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Let’s face it. Television commercials can pay big money. Primary actors in national ads can make five to six figures from one project. Commercial and print auditioning is very different from theater, television and movie acting. I always say that, “commercials aren’t Shakespeare – they’re Shake-n-Bake.” It’s vital to know how to differentiate and develop these important auditioning skills to win the auditions that can bring huge rewards. It’s an Olympic-style competition, where the winners are decided by the smallest of margins. There are a lot of acting classes out there, but where can an actor learn the fine art of winning commercial and print auditions?
Join us for:
“Secrets To Winning Commercial and Print Auditions”
Thursday Evenings: 6:30PM – 8:30PM in Hayward, CA
This is an established and successful 6 week workshop that is fun, fully interactive and proven to work! During the course your auditions and performances will be filmed and you will get immediate, honest feedback when your auditions and performances are played back in class. It’s a commonly known fact that auditioning can be frustrating and rather lonely because actors don’t typically get feedback after an audition. Getting honest and constructive feedback and advice is immensely valuable to an actor’s ability to learn from their own performance then immediately self-correct. When finished with this course, the actor will have all the tools and knowledge to feel confident in their skills to win commercial and print auditions.
Some of what you’ll learn:
Additionally, you’ll learn The Business of The Commercial Audition: Industry terms, lingo, procedures, paperwork, head shot/comp-card tips, image advice, and more!
To join us, simply click your payment option below! Choose from the standard 6-Week course for $400.00 (paid in full) or reserve your spot with a $200.00 reservation fee. Full payment will be due when you come to your first class.
Special Offer! Choose the Unlimited Access Option, where you can attend class as long as you want – forever! This option is $650.00, paid in full. This option gives you peace -of-mind to know you’ll have a safe and productive place to come practice your craft and constantly improve your auditioning skills. Many of our clients who now have Agents and are regularly auditioning have chosen this option because they know that an agency won’t keep talent who aren’t winning auditions and booking jobs.
About the Instructor: Not only is Steve Cozart a successful actor currently represented by top SAG agency in San Francisco, he is also a commercial talent manager, helping to start the careers of countless commercial talent. He has appeared on many local, national and International network television shows, several national TV commercials and music videos. He is also a professional commercial print model. Steve is an award winning photographer and commercial acting coach.
I was wondering the other day – When it comes to getting into acting or modeling, what does it mean to “pay your dues”?
I meet hundreds of people each month who have various levels of interest and/or passion for being in the spotlight, acting, modeling, performing, etc. I absolutely LOVE meeting people and hearing their stories. I feel an instant bond with people with whom I share this passion.
All my young life I was very clear with my family and friends that I wanted to be a performer. I learned guitar, bass, keyboards, I liked to sing and write songs. I was in drama, wrote plays and made little movies with our super 8 movie camera. Almost everyone I knew was very aware that this was going to be in my future, and each of them had a similar opinion of how my future was going to look. Here is that opinion:
“Oh, well – you’ll have to take tons of lessons, practice everyday and then it’s so competitive there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it.”
Or, my favorite –
“Be prepared to starve as you work your way up from the bottom. You have to pay your dues, because the big money doesn’t come until you get “discovered!”
It seems to me that people think that the only way talent gets paid is to “make it big!” Well, if you think of commercial acting/modeling, who do you think is making all the money? Is it only the Verizon Guy, Flo the Progressive girl, etc.? Think about all the actors you recognize from regularly appearing commercials. Now think about all the other actors in those commercials you don’t remember seeing, but you know are there. Think of the voice-over talent who are needed for commercials. Now, think of all the commercials you never see, hear or the ones that are shown on the Internet. National SAG commercials can pay principle talent up to six figures, depending on how many markets it’s show in, and how long a spot/campaign runs. For every commercial actor you can think of making “all that money”, there are hundreds making a very handsome living. You don’t need to be a “star” to make a living in acting. How many celebrity lawyers can you think of? Well, we all know that there are a million lawyers out there who make a great living, even though we don’t know their names.
It’s often a big surprise to hopeful actors that, just like a lawyer, an actor need to be fully prepared for the industry he or she is choosing. As a hopeful actor enters the world of showbiz, they need to know that their responsibilities include:
– Being a consummate professional. That means 1.)know the business of show business – how the business works, the roles of agents, managers, publicists, directors, producers, editors, etc.
2.)It’s a business and the actor is a product. An actor needs to purchase marketing tools (like head shots, resume, monologues, etc.) that will be impactful and of a high quality that will land them an agent. Those same head shots, etc. is what the agent uses to try and get you auditions. It’s your business – you provide the marketing tools.
