First and Last Impressions

Lauren Lethererby Lauren Letherer

Just a bit of advice from someone who worked as a commercial  casting assistant for 13 years, and has been auditioning for over 16 years.


So you have a commercial audition. Awesome! You did all the steps necessary for you to be sitting in the lobby, waiting for your turn.

What happens once you get in there?

The session director will tell you what is expected of you: where to slate, what props or blocking will happen during the spot, where your eye line will be, how the shot is framed and what the tone is. If any of these questions aren’t answered, it is completely okay to ask before you begin. Remember the director has been doing this all day, sometimes, they may skip a step. Then they will most likely take your picture on camera then go right into filming the slate and the spot.

Most important step? BREATHE. It is crazy how often we forget to do the simplest things when we get nervous. 2nd – you are responsible for the energy you bring into the room. Don’t suddenly pop into happy actor mode once the camera is on. Go into the room with a good positive vibe. Otherwise it just feels false once the camera is rolling.

I know you want to be friendly, but please don’t shake the session directors hand.

They can see up to a 100 people or more in a day and, frankly, will not want the germs. Next is an absolute must… If there is copy? READ IT ALOUD OFF THE BOARD before the taping begins. It is there for you – just in case you need to pick up a line or two. Know where every line is before you begin. Make sure to memorize the first and last line. Regardless of how many times you’ve drilled it in your car, something bizarre happens when you actually say it out loud the first time in the room. So speak it before the camera starts rolling.

When you finish, there is no need to start a conversation or tell a story or comment on what just happened. You did everything you needed to do.

Go ahead. Leave.

And I challenge you, when they say “Thank you” respond with “You’re welcome.” After all, you are helping them out. They can’t do their job without you.