An aspiring actor can find work in commercials to make money, gain exposure and facilitate greater ambitions in film or television. It is quite common for actors to find their first professional work in commercials. A national commercial can carry quite a respectable payday as well. If you want to gain work in a commercial, you must first go through the process of auditions. Getting a commercial audition is a crucial part of getting that job.
Get a commercial headshot. Contact a photographer who handles actor headshots. Arrange an appointment to take your photo. A commercial headshot differs from a theatrical headshot in one major way: Your facial expression should be joyful and not as serious. While you are having your session with the photographer, you can take advantage of the time by taking photos you can use for a theatrical headshot as well, when you are seeking a theatrical agent.
Choose the commercial shot you like best. Photographers often give the actor a CD or send an email with an attachment, both of which contain all the shots from the session. Go to a photo development location that handles or specializes in lithographs and actor headshots. Print a large number of hard copies and keep the digital version after it has been gone over with improvements.
Retrieve a listing of commercial agents and agencies. These listings will inform you of which agencies and agents handle representation for commercials, theatrical or both. Note the agents and agencies you wish to contact.
Send via mail your headshot to the recipients you notated. Attach a resume to the back of each headshot. Your resume should include your contact information, height, weight, eye color and hair color. Include a listing of any work you have done in the past. If you do not have any experience in film or television, including commercials, compile a list of any work you have done in the theater. Include with your headshot a brief cover letter outlining your desire to attain a commercial agent.
Wait for an agent to contact you. Due to the large number of submissions they receive, an agent usually only contacts you if he is interested. The agent will want to either represent you on the spot or call you in for a brief interview. Once you have acquired a commercial agent you are ready to go on auditions.
Wait for a call for an audition. Your agent will receive daily breakdowns detailing all the commercial auditions in town. Each spot will describe the “type” the casting director is looking for. If the description matches you, your agent will submit your headshot electronically. Nowadays, most submissions to casting directors arrive electronically. The casting director will contact your agent if she is interested. Your agent will contact you with all the information regarding the audition.
Go on the audition. Keep in mind that the casting director is going for a certain “look.” He is not looking for the best actor in town. Choose your clothes accordingly. Your wardrobe should match the description of the person or character in the commercial. Be cordial when you walk into the casting room and give it your best.
A novelist and essayist, Daniel Fox has been writing since 1996. His work has appeared in various international periodicals. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.