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A neutral performance or audition is a bad audition.  You need to get to the point where you know if your performance is too big or too neutral.

Acting too big and too over-the-top is a legitimate concern, resulting in a performance that is fake and not connected.  However, I’m finding that when some people bring their performance to what they think is “real,” what is actually happening is their performance becomes neutral.  A performance this is neutral reveals no personality and results in us not knowing who you are.  Revealing nothing gives us no chance to like or dislike you.  You need to cause us to react to you.  You can’t let yourself disappear.

Somewhere between the too big and neutral, there is a sweet spot.  You have to know where that “sweet spot” lies in you.

In commercials the client is looking for a definite personality as the person in their spot is branding their message.  Some ways to understand the right energy and choices you should make for commercials is to figure out how the creatives will be using you for their sell.

  1. Are they using you as the victim whose life does not work?
  2. Are you the one whose life works?
  3. Are you the confused character?
  4. Are you the knowing character?
  5. You might be the one whose life isn’t working, but you are smart enough to  gravitate to the product that will make your life better.
  6. Are you the frustrated one?

In almost all circumstances, as commercials are generally light hearted, if you are talking about something that does not work, your attitude will have a bit of humor to it; a comedic skew to the way you look at things.

When you decide who you are supposed to be, make sure you are revealing how you feel with depth.  Being connected to the situation, really feeling it, will result in a connected performance.

The most important element is to find your “sweet” spot.  By that I mean that you are revealing who you are fully…not over-the-top and not too small.  Remember, commercials generally have their own unique energy.

Find YOUR sweet spot!…and have tons of successful commercial auditions with great results.


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Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voiceover, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has contributed to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development, and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”