The Commercial Non-Negotiable

Don’t let this be why you don’t book.

Bill Coelius, the Studio’s Commercial Acting guru, explains the one thing you should never fail to do in your commercial auditions…if you want to book the job. Always tag, always tag, and always tag.

Tag? Button? No matter what you call it, just make sure you do it.

What is tagging? Tagging is creating an alternative line of dialogue that your character would say after the last line of dialogue in the script, even if your character has the last line of dialogue in the script.

What would your character say next after the last line? Write down three choices, choose one that you like. Not what we think they’ll like, we have no control over that. Then, in your first take in your audition, say your tag out loud, always tag and why is that? Well first off, it keeps our brain busy. I’ve seen so often in class, as well as even in my own auditions, an actor will finish their last line and immediately start to evaluate how that work went. That is nothing but terror thinking, which the camera picks up on and then we get rejected unconsciously by the other side of that camera.

I don’t know about anybody else, but for the last five years, every audition I’ve had has said in big caps, improv experience necessary. Improv experience isn’t unnecessary. I took an improv class once it was really fun. What instead I do, is just create three tags, choose one, use it in my first round. Then in my second take, I always use a different tag, and I look like this credible improve master. I’ve booked off tags before alone before! They need to know that you are bringing creativity, spirit, and service to that set, because they have no idea if the spot is going to work or not so they’re really nervous.

So in that audition room we can show them, look I can help you make your spot better or if anything, I know what happens next, because I’ve given it some thought. That is an actor that they can trust. So always tag, write them down on your script, choose one in your first take, use it and then your second take, always use a different tag.


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