My first professional booking through my agency was with Audi the car company. The director had directed Tom Hardy in a commercial! Needless to say, I was nervous.
I made a mistake that made me look like such a newb. In this post, I'll reveal the mistake and tell you what to do instead.
It's super embarrassing to think about, but I'm so glad I did it because now I know what not to do. Make it a goal to review a lesson learned each time you leave set.
The commercial script focused on a couple getting ready in the morning, then deciding to go for a ride in their sweet sports car. The final cut doesn't have any lines, just focuses on the car, so I'm not sure if you can even find this version online. If you do, please comment with the link!
We shot a scene in the kitchen drinking our morning coffee and eating breakfast. I was standing at the kitchen island, and my goal was to just be a normal woman in her kitchen on a normal day.
Whenever I moved a plate on the island or sat my coffee mug down, I flinched anytime it made a noise. Then I went so far as to carefully place things on the island so that they didn't make any noise.
Please don't do this. It makes you look so green.
I'm fairly sure they didn't use any of those shots because they're so unnatural!
Think about how you normally set down a plate or coffee mug on a surface. It makes noise! Just live naturally in your set environment.
I mean don't slam something down on the counter, but ask yourself, "Is this how I normally perform this action?"
I should've just focused on being an actor and let the sound guy tell me if there was a noise issue. Remember, there's an audio team there for a reason. They will let you know if they need you to adjust an action. Don't do their job! Just be an actor!
I also want you to realize that no one on set ever said anything to me about this. They just expected me to be professional. I didn't realize I had done it until after the shoot. You probably won't get much direction, just get labeled as a newbie actor that needs more experience.
I can tell you one thing--Tom Hardy would've just set that coffee mug on the kitchen island like a boss.
My philosophy is that an actor's job is to just be themselves.
Ask yourself next time you're on set, "Is this how I naturally perform this action in my day-to-day life?" Adjust accordingly if not.
My acting coach has also suggested that I film myself doing daily tasks. His goal was for me to learn how little I actually do so I don't feel awkward doing less on camera. However, you can also use this exercise to study yourself in your natural environment.
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If you continue to ignore the business and marketing side of acting, it won't just go away. Your personal brand is the foundation of your acting business. Start building your personal brand package today. Read my post Personal Branding Brainstorm for Actors to learn more.