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How Do I Become a TV Commercial Actor?

Aspiring TV commercial actors attend auditions while taking acting classes.
Some commercial actors provide voice over work.
Some actors specialize in TV commercial acting.
Actors must have head shots.
Commercial actors may gain experience by performing in local stage plays.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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In order to become a TV commercial actor, it is best to take some acting classes. In fact, many of the people who appear in television commercials have degrees in theater and acting. One of the best ways to get started is to get acting experience while completing courses or a degree in acting. This can be done by performing in productions that the acting school puts on or in productions put on by local theater companies.

Instead of waiting to finish an acting degree or classes, consider going on auditions for commercials while studying. Even if this doesn't lead to any parts, it provides good experience in the auditioning process. If it does lead to even a small part as an extra, that experience can be included on a resume and can hopefully lead to other work in the future.

Some actors work on a freelance basis, while others have agents who help them to book work. There are some agents who specialize in working with actors who do commercial work. It is not absolutely necessary to have an agent to become a TV commercial actor, but it can certainly help. In order to get an agent, research professionals who specialize in commercial work and contact them for information about how to apply for representation.

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In addition to acting on the screen, some actors specialize in voice-over work. In order to find voice-over work, you'll need to have a demo tape that shows off your vocal range and different voice characters. This, along with other materials, can be sent along to an agent who helps actors to find work. Voice-over acting is used for many kinds of commercials, including animated ones and those that relay extra information via voice instead of through character dialogue or text.

While working to become a commercial actor, it is important to keep a log of all work experience and to regularly update your resume. It is also helpful to update your demo tapes on a regular basis in order to display new or refined talents. The best way to format a resume and to develop and update a demo tape can depend on the type of commercials you appear in as well as the type that you would like to appear in in the future.

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Discuss this Article

tigers88
Post 2

It's weird when you see an actor that you recognize from film or television suddenly show up in a commercial. I am not talking about big stars who go on TV to endorse a product. I am talking about smaller character actors who probably take any kind of work that they can get.

Its like, "Hey, there is the dad from that TV show that was on ten years ago. Now he is selling dog food."

truman12
Post 1

My brother has appeared in a few local TV commercials. The work does not seem particularly hard but the pay is not great either. Many local commercials are made on a shoestring budget. Most of the money is going in to buying the air time. When all is said and done they don't have a lot of money to pay the actors.

According to my brother, the real money is is national ad campaigns. He says that you make a little bit of money each time the ad airs. Think about how many times an aggressively marketed commercial appears on even one network over the course of a day. That money would ad up fast.

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