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Laurieby Casting Director, Laurie Records

Things are ever-changing in the commercial world.  It is imperative – and just next to impossible – to keep up with it all.  I think often times actors are so focused (as they should be!) on the details of booking the job that there is an increasing ignorance about what to do after getting the job…even after shooting the job.  It is heartbreaking to hear about an actor in the commercial world who has inadvertently done something after a shoot that rocks the boat and creates anger in the client.

Commercial actors should never jeopardize their commercial after it has been shot.

I think that secrecy has always been important to advertisers.  The next big move, idea or big campaign is a big deal, and it is important to keep it under wraps.  A ton of time and money go into commercial ideas and the execution of them.  The actual shoot of the commercial is toward the end of a long process and the last thing advertisers want is for their cover to be blown to their competitors. 

You may have experienced, probably on an increasing level, having to sign non-disclosure forms at an audition.  They usually are long-winded and filled with legal jargon…and a little difficult to decipher.  In a nutshell, the advertising agency is asking you not to tell anyone about the content of the commercial you have an audition for, as well as its intended run or usage. Some of them say that they don’t even want you to verbalize you had an audition for the product at all.  So if you want to play it safe, keep your mouth shut after you sign a non-disclosure form.

Now, after you have booked and shot a job, this is when you need to be extra-careful.  ALL YOU VETERANS OUT THERE…THIS IS THE TIME TO PAY ATTENTION.  Be very careful about what you say to the masses about the commercial you just shot.  And be really careful about what you put in writing.  DON’T POST ANYTHING ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL YOU JUST SHOT ON THE INTERNET.  Don’t blog about it.  Don’t talk about it on MySpace or on Facebook, either.  Don’t talk about the commercial on the Internet until you see it on the air.

The ramifications for you will be very serious if someone of importance in the world of the commercial you just shot sees what you wrote.  Your lips should stay sealed even if you didn’t sign a non-disclosure form.  No one should have to tell you not to talk about the commercial.  You just shouldn’t. At the very least, keep the conversation about your excitement (yes, verbal…not written or e-mailed) limited to your friends and family.  Get on your cell phone, not your computer.

In general, keep the details of the commercial you shot “hush-hush.”  I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that it could mean the difference between you appearing in the commercial or ending up on the editing room floor.  This is real and it has happened.  It’s a devastating price to pay for an innocent mistake.

Laurie Records, Casting Director