Wednesday, February 1, 2012
How many times have we thought that?
Lots of times!
But have you ever wondered what happens in the behind-the-scenes of a commercial?
Here's a secret: it's not easy for an actor to do commercials!
When you think that they're just playing silly, well, keep in mind there's method in that too. And when you think, "Pff, I can do it!", well, maybe yes, but keep in mind it's not as easy as it looks and sounds.
If you're an actor, here are a few tips you can apply when auditioning for (or performing in) commercials.
1) When you are told the product that you're supposed to advertise, try asking yourself, "Why do I care about this product?"
There's no such answer as "I don't care". You must care. How can you convince somebody if you're not convinced yourself?
So, find a way to care!
2) Then comes the objective. Remember the objective? I talked about it in my post Auditions - Cold Reading.
Don't forget, it's still a role you're auditioning for; so, just as for a theater or movie role, ask yourself, "What's my objective?" To convince, to charm, to spellbind, to explain, to help...
Once you know the context (also commercials have a plot), thinking of a more specific objective will be much easier.
3) Find some ways to hook into the product.
You may ask yourself, "Why is it useful for me to help sell this product?". It is useful, indeed! Think about this: you can pay for your acting classes with the money you get for a commercial! Isn't that enough of a trigger? Or: a commercial might get you seen by some Hollywood big shot who's looking exactly for a person with your looks to play the next James Bond. Isn't that just what you need to tickle your fancy with and build up some motivation?
4) Find out what commercials you're better for, focus on them, and have your agent focus on them too.
5) Practice on commercials and ads from magazines, newspapers, or products wrapping paper.
6) Use the actual product to punctuate the most important parts of your speech.
7) And then, of course, watch as many commercials as you can!
If, instead, you're not an actor, I hope this post will help you see some of the mechanisms lying behind doing commercials.