Ace a Commercial Interview: The Secrets to Booking Your Next Gig! – Video Acting Lesson
Casting is a tricky job. Casting Directors use experience and intuition to select actors. There are also a series of activities built into every audition they use to test actors. You know the basics. You get there prepared and on time, perform well, take a note or adjustment… And that’s when it happens. The casting director interview. It’s one of the best opportunities actors ever get make their auditions so unique and unforgettable that they book the job! Presented by one of 3-2-1- Acting school’s extraordinary acting coaches, Natasha discusses the commercial interview. Take a look!
Developing a solid technique for casting director interviews is the key to acing your auditions. A big part of it is cultivating your “personality,” or more accurately your “professional personality.” And it will have a dramatic impact in your auditions–and life in general! Have a school presentation or speech to do? Going on a job interview? Need to impress for a scholarship application screening? Knowing great interviewing skills will help you with any and all networking; whether to impress a teacher, an employer and of course a casting director.
For all of these, you’re going to be asked to present more than your prepared material, even when that material is awesome. A touch of personal, or personality, will set you apart and raise you a cut above the crowd. When you’re asked that question about yourself, your day, your activities, your opinion, more important than what you say is how you present yourself.
Self-presentation is a major component of auditioning, interviewing and networking. You may have challenges that are unique to you. Are you a nervous talker? Do you find yourself talking to fill empty spaces in conversations and struggle with when to stop talking? Perhaps your challenge is to structure what you say so there is a clear thought and a nice finish to your point. Do you struggle with finding the most important thing to say and end up saying everything that comes to mind? Perhaps your challenge is focusing on a single idea or point and letting it stand on its own. If you consider yourself along the lines of shy or quiet, perhaps your challenge is speaking at all. In all of these cases, practicing the casting director interview will give you the key to acing your auditions as well as looking (and feeling) confident in those many “casual” speaking moments.
The best practice is with guidance and help. Great acting classes for kids, teens and young adults create a safe space for experimenting with skills like these. And whether it’s an acting school for kids in Los Angeles or a community Improv troop two hours from the nearest bus stop, experienced instructors are essential to help you tap your strengths better and faster than you can on your own. If you can get to an acting class, get to an acting class! If not, assemble some friends and get started on your own. On your own? Get in front of a mirror and try these next steps:
Begin with practice and a question you’re probably asked every day by your parents: how was school? Or what did you do today? Now think of one thing you remember from your day. Maybe it was lunch. Maybe your shoelace broke. Maybe you tripped on some grass growing through a crack in the pavement. Okay, you have your thing. As Natasha reminds us, it doesn’t really matter what the thing is — just grab one thing in your mind. Great! Say it out loud. Now say two sentences about whatever you picked.
How was your day at school?
“I had to sharpen my pencil but the lead kept breaking inside. So I sharpened and sharpened until it was just an eraser and a nub, but it still worked.”
Do you care about my pencil? Do I care about my pencil? Probably not a whole lot. But this little moment describes a human moment in time. This particular moment shows perseverance and commitment (the speaker didn’t give up on getting a workable pencil!), and a generally optimistic attitude. The tiny pencil works, technical and literal success achieved.
Most important, whatever your answer, is to have an answer! Any answer. And to deliver it with confidence. Confidence is attractive and contagious. So practice, practice, practice: answer, sentence one, sentence two. And ace every audition and interview for the rest of your life!
Hey there. I’m Natasha from 3-2-1- Acting Studios in Los Angeles here for Top Hollywood Acting Coach dot com. Today I’m going to give you guys a tip about something that will definitely happen in almost any audition and definitely with commercial auditions, and that is called a casting director interview. It may be the casting director, it could be their assistant, the director themselves, the client, anyone. There might be someone in that room that may ask you a question.
This is the time for you to shine. A lot of people think that an audition is just about learning your lines or looking a certain way and going in. That actually is only a part of it. Being able to speak and answer a question, especially if it’s something about you, is so key. So, have fun with it. Don’t over-think it. And be ready for it, because it’s probably going to happen. Here’s a couple great examples of how to handle a casting director interview.
[Title Card: Casing Director Interview starring Nina Gashparova. “How was school today, Nina?”]
FADE IN on Nina Gashparova.
Nina: I saw a cricket in the classroom. And it—and I tried to get it and it hopped—and it went inside my hand and then I opened my hand and it jumped on my arm and then here!
[Title Card: Casting Director Interview starring Tahari Vilay. “What Disney character would you like to be?”]
FADE IN on Tahari Vilay.
Tahari: I’d probably be “Jessie” because she’s like a nanny, and she’s like, “don’t do this! Don’t do this way! Okay, you want to go there? Okay, you want to go here? Okay, let’s go then.” She’s like so much fun. So I would love to be her.”
[FADE OUT to Natasha]
So that gives you a great idea on how to handle a situation like that. You just want to be energized, confident, fun, and even if you can’t think of the perfect answer at the right moment, that’s okay. Any answer will do. As Mae Ross always says here at 3-2-1- Acting Studios, your first idea is the best idea.
So you can practice this tip at home or of course by going to any acting class. It’s great if you can get into an actual class and be around people and teachers to teach you these tips and more. And if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can come visit us right here at 3-2-1- Acting Studios. But no matter what, practice at home, grab a camera, and don’t stop acting! Bye.