I remember the first time I landed a commercial. I had been on sets before, even big sets. But those sets were never about lil old me. Those sets were for huge actors and I was just a background artist or stand in, watching and learning the craft.
No, a commercial with me as the hero felt like a completely different thing. And it was really exciting too. You realise you are there because you have beaten 100’s of other actors and the client and director want you to represent your brand.
It’s so exciting. The trailer, makeup artists, costume lady. The whole shebang.
You can imagine my delight at booking my first commercial, right out of drama school. I was sitting in the trailer getting all ready and made up. I didn’t even want to eat too much breakfast on set I was so nervous with excitement. I honestly couldn’t believe it. The week earlier the famous banking company had used me for their brochures in the bank. And then they’d called my agent a week later and booked me for the commercial – wow, it was like Hollywood was already beckoning me.
The makeup lady was busily making me look all fabulous. And then in came the Second AD with her walkie talkie, and full of important updates.
I looked around, eager faced, ready to do well for them.
She very politely looked over to myself and the makeup artist and said “Oh you don’t have to worry about putting makeup on her. You’ll only see her from behind“.
Yup! That is word for word what she said. I was playing a runner for the commercial. But I hadn’t been told I would be running away from the camera.
Oh my goodness! *insert face plant and blushing*
It’s not about you!
Even if next time you are lucky enough to be facing the camera, the hero of the day is still the product. Not you.
Take the free food. Why didn’t I just eat the free buffet. What was I thinking! 🙂
The good news is that now that I have had the chance to work on more than half a dozen of varying size, there are some pretty important things that actors should know about when they step onto a commercial set for the first time.
And on Backstage, I shared a few tips and tricks so that when you rock up for your first commercial ever, you will look like a seasoned pro! You wanna look like you know what you’re doing right? Even if you’re facing away from the camera (oh please don’t remind me). Right. I thought so.
Click HERE to read all my tips for what to do after you’ve cracked open the bubbly and celebrated booking a commercial…you know, when the acting work begins.
* The full article about What to do after you book a commercial can be found on Backstage here.
Running photo credit: