BWW Exclusive: Writer/Director of Web Series THE RESIDUALS Gives Hilarious Tips for Commercial Auditioning
Throughout its first season, BroadwayWorld TV has been very proud to air every episode of the new webseries THE RESIDUALS. With just two episodes left, Creator/Writer/Director/Star Michael Paul Smith has constructed a hilarious list of 10 Tips to Commercial Auditioning.
Check out Michael's tips below, and whether you are an actor or not, catch up on the series at www.theresiduals.tv in time for the next episode, which will be released on Tuesday at 1:00pm.
Now for Michael's 10 Tips to Commercial Auditioning:
All of my favorite sitcoms started with real-life experience. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David weren't (to my knowledge anyway) a couple of accountants from Muncie, Indiana who decided to write a sitcom about single life in New York. So when my wife Gillian Pensavalle and I wanted to produce a vehicle for ourselves as actors, we started with stuff that really happened to us, and then it was up to me to take it to absurd places. What resulted was "The Residuals"--a show about the uniquely crazy world of commercial auditions. With that in mind, here's 10 bits of wisdom for you commercial auditioners. Please don't do these too well--lest we run out of material!
1) Trying too hard reeks of desperation. It starts in the waiting room and continues until you're on the subway platform. There's a pretty obvious line between "I'm here and I'm gonna be myself and also be professional," and, "If I make the perfect amount of small talk then everyone will think I'm funny and important." You can also drive yourself crazy if you feel like you have to be "on" all the time.
2) Before you begin, ask yourself, "Who am I talking to?" If it's not clear in the copy, then just pick someone from your imagination. Audition techniques 101, I know. But you will book more if you do it well.
3) Have fun, but ask before improvising. "Have fun with it" is one of the most commonly given directions at commercial auditions. Sometimes, that refers to the energy you bring, and sometimes they want you to improvise. So ask! But when in doubt, give a "clean read" before you get your improv on too much.
4) Have your own projects. This goes with the "don't be too desperate" rule. You can't be desperate when you can say to yourself, "Hey my musical is already the stuff and I'm a couple of bottles of Chateau Diana away from hosting its first table read, so boom!"