Making Faces at Al De Silva
This morning I had an SOC audition, mostly making faces at Al De Silva. I loved it. Al’s probably in his late 20’s or early 30’s, he’s got a great laugh, and usually he likes to joke around. Mostly he casts commercials.
“SOC” stands for Silent On Camera, and it’s used to mean any audition where the actor doesn’t have to talk. In this case it’s an insurance commercial, but it could be anything. SOC roles are mostly for commercials, you know “guy eating ice cream” or “girl with flowers” or “boy walking dog” and that sort of thing.
The audition usually plays out one of two ways. Either (a) they get you to act out a script with no talking or (b) they just get you to come in and talk about yourself. This one was (a), so here are some basic rules of thumb when you get this kind of audition. Usually the scripts are short, just one or two pages, and are mostly reactions to things happening.
i. Don’t say anything on camera. It will be very tempting to use words, but don’t. They want to cast someone who can hit the right note without saying anything, because they’re shooting the commercial without dialogue.
ii. Practice your reactions before you’re in the audition room. If you had lines you’d practice them, wouldn’t you? So even though these SOC auditions seem simple, you should know what your face is doing because that’s mostly what the camera is watching. Spend some time making faces at yourself in a mirror–go through the script and practice your reactions so you’ll know what’s “too much” and what’s “not enough”. Otherwise you might end up like I did once in an audition with Sandi Neilson, her yelling “No! More confused! I want you to look more confused!” and me thinking I was already about as confused as I could get. But I hadn’t quite figured out how to make it show on my face because I didn’t spend any time practicing. Needless to say I didn’t book that one 😉
-Michael Bean, Head Coach, Biz Studio