Sunday, September 19, 2004

For the love of.....Commercials?


Tragedy & Comedy Posted by Hello

Didn't get an opportunity to write yesterday, as I had Day One of my workshop, and then went out and got REALLY drunk at a party so was in no shape to entertain you with my blathering.

The workshop I am referring to is Sears & Switzer's TV Commercial Weekend. This is a target in the industry that I have had very little success with, only gaining one semi-major gig so far (though have also won two promo spots for television stations), and I would like to get my hands on more of the work. Television Commercials are probably my best chance to get any real impact in the industry - so I need to learn the skill.

Yes, there is actually a skill required for Commercial Auditioning. If differs quite dramatically from the stage, and even quite a bit from other television and film auditions. As David Switzer mentioned in the course, commercials are driven more by the marketing side of things than the artistic so you need to be able to not only sell yourself, but be able to sell their product. "Solve Their Problem" is the best summary I've seen.

David Switzer and Theresa Sears are two phenomenal teachers, and I highly recommend any actor, both new and experienced to take their courses. I had a blast in this two day workshop. All my classmates were great to get along with, and everybody had their own dynamic energy and style that really spiced up everything.

I did have one small problem though. And this is a common problem among Canadians.

They complimented me just too damn much!!!

Geez. Even writing that statement makes me out to be an arrogant bastard. But I don't know how to discuss the issue if I don't lay all my cards on the table. Please don't hate me because I'm...er...beautiful. Or something like that.

The reality is, hands down, that I had the most acting experience in the room, except for the teachers. I have had a lot more chances to hone my craft, and it has made me a very competent character actor. So, I'm able to read into a scene a little faster then some and can find the meat that's going to make my presentation very impactful and normally very funny. My classmates rallied around this, complimenting me constantly...so much so that I found it difficult to leave the building at lunch due to a much swelled head.

Jeez...I wish some of these people were casting directors. I'd be able to retire by now, sleeping on my big pile of money in the South Isles.

This can actually be held against me though. It's my own instinct to find or create humour wherever possible...even though perhaps humour wasn't called for. So, I'm sure I've lost good paying opportunities in the past because I was a little too over-the-top for the casting director. I've been aware of it for awhile, but there were a couple spots during the class that threw up the mirror to my face and made me see myself for what I am. A grade A 'Foole'.

As an appendum to my entry the other day about education, I know one thing. I need to take some courses that study the dramatic side of the acting world and purge a little bit of the comedy from my soul. Not enough to change who I am - I know my main sellable features are my goofy face and elastic expressions...but if I want to continue to grow as an actor I need to spread roots in other areas - lest I get pigeonholed like people tried to do with Jim Carrey and Robin Williams - both of which have proven they do have the chops to pull off straight situations while being able to snap into their zany personalities at a moment's notice.

I'm not there yet. But with some more schooling and a bit more work under my belt I may just have a shot at the big-time. So, I take the formidable knowledge I received from this course and wait for my next moment to shine.


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