Comedy Audition Techniques | December 1 | Erica Palgon
About the class
Raise your comedic acting to a competitive, more confident level with this comedy workshop for commercials. Having trouble deciphering comedic material? Do you find yourself second guessing your acting choices? Are you asking yourself ‘How do I make this funny?’ Do you have stand up, improv training/experience but having difficulty applying it to scripted material? Comedic content can be dry, dark, witty, subtle, broad, campy…the list goes on and on!
Learn specific tools and skills in this workshop, that will focus on accentuating and tailoring your brand of humor and comedic style to your acting as well as building your confidence:
- A focus on honing in on and trusting YOUR creative ideas and details.
- Owning, facing and using your fears and nerves in a smart, clever and effective way.
- Making the best use of nonverbal improv.
- Get a comprehensive understanding and clarification of expectations of directors and producers, as it relates to comedic acting, as well as overall professionalism.
- Addressing common mistakes in auditions and how to avoid them.
- What other skills should you have outside of improv/sketch/stand up that will help with your auditions?
Work with Commercial copy:
- Work on all types of comedy based commercial copy – spokesperson, promos, multiple person scenes, extensive copy with specific blocking, copy with little or no dialogue.
- How to showcase your improv skills wisely and to your advantage without the fear of going “too far”.
- Making use of improv without stepping too far away from the intent of copy. Being able to perform copy with and without improv. Avoiding using verbal improv as a crutch.
- Playing it safe vs making smart bold choices. Finding that happy medium that will make your stand out and be remembered.
- Releasing yourself from a typical commercial read.
- Taking direction – Covering multiple audition scenarios, including interpreting and working with someone who gives no direction in auditions.
- Timing – addressing the pacing of commercials and how to make the most of the time given.
- Give yourself the edge in auditions by being in the know of the most recent ads airing and observing the tone of the ads.
For over 20 years, I have worked on an array of projects/genres, as well as with a wide variety of directors, actors, and casting directors. Through these experiences, I’ve seen many different perspectives. Directing actors in casting can be very fast paced and mixed with so many opinions on approaching a role. When working on commercials with a comedic tone, my focus is always on keeping the director’s vision in mind, but also, knowing and seeing quickly what actors can contribute to this vision and beyond. I am also mindful of keeping in line with what I know of ad agencies’ tastes and standards, at the same time avoiding sacrificing the best of the actors’ talent. When I teach, I give actors an honest and deeper understanding of the commercial process and the best ways to showcase their work in auditions. Revealing these behind the scenes truths and finding that happy medium when I teach is very rewarding as I see actors’ confidence improve significantly. Over my years of casting and teaching as well as being an improv student at The PIT (a truly eye opening and incredibly helpful point of view), I’ve come to understand there is a fear of “getting it right” for the project. As a teacher, I am here to open the door and gently calm those fears you have and make way for more opportunities. I will encourage and nurture YOUR ideas, give you freedom to experiment in a way that showcases YOUR best self, YOUR intelligence, and YOUR creativity! My ultimate goal when teaching is to give actors a competitive edge, where they become a creative, and consistent “go to” for casting directors’ auditions. To become known as an actor that delivers every time!
Comedy Central promos: Bud Light, 3 Musketeers, Twix, Subway, Burger King, Papa Johns, Budweiser, Axe, Geico, Kia, Experian, Lowes, Dave & Busters, McDonalds, Twizzler, Popeye’s, Cadillac, Pop Tarts, Butterfingers, Amy Schumer Show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, The Daily Show, Tosh.0, South Park, Comedy Central Festival, Eugene Mirman comedy special, Workaholics/Stride Gum.
Commercials: Nature Made, ESPY Awards, Booking.com, Geico, Bengay, Target, Volvo, Ford, Lending Tree, Google, T-Mobile,TV Land/Golden Corral, Buzzfeed, Panera Bread, HGTV, Huffington Post, Disney, Champion, AMEX, Logo Channel/Levi’s, Snapple, Pepsi, Walmart, TNT, Wii, Playstation, Kelloggs, Kraft, Coke, Boar’s Head, Target, Citibank, Swiffer, Whole Foods, Longhorn, Meijer, Bojangles, Chevron, TNT, TBS, Discovery, Volvo, Greenpeace, Sobe Superbowl ad, All Bran with John McEnroe, promos for 30 Rock
Directors: Matt Aselton, Russell Bates, Tom DiCillo, Ray Dillman, David Gordon Green, Alison Maclean, Phil Morrison, Doug Nichol, Mark Pellington, Jesse Peretz, Maurice Marable, Ian Gabriel, Jeff Preiss, Frank Samuel, Dewey Nicks, Malik Sayeed, Mike Bigelow, Mark Tiedemann, Fredrik Bond, Jackie Oudney, Baker Smith, Pam Thomas, Glen Owen, Mikon Van Gastel, Kinka Usher, and Stacy Wall.