“What did you do this summer? What is your favorite food? Tell us about your most cherished childhood memory, dog story, vacation.” Ringing any bells? Ah, yes, the Personality Audition. Basically this is a type of commercial audition that is used when the clients/director just want to see what you look like on camera and get an idea of your personality. Some actors love these auditions and other hate them but either way it is important to remember that it is NOT about what you say and ALL about how you say it.
First, be true to YOUR essence and personality. Don’t try to be too bright and bubbly (unless that is you) but do keep it positive. Don’t get embroiled in any negative, depressing or miserable stories. This is a commercial, right? A little sarcasm is fine (if it is true to you) but you never want an awkward, uncomfortable feeling in the room with this type of audition.
Jump right in with your “story”. Don’t do the “um, let’s see” thing even when they spring it on you. Usually you will have some kind of a head’s up about what the session runner will be asking but if not, just go with it. You are an actor—use your improv skills. Be ready in the moment. And if you are really thrown by what they are asking, then use that and make it funny. You don’t have a favorite vacation? Make something up! The story doesn’t have to be true—no one will know or care. Remember it doesn’t matter what you say but how you say it. Be relaxed and confident.
Finally, keep your response short but not too short. Don’t tell a long drawn out story with lots of exposition (boring). Certainly no longer than 30 seconds. Of course, you don’t want a lot of explaining, etc. but you DO want to use the time you have by filling it appropriately with your presence and personality. If the question is “What is your favorite color?” your answer should NOT be “red”. Don’t make the session runner ask a bunch of follow-up questions to draw you out. Show them your personality but also that you are a confident, professional person who handles yourself well.
So, to break it down:
1. Be you
2 Be positive
3. Don’t hesitate, hem or haw
4. Keep it short but not too short
5. As always—Have Fun!