The Diary of A Commercial Actor

OR

YOU HAVE TO WANT IT*

I am a commercial Actor. Capital A, lowercase fears! It’s not enough to be brave though. To make it in commercials, to wow the client and book the spot, you have to want “it.” In fact, you have to want “it” so much there’s not enough want left for other actors. Their “it”s must be wantless.

If you’re serious about the craft and you really truly want “it,” I will prove that it’s possible to find a truthful moment for Home Furnishings in the morning only to “tread the boards” for Wireless Tablet Devices hours later. Below you will find my meticulous notes from a full week of commercial auditions to use as a guide to more effectively want your own “it.” See you in the casting offices, fellow Actors.

Monday 10:30am @ Cast Aways
 
Spot: Mercedes-Benz, “On Sleek” 
 Usage: National network
 Client ask: Clean shaven talent with strong backgrounds in improvisation only.
 Role: Man 1

jon hamm was Man 2 so i called him “Hamm 2” and he lit up.

Monday 1:00pm @ Cast Offs
 
Spot: Quizno’s, “Go Ahead Make Your Own Food” 
 Usage: Audible Recipes
 Client ask: Must be good at improv.
 Role: Man 1

went too announcery on sauces :( but they liked the smile i put on “porcini” :)

Monday 4:15 pm @ Cast of 1000's
 
Spot: Famous Amos, “Batter Up!” 
 Usage: ESPN Classic
 Client ask: Must be great, not good, at improv, no gluten allergies. 
 Role: Man 1

director loved line i improvised (“Hey, Musburger, don’t forget that oatmeal is the raisin for the season”) but then asked me to stay on script.

Tuesday 11:45 am @ Casting Aspersions
 
Spot: AT&T, “Air Bud Dials” 
 Usage: Cable wildspot
 Client ask: For this retro campaign talent must be superior improviser able to riff on history, no pet allergies. 
 Role: Man 1

a dog keeps butt dialing and his name is Bud which sounds like BUTT. So there’s confusion over the phrase “bud dialing” which is where a lot of the comedy comes from. still laughing about it. great stuff.

Tuesday 1:20 pm @ Cast Iron Skill Sets
 
Spot: Swatch, “A Wrist You Have To Take” 
 Usage: PSA for Polydactyl Awareness Month
 Client ask: Must be amazing improviser to audition, extra fingers a plus.
 Role: 12 Fingered Man 1

never trust the Swiss

Tuesday 4:50 pm @ Cast Your Vote…For Talent
 Spot: Maryland Tourism Board, “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Maryland” 
 Usage: Pandora (Lisa Loeb station only)
 Client ask: Submit top 1% of improvisers and no one else.
 Role: Man 1

wore my warby parkers so obviously i nailed it

Wednesday 1:10 pm @ Let He Who Is Without Talent Cast The First Actor
 Spot: Pop Tarts El Salvador, “Hola, soy delicioso, si?” 
 Usage: Flavor outreach team
 Client ask: Please send us strong improvisers, bilingual not necessary.
 Role: Gringo 1

free pop tarts

Wednesday 3:35 pm,@ Storm the CASTle 
 Spot: Discovery’s Shark Week, “Here Come Those Darn Sharks Again” 
 Usage: Voice over & print
 Client ask: Super solid improvisers need only apply here, ok, agents? 
 Role: Swimmer 1

free snorkle

Thursday 12:00 pm @ That’s A Wrcastp!
 
Spot: AARP, “Take A Stroke Off Your Game…And Your Medical History”
 Usage: Digital billboards along I-90, I-15 & Florida
 Client ask: Sketch and stand-up are trash arts so please only send improvisers. 
 Role: Son of Man 1

said i had a great “grief face” so woot woot.

1 pm — 2pm — lunch at City Harvest

Thursday 3:20 pm @ Four Letter Word Starting with C
 
Spot: White Castle, “Grease Is The Word” 
 Usage: Animatic for pitch
 Client ask: Talent needs to have been on a long form team 5 years or more or they can not audition. Our actors must be able to think fast on their feet, so please do not send talent that can’t react in the moment. We need truth, we need wit, we need charisma.
 Role: Dog 1

lines were all dog noises but they really liked my howls. improv training paying off.

Friday 5:00 pm @ Joe’s Pub 
 
Spot: Shakespeare In The Park, “Hamlet”
 Usage: Live event
 Client ask: Prepare one classical and one contemporary monologue.
 Role: Hamlet

never heard of this product. and which hamlet, 1 or 2? SKIPPING!

* This is dedicated to every actor, agent and casting director in this insane business who’s ever had to deal with its whimsically self-contradictory nature, which is all of you. Love you all and I promise to always be a strong improviser in the room while also not changing any of the copy.