Anecdotes on the Job: Clean hands and feet!

You’ve got to remember about your hands!

I seem to forget that with commercial auditions your body is quite frequently (and for lack of a better way of saying it) a prop. So much of the time there will be closeups of the product with you holding it, eating it, playing with it, etc. And the ad agency or casting director will check to make sure that your extremities are in good working order: Hands clean/presentable? Check. Good teeth? Check. Feet nice/clean? Check. Check. etc,.

I audition for commercials a lot  but I seem to forget to tend to this one, tiny aspect. Mainly because the old-school commercial slate – Say your name; hold up your hands to show the front then back of them; turn to your left; turn to your right; turn to camera; smile; full body shot; and sometimes show your feet – is rarely used these days. But there are places, like Grey Advertising (a very famous ad company from way back in the Mad Men days that is still in business) who do employ this slating technique. So it is important to be prepared.

Now, I’m not saying that I stroll into these auditions reeking and unshowered, I have a little bit more class than that (only a little, though…) but I do have a tendency to forget about the little things like the state of my fingernails, feet and, every so often, my leg and armpit hair. Yes, yes. I’m sorry to be so obscenely intimate with you, but I’m only human and if I do it then it’s likely one of you do, too!

If you have a commercial audition, it would behoove you – men and women – to tend to your fingernails, hands, feet and hair. If you can’t get a manicure/pedicure before-hand then give yourself one. Only use clear or very light, natural polish, or simply buff them (if you wear bold nail polish I’d forgo it for the audition). No time even for that? Then at the very least make sure that your nails are trimmed and clean. Remove chipped nail polish as that has a tendency to make you look dirty. Wash your hair and run a brush through it. And make sure your teeth are clