Commercial Acting Tips

By AM Staff

  • Appling the Rule of Threes…

    Figuring out exactly what to do in order to give a strong commercial audition can be challenging. It’s not just a simple matter of smiling while saying the product name and hoping for the best.

    There are critical elements of style, for instance, that must color your delivery, dependent upon the type of commercial you’re trying out for. If you’re familiar with the commercial type and demonstrate its distinctive style, you’ll obviously do well. But if those elements are missing, you needn’t bother writing down the shooting date in your calendar.

    Here’s a useful shorthand tool for clarifying your needs and keeping you a step ahead of the competition. It breaks commercials down in three stages, enabling you to classify the commercial, develop the requisite performance, and ultimately refine the delivery.

    Each commercial classification has three specific criteria of style-hence the “Rule of Threes.” Let’s look at this tool in detail and cite some examples:

    Step 1: Classify the Type of commercial

    Commercials can be broken down into just three basic types. There’s the product-spokesperson spot, the slice-of-life spot, and the classic spot. (“Spot” is industry jargon for commercial.) Any other commercial is nothing more than a variation or combination of these three.

    In the prestigious product-spokesperson spot, you’re the only one (besides the product) in the commercial. It’s your job and yours alone to sell the product.

    In the slice-of-life spot, you perform ordinary routines such as shopping at a store, eating at a restaurant, working at your job, or engaging in recreation with family or friends. In most cases, this kind of spot has a separate narrator, meaning of course, you’ll have no dialogue.

    The classic spot truly deserves its name, having been around since TV began. In this type of commercial, a problem is presented, such as, for example, a large stain in your beautiful carpet. Then the product is introduced, after which comes the resolution: the product makes short work of the nasty stain, and presto—life is now worth living.

    Step 2: Develop Your delivery According to Type

    If you’re auditioning for a product-spokesperson spot, you’ll want to affect a delivery that exudes a polished sense of authority.

    If you’re going out for the slice-of-life spot, all you need to concentrate on is going through familiar, real-life activities in an unaffected, good-natured way. (How could you shop with authority?)

    Your delivery in the classic spot is a little more complex because it involves carefully orchestrating your moods. For example, you’ll need to display frustration during the beginning, problem portion. Then you should indicate grateful amazement during the clean-up or resolution stage. Finally, you should end the spot with an expression that clearly demonstrates that a bottle Stain-Be-Gone is the best friend you ever had.

    Step 3: Refine Your Performance According To Environment

    In the product-spokesperson spot, you need to fine-tune your authority by adding some personal warmth. However, your surroundings will dictate just how much. In a clinical setting, for instance, you might be wearing a white lab coat and pitching aspirin. You would want, on balance, lots of authority and a little warmth.

    In a corporate environment, where you’d wear a suit and sell something such as financial services or long-distance phone service, you’d do better with more warmth than authority.

    A third, less common style for the product spokesperson is the comedic one. Producers often look for a comedian to fill such a role. But if, during your audition, your timing is good and you genuinely entertain the room, your chances are just as good as any comic’s.

    Remember to always look for and consult the storyboard at every commercial audition. Next to your commercial sides, it’s the best thing for confirming the choices you’ve derived from applying the Rule of Threes.

    About The Author
    Mark Brandon’s Winning auditions is a concise guide designed to help actors immediately increase their callbacks and booking rates. Hollywood Producer/Writer Bob Fraser wrote, “This baby belongs in every portfolio or knapsack of every actor on the planet!” Visit Mark’s site at:

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • 4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands

    4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands Question: Now that you are off-book, should you bring your sides into the audition room with you? Should you use them during…

    Beware Career Advice From Family During the Holidays

    Beware Career Advice From Family During the Holidays (by Carmichael Phillips) Going home for the holidays can be a social minefield for actors, sometimes. It can be replete with uncomfortable stares, snide remarks,…

    Don’t focus on how you say your lines. Focus on why.

      Don’t focus on HOW you say your lines. Focus on WHY you say your lines. Once you understand your character’s “why”, you will naturally emphasize words based on that “why” (by Tonya…

    Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot.

      Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot. (by Webby) Is it time for you to get new headshots? Fantastic! If you are a new actor getting headshots for the…

    Never tell casting directors your main area of interest is “acting”

      Never tell casting directors that your main area of interest is “acting” (by Webby) Oftentimes, an actor will be interviewed before an audition. The purpose of the interview might be to get…

  • Ad

  • Top Secret: Wear your audition outfit to the callback!

      Top Secret: Wear your audition outfit to the callback! (By Webby) (CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING IS A TOP SECRET ACTING TIP. TELL NO ONE OF THIS!)   _____________________________________________________________________________________ After an audition, don’t wash…

    Beef-up your acting resume with training, not lies!

      Beef-up your acting resume with training, not lies! Are you a new-ish actor? Don’t have much on your acting resume? Then, beef it up with training, not lies! If you are an…

    Acting Tip: Special skills means special SKILLS

    Acting Tip: On your acting resume, “special skills” means special SKILLS, not your “I-do-this-with-my-leftover-beer-money” hobbies. It might be tempting to load your resume up with lots and lots of “special skills”. Some actors…

  • Ad

  • Acting Tip: Wanna get more “looks”?

      Acting Tip: Get More “Looks” From a Photoshoot Wanna get more “looks” during a headshot photoshoot for free? Wear layers and slowly “undress” for the camera. Great headshots are essential for almost…

    Acting Tip: No Messy Headshots.

    Acting Tip: Don’t make your headshot messy. Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot. Never allow yourself to be upstaged by your shiny jewelry, distracting clothing, busy wallpaper patterns or…

    Acting Tip: Never arrive late to audition.

    Acting Tip: Never arrive late to the audition. “One of the worst things you can do is arrive late to an audition. In addition to being unprofessional, arriving late shows the casting director…

    Acting Tip: Send unsolicited, if necessary

    Acting Tip: Send unsolicited submissions, if necessary. Just because an agency says, “No unsolicited submissions”, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t open or read it. There’s a slim chance they will. And this is…

    Acting Tip: Audition begins upon arrival

    Acting Tip: Your audition begins when you arrive! Your acting audition begins upon arrival, at the audition location, not just when you’re in the audition room. The casting director may be watching you…

  • Ad

  • Acting Tip: Audition with sides in-hand

    Acting Tip: Audition with sides in-hand! Memorize your lines but audition with sides in-hand, as if you are unfamiliar with the lines. Then blow them away with your performance! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest…

    Acting Tip: Get Professional Headshots

    Acting Tip:  Get professional headshots! Unprofessional headshots make casting directors think YOU are…unprofessional. Don’t go cheap!     Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

    Acting Tip: Wait before signing to audition

    Acting Tip: Wait a few minutes b4 signing in to audition. This gives more time to prepare sides…and nerves. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

  • Ad

  • Acting Tip – Headshot Must Look Like You!

    Acting Tip: The most common rule of thumb for an actor’s headshot is also the simplest and most straightforward: It must look like……YOU!       _____________________________________________________________________________ This is the most common rule….

    Acting Tip: Record your lines for easy memorization.

    Acting Tip: Record your lines for easy memorization.   Learning lines can be one of the toughest tasks for an actor. Think about it. An actor may be asked to learn an enormous…

    Commercial Acting Tips

    Appling the Rule of Threes… Figuring out exactly what to do in order to give a strong commercial audition can be challenging. It’s not just a simple matter of smiling while saying the…

    Know Your Acting Niche

    Know Your  Niche! Understanding Your Niche As An Actor… The giant casting machine is a conservative piece of equipment.  The cautious selections it frequently makes are based not on talent alone, but on…

    7 Ways To Fail At Your Acting Career

    Find more info on this author at I usually talk about success, but I thought I’d take a little different tack this time. I have had the opportunity to observe, up close…

  • Ad

  • 11 Habits Of The Successful

    (Acting Magazine Contributor, Author/ Distributor of YouMustAct CD Rom Technology) Find more info on this author at Here are 11 bottom line (absolutely necessary) habitual behaviors that every “pro” actor must possess. YOU MUST BE ON…

    9 Steps to Successful Acting Career

    (Originally published on the web as “The Success Attitude”) Many of us go to the gym to stay in shape. (Okay, many of you… I sit around like a lump on log. But…

    Movie Career Tips

    Tips for Getting Your Movie Career Launched Hollywood helps those who help themselves! If you want to get your movie-acting career fast-tracked then here are three common sense tips to help you on…

  • Ad

  • How Do I Break Into Acting?

    Breaking into acting is different for each actor. There is no uniform way to jumpstart an acting career. However, there are a few basic items that every actor needs to get started in…

    Guidelines For Child Actors

    The entertainment industry is littered with child actors whose careers came to heartbreaking and sometimes tragic endings. From Gary Coleman to Danny Bonaduce, there are lots of horror stories of child actors who…