#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Commercial vs Theatrical Auditions part 2

Is there a difference in process/ prep between screen and commercial acting?

Huge thank you to all my Patreon supporters who make posts like this possible! If you like what you read here, please consider joining us at patreon.com/katehackett 

Yes and no — acting is acting, after all! But generally speaking, you get less time with commercials and they move a LOT faster. So, I’ll present to you a Typical Commercial Audition & a Typical Theatrical Audition! This will be a two parter because it got LONG! Make sure you check out last week’s post about commercials!


I receive an email from my agent at 1pm. I have an audition! It’s for VERY HILARIOUS COMEDY SHOW and their offices are ALL OVER TOWN but I lucked out, I’m going to Burbank! My agent has included the breakdown, sides, and all pertinent information. 10am, Warner Brothers, I have a “walk on” (which means I have to park and …walk on). I print the sides and read them over. 

2 pages, 4 lines, nothing crazy. I start just by saying them to get the feel of it. Great. Cool. Got them memorized. I start building the character by asking myself some questions — who am I? who is the person in the scene with me? what do I want? what’s my obstacle? who does that person remind me of in real life? And this can take as long or as short as I want – this is just creative work. Play. I play with the lines with different circumstances and see what works well.

I call my acting coach and ask to schedule a quick coaching. We meet that evening at 8 at his house and keep playing. I get to choose my movement for this one, unlike commercials where I’m told what to do.

I go home and chill – time to put it down. I know it. I live it. I’m ready.

The next morning, I’m up and out the door by 9. I don’t need an hour to get to WB but you never know if there is a delay getting on the lot or what. I beat casting to their offices and just wander around for a little — hey, it’s the Gilmore Girls set! I text a friend who has a gig on the lot but he’s not in yet. Too early.

At 9:45 I roll back over and wait outside for casting to bring me in. They call me in and the entire thing is a more intimate experience than a commercial audition. They know me here, they called maybe five girls in for this part. I’ve decided to do the audition standing so I can move around and keep my energy up so they adjust the camera for me, I read with the reader, and off we go! 

When I’m done, I head out knowing I did all the work and I was good — and I had fun. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.