3.)Know your craft! Be great at what you do! Constantly train, learn, improve and seek perfection. If you’re only in it for the money, it will be a short and unfulfilled career. Improving and refining your skills is your responsibility to your audience and especially yourself.
If you want to do unpaid acting to build your resume, that’s up to you. It’s always best to get paid for your craft – always do your best to get an agent as soon as possible. Being prepared and professional enough to get an agent is the fastest way to get the opportunity to audition for the high-paying work. Most of my commercial actor clients were people with little or no experience or actors taking anything they could find to make a little bit of coin. 99% of the clients I choose to take on now have agents. So, in short -here’s what me and ALL of my working actor clients know. The mistaken idea of “paying dues” is really just taking the proper steps to prepare and start your business. It doesn’t need to be painful or perceived as a negative thing. Don’t expect that anyone will provide quality or meaningful training and photography to you. These are some of the the most important tools and skills you need to wisely purchase and bring with you to this exciting business.
I’m always looking out for your image.
Rebecca explains, “I always knew I wanted to be a performer! I started dancing when I was 3 doing tap, jazz and ballet. When I was 12 I decided I wanted to be a ballerina or at least some sort of professional dancer and started dancing days a week and going into New York whenever possible to take classes. I even started doing my solo performances that year and fell in love with the stage! I went to some ‘model schools’ that year after they promised to jump start my career and they were totally useless. I wasn’t the over 6’ tall, typical model type so they dropped me like a bad habit as soon as I finished their classes!
At 14 I went and met with an agent who represented performers on Broadway and she offered me a contract on the spot. She told me I had 2 weeks to review it and get back to her. The next week my parents decided to split up and there was no time for me to do Broadway anymore. I decided to move to CA when I turned 18 to go to college and to become an actress. I knew I needed headshots and other images, but really didn’t know what I was doing, so I know I wasted my money and time. I sent my homemade pictures in all the wrong ways to every agent I could track down and got absolutely no hits!
Fast forward to present day:
My boyfriend and I moved back to CA and I realized that I really missed performing and I needed to try again to become an actress. I did a web search for agencies in The San Francisco area, and every agency I found that did any kind of Open Call was looking for the tall model-types, which I was not. I stumbled across the Steel Model and Talent website and checked out every inch of it. I found their contact form and filled in all of my information. I got an email and a phone call from the owner Laurie and after talking to her I made the 3 hour drive to the Bay Area to meet her and Steve. They were honest and upfront with me and I knew right away they were there to place me with an agent. They are nothing like the “Modeling Schools” you always hear about. They planned and executed a very professional photo shoot and I couldn’t have been happier with the results!! Steve Cozart knows exactly what the San Francisco agents are looking for and shoots not just pretty pictures – but truly effective marketing tools, designed to portray me in a multitude of commercial vignettes. I have gotten information and coaching I wasn’t even expecting from Steele Model and Talent!! They opened doors for me that I had tried so many times to open myself and gave me the opportunities I needed to go after my dreams because they have true relationships with the local agencies. They are truly my business manager and consultants, helping me to thrive in the sometimes confusing industry.
I got the chance to show myself to the agencies in the Bay Area, learn what it takes to do my best at auditions and be a professional in this industry. Now, thanks to them I was able to find an agent and sign a contract! I couldn’t have ever done it without Laurie and Steve at Steele Model & Talent Management & Steve Cozart Photography!”
Congratulations to Rebecca! She is a great client!
I’m always looking out for your image! –Steve
You love the business! You want to act…to model…to perform! What are you bringing to the table that will get you noticed – get you to the next level? Get you where you want to be in the business that you love? Is it your acting skills? Your face? Your body of experience? You just want that chance to show your “stuff” to the right person….right?
Who is that person? An agent? Great question! Thanks for asking! Let me see if I can’t help you decide.
NOTE: This article is directed mainly to talent who are either new to the business or have not yet been represented by an agent. I’m also mainly discussing commercial, SAG/AFTRA franchised, full-service agencies in a market like San Francisco. Your mileage may vary!
Okay – so, let me explain what an agent is NOT. At this level of your career, your agent is not Ari Gold, like in the HBO show,”Entourage”. Your agent does not meet you for sushi, take you on trips to exotic locations in private jets or pay for your travel and accommodations. An agent is not your mentor, your teacher, your image-changer, your industry coach or your friend. Your agent doesn’t know why you didn’t book the gig, or have any insight from the director on what you could do to audition better next time.
It’s pretty cut and dry. The difference between an aspiring talent and a professional talent is that the professional gets paid. If the talent wants to make the big bucks, then they generally need to be represented by a SAG/AFTRA franchised agency – or one that operates at that same level. It is in this arena where the industry pay scale, rates and bigger-to-huge projects are cast. This, my friends, is where the money is. If you want the opportunity to compete at this level, you need an agent.
An agent’s job is simple.
1. They market their talent. You are the product and they are your own personal sales & marketing division of your brand. You provide your agent all your marketing materials like head shots, comp cards, resumes, size charts, Polaroids, etc. to allow them to easily and effectively submit you for auditions and castings.
2. When a project or campaign is casting for a certain type or skill, the agent goes to their talent pool and submits those people who fit the requirements for consideration. The casting people pick who they want to see from those submitted and your agent then contacts the talent with the details of where to be, what time, what to wear, when it will shoot, scripts (sides) and all other pertinent data.
3. Your agent only makes money when their talent books work. They are VERY motivated to get the talent the highest compensation they can, because they make a percentage of that compensation. They know how to negotiate and make it happen. The more you make – the more they make. Typically, and agent will make 10% – 20% of what you are paid. Considering how hard they work for you, that’s not a lot. Remember, an agent might submit you many times before you are chosen to go to the casting. They work hard. If you happen to land a project that your agent didn’t submit you to, please notify your agent and ensure they get their percentage. That’s only fair and respectful.
4. You, the talent don’t need to worry about being paid when you have a legitimate agent who is bound by rules of ethics and conduct. They handle all of that for you. Don’t expect to be paid immediately in most cases. This is a business, and the talent usually gets paid last.
I’ve written extensively on what an agent looks for, but suffice to say that you need to be marketable, available, flexible and professional. I have the solution for attaining agent representation that works every time with those whom I select to work with in that way. The local agents love what I do because it takes the guess work out of it for them. it removes the risk of representing a talent who will waste time, make mistakes and cost them potential commissions. I remove the risk for the talent too. If you’d like to know more, please send me a note.
I’m always looking out for your image! — Steve
Meet Carmen. She’s a senior in High School and quite the talker. As a matter of fact, during our photo shoot we had to constantly interrupt her cell phone conversations to remind her that we were taking photographs. 🙂 She’s a funny one. She’s an agent’s dream! Multi-ethnic and ambiguous, tall, out-going and talented. We saw that the very first day we met her. When we sat with her parents and explained that we could produce amazing photographic marketing tools and coaching for not only Carmen, but her parents as well – the light went on.
Her parents recognized the wisdom of what we told them – that parents NEED to be involved and even responsible for a large part of her success and avoid trying to insert themselves into the parts of the industry that belong only to the talent. A parent’s job is to keep the kid grounded, doing well in school, in of their kids’ commercial acting career. The agents we submit our clients to REALLY appreciate our parent coaching as well as what we do to prepare our talent for representation. There is nothing worse than a “Show-biz Parent” good health and to ensure the talent is at auditions, bookings. They need to ensure the Coogan account, work permit and health records are current. Blah, blah – sound boring? It’s important!
Anyway – we heard today that Carmen signed with her SAG franchised agent this week! She’s very excited and her parents are very proud. while at the Castro Valley Fall Festival today, her mother – because of recent back surgery – wheeled up to me and gave me a very tearful hug today. Makes me kind of well up as I write this. Very rewarding. Was I surprised? Not at all. I won’t work with a client unless I know for certain that with the tools we build, I can get you an agent. Contact me anytime.
I’m always looking out for your image. — Steve
Mike N. is a man who has recently had a large change in his life. For years, Mike was a Construction Site Safety Inspector. Well, not long ago Mike was laid-off from that job. At 50 years of age, one can imagine that could be devastating to some. On a whim and with some curiosity, Mike came to us thinking that Modeling or Acting in commercials would be a fun and easy way to make money.
When we met, I took all the glamor out of the business for him. Let’s face it – this IS a business. It’s just sales! But in order to participate successfully a commercial talent need excellent marketing tools. We planned his photography, based on what the commercial agents tell me they are looking for, what the industry trends are and what is appropriate for his demographic. I am definitely being consistently asked to be on the lookout for guys age 30 – 50 for commercial agent representation. I can honestly say that I am much more excited about meeting a 40 – 60 year old male prospect than a teenager these days.
I’m very proud to announce that Mike is now with a top SAG franchised agency! We had a number of the agencies interested, so we made sure he had the experience of meeting them all. Can you also believe that there was a bit of a “war” between two of the agencies – both in a mad dash to get Mike working. Incredible story? Yes, but one that is very common with my clients.
Are you a guy who wants to be in commercials and print ads? Are you in the age range I described above? Great! Are you in a transition of life? Call me. The commercial acting and modeling world is one you cannot be laid-off from. You don’t age-out. You aren’t going to be outsourced. You are in control.
Call me for a marketability analysis and video screening. If I don’t know in my heart that I can get you an agent, I won’t make you a client. My personal promise.
I’m always looking out for your image.