What to Wear? What to Wear? – The Commercial Audition

I was just about to get started on the follow-up to What To Wear? What To Wear? and tell everyone what I’ve been told to wear to a call-back. But just before I did, I went to my very own callback and and had a bomb dropped on me.
Well… That’s a tad more credit than the situation deserves. But… What’s an acting blog without a little drama, right? (yuck – barf-bags are in the pocket of the seat-back in front of you).
One of the Casting Directors was hanging out in the hallway with us actor-folk as we waited patiently to be brought into the audition. One of said actors waiting made an embarrassed comment about how he hadn’t realized that he’d worn the same thing to the first audition. Now, I was just about to console him and say with pride that I’d heard you were supposed to wear the same outfit and that he was just fine when the CD said with a chuckle “Oh! You’re like one of those actors who thinks he’s supposed to wear the same thing to a callback because that’s what your agent or teacher told you.. !!” followed by “Man! I’ve seen some directors actually laugh at seeing an actor show up looking identical to the first audition.” There I was, shifting uneasily with my fellow actors and chuckling along as he continued to tell us that it was a moronic notion.
Oh. Did I mention that I was dressed in the same outfit as my first audition?
I cried out pitifully that I’d heard that same advice, to which he answered gently that it was merely important that I just look like the same person who had auditioned before and that nothing be drastically different. Don’t change the hair too much; If you wore casual to the first audition, it’s probably wise to wear it to the second/third/fourth etc, etc.
I subtly grabbed my cardigan off the bench and eased into it just as my name was called to meet the directors and prayed they wouldn’t notice my t-shirts repeat-performance…
The point of this posting is to help you understand what to wear to your callback. I have been told again, and again, to wear the same thing. But, obviously, there are other schools of thought. Wear the same thing? Wear something different?
I think the key from today’s experience is that its mostly important that you look like the same person who was at the original audition. The directors and producers called you back because of how you looked and performed in the first audition, so it’s in our best interest to give them that same package again since they’ve literally re-ordered it for another look. In addition, if some directors have had an adverse reaction to seeing an actor in the same outfit there is a potential strike against us before we even speak. And we need those directors to be thinking of nothing but how great we are – we need all the help we can get in those stuffy little rooms. So, while I respect the opinions of the folk who have told me previously to do one thing, I am going to go with Mr. CD:WEAR SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
But, lets also remember to look like the same person (I know that sounds weird, but we can look VERY different in a suit versus a T-shirt and jeans versus evening-wear). If you had your hair up before, it’s probably a good idea to wear it up again. If you were sporting some stubble, don’t shave before the audition if possible.
This topic is wide-open for interpretation and I’m sure there are plenty of other opinions out there, so I welcome feedback from the field!

About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com

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