The commercial industry is always looking for self-assured people, who aren’t shy in front of the camera to act in commercials or appear in print ads. The best part? They need ALL ages!
When I was younger, I always thought it would be great fun to be in commercials. Unfortunately, I never had the guts to pursue it.
It is funny though; when age and fine lines started to set in, so did my confidence. I think it is that way for a lot of people.
Let that confidence help you!
What are some of the things you need to started acting in commercials?
Without a doubt, you have to be confident in your speaking and acting ability.
In order to get signed on with a talent agency, you (usually) have to stand in front of a crowd of people and deliver a 1-minute monologue and do a model walk.
This may sound terrifying but remember- everyone else is there to do the same thing and they are JUST as nervous as you are.
2. Professional Headshot.
Don’t just use a snapshot from your photo album. Professional headshots are your calling cards for casting directors and talent agents. The photos should be an accurate representation of you, meaning don’t use too much make-up or photo retouching.
They typically like one smiling and one serious pose.
Referrals of photographers from friends are great but if you don’t have one, a Google search for “Headshot Photographers” in your area is a good way to start. Look over the work on their website to make sure you like their style, and call them on the phone to ask questions. You want to make sure that your personalities are compatible and that you can work well together.
If you are nervous or tense, it will show through in your pictures, but if you have a great photographer who knows how to set people at ease, you will have fun and your pictures will be so much better!
How to Get Signed with a Talent Agency.
I have only had one agency experience and it is documented below. Most agencies work the same way.
In August of 2017, I searched for Casting Agencies in Charlotte, NC. Several came up and I carefully researched them and read over their websites.
The agency that looked like it would be the best fit for me was Carolina Talent. I saw that they were having an Open Call on a specified date and in order to be invited to that call, I had to fill out an application and submit a headshot.
After submitting the paperwork and photos, it took about a week before I got an invitation to come to the open call.
My instructions were –
- come in a body-flattering outfit.
- have a 1-minute monologue prepared to deliver.
- bring a current headshot for them to keep.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous. I WAS, but so was everyone else who was there.
The agency owners began by telling us the history of the agency, some of their requirements, proper etiquette and what is expected as actors and models.
Then the monologues and model walks started. There were about 25 of us who were invited and some people had parents or friends there for moral support. That made the crowd closer to 50 people. Phew! There was no time to be shy and it was too late to back out, so I did it! My monologue was one from the character Truvy from Steel Magnolias.
As an aside, a few days before the open call, I developed a terrible case of poison ivy. It was all over my arms, neck, and torso. I was worried that they wouldn’t sign me because of it. I managed to cover most of it with my hair and clothing.
We were there for about 3 hours and before we left, the agency told us that they would let us know in a week whether we were going to be signed with them or not.
One thing that they mentioned that I thought was so important was this;
“If you don’t get signed, don’t take it personally. Try again next time there is an open call. Sometimes the agency is already filled with say- blue-eyed, blond-haired ladies in the 40-50 age range.“
If they already have enough of a certain “look” and you fall into that category, you may not be signed. Don’t let that deter you. Try another agency or try again in a few months.
What happens next if you are signed on by an agency.
The following week, I happily got an email stating that Carolina Talent would like to add me to their roster of potential actors and models.
This is not the time to sit back and wait for jobs to come to you. YOU have to be proactive and I will write more about that in another blog post.
If you have any questions, I am happy to help!