to get it.

Wait for a callback.

At the end of the audition, you should thank the casting director, smile, and tell them you look forward to hearing from them. Leave the room on a positive note to increase your chances of getting the job. Then, wait for a callback from the casting director. You will usually get a callback within one week of the audition.

Finding Auditions

Look at online casting websites and forums.

Look at websites like Backstage for open casting calls in your area. Search online casting forums for open calls for auditions for television commercials. Most sites will have a detailed list of open calls as well as what type of look they are searching for. Respond to casting calls that seem of interest to you or calls that match your physique.

Take acting classes.

Another good way to network and find out about auditions is to take acting classes. Sign up for acting classes and work on your performance skills. You can also meet other aspiring actors and find out about auditions through them.

  • Look for acting classes at your local performance center.

Find an agent

A talent agent can help connect you to television commercial auditions quite easily. But finding a talent agent can be competitive and difficult to do. Contact top agencies with your resume and headshots. Once you find an agent, they can then send you on casting calls that are a good match for you.

  • Before you find an agent, work on building a resume of roles. Go on many auditions and take acting classes. Chances are an agent will pay more attention to you if you have a few years of training and experience in the business.

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