VIDEO – How To Execute A Commercial Copy Successfully by Mae Ross

Mae Headshot1. Energy. You are hired because they love your energy. So pace yourself when working so you can keep your energy pumping. Commercials are most always shot in one day. Make sure you get enough rest and eat before and during the shoot. Commercial are “happy-lands- ville.” Got a problem? Commercial products will solve all your problems; hair is clean, you get the guy, the girl, you get fresh breathe, your clothes clean etc. In turn, directors love to hire energetic actors, who are outgoing!

2. Personality/ Naturalness. Let your unique personality shine through. Just be you. Today’s commercial brands, want “real” people to represent their product not loud over the top actors. They called you in, or hired you for your personality, not so much for your acting ability. Needless to say smile when on set. It helps others feel good. Be humble, industry professionals want to work with nice actors. It makes for a smoother shoot.

3. Talent. It is a given you are talented. Use your talent to focus and be disciplined when the going get rough and the shoot is in the 11th hour and you are tired. This is when your talent is tested. Rely on your talent to make performance adjustments the director gives you.

4. Spontaneity. This is where you will really show you are willing, open and ready to take on any challenge given to you. Go with the flow when crazy changes are made. The director may give someone your line or have you trade roles with another actor. Just go with it and have fun. You will be remembered fondly that you were “happy” with any unexpected changes. The director will love you for it and ask you back on his next job.

5. Good voice and diction. This is without saying really, however be sure you close your consonants. Like really making the “ta” sound when the T is at the end of a word. Use your mouth and tongue to shape the words so they are as clear as a bell. Good enunciation is crucial in commercials! You only have 27 seconds to get your point across to make others want to go out and buy the product.

6. Concentration/Focus. It’s really busy on a commercial set. It can be loud or terribly silent so both can make an actor have to really concentrate. This is where eating nutritious food helps you sustain brain power. Also when it’s “downtime” go to your trailer or dressing room and rest! Concentration can be exhausting so take a breather.

7. Take direction. The best actors ask questions. When the director gives you a note, a directive, repeat it back to him so he knows you understand. If you are not sure what he means, ask! Your job as an actor is to perform the commercial the way the director and or clients wants. So go for it.

8. Improvisation. Many commercial shoots do what they call a “play take” or “off book” take. I can remember when acting on a spot the director asked the cast to improv on this one take and for the 2 actors sitting at the coffee counter to kiss. Well, guess which footage made it in to the final edit? Yes, much of the improvisational take and the kiss. Whatever you do, have fun! After all you are doing what you love to do act! And good luck out there!



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Mae Ross Starting her professional career at the age of 10, with a 64 city tour of “The Music Man”, Ms. Mae Ross 3-2-1- Acting Studios’ Owner/Artistic Director was born to sing, dance, act, and model. It wasn’t long before she was full swing into a performing career that would take her from National Campaigns, roles on stage, film, and television to producing one of Hollywood’s finest young actors Talent Showcase. Yet her greatest passion in life was still ahead of her… Ms. Mae, as her students fondly call her, is most proud of her 20 years of working with children, teens and young adults to build greater confidence, discipline and to launch successful entertainment industry careers. “I love helping students reach their full potential.” In 2007 Ms. Mae opened 3-2-1- where she continues her life’s passion guiding young actors to develop and showcase their unique talent through her signature Showcase and Acting Career Program.

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