The single most valuable and unexpected attribute you can develop from doing commercial work, aside from gaining the knowledge that you can feasibly earn a healthy living in this field, is the fact that you can hone your aesthetic skills as a professional actor by transferring your performance skills from one medium (such as stage) to another (television).
Landing commercial work will not only earn you union status (SAG-AFTRA), but it will also teach you to be ready for anything and on very short notice as a talent. With some tenacity you’re bound to discover you can subsidize your entire career very nicely with commercial work rather than relying on the food-service industry to pay your bills.
Commercial work can raise your game as a talent in a variety of ways. This means you need to study the commercial styles from the ground up. To begin, you need to concentrate on your own demographic.
Demographic is a term used by marketing guys to establish who buys what, who does what, who likes what and when. Are you a 30-year-old guy who is single and plays poker every Saturday night with other guys just like yourself? Fine. You’re homing in on your demographic. Do you eat fast food five times a week and work out once a month? You’re getting warmer. That’s also part of your demographic.
Chances are you’re more likely to book a job based on what you already know first and foremost. So if you’ve been trying to be something that’s a bit of a stretch for you—try for a moment to stop shoving yourself into a mold you might not fit. Too often, we’re taught we’re supposed to be someone else. We’re asking you to abandon that concept for a while. We’re not saying stop trying new things, but perhaps this entire notion we’re suggesting might contradict the approach you’ve been taking.
Next week, I’ll break down the process that will help make studying the medium as a whole much easier.
To learn more about the SOUND ADVICE approach to voice-over and performance, check out our SERVICES page and give us a call to get scheduled. We can even coach you from the comfort of your home computer using SKYPE!