Monday, March 11, 2013
Why I'm not a Commercial Television Star
So to back up this story train, I was recently invited to audition for a commercial. They were looking to cast food bloggers for a popular food item that I eat frequently enough that I had visions of a packed fridge and endless life supply dancing in my head as soon as I got the e-mail. I was asked to submit a headshot and they followed up via phone with a time slot and a script to memorize.
This wasn't my first on-camera rodeo. Part of my grad school program at Medill included broadcast journalism and I did read for a children's news program as a 'tween back in the day (I think I was 11?).
However, I wasn't quite anticipating this particular set up. It was something right off of every reality television show ever. They were auditioning kids for a different opportunity and they all had glossy 8x10 photos and moms quizzing them on the script. That's when I started to feel unprepared.
I was taken into an empty studio almost immediately and plunked down in front of a camera. I did a quick intro and then tried to read through the two commercial scripts I was given.
It was not as easy at it looks. It's intimidating to stare into a camera and pretend to talk to people who aren't there.
It was over in 10 minutes, and I as on my merry way. And I never got a call back for a second audition, so I suppose that's all over with.
However, it was a really cool experience that taught me quite a bit about appearing on camera and about myself. First, I speak much better off the cuff than I do with a script. I'm far more comfortable and relaxed talking to a person rather than a lens. And finally, I should have prepared better. Those scripted comments should have flowed easily, despite my nerves, and would have with more preparation.
Until then, I'll stick with social media. I'm good at that, and I don't have to worry about my makeup, either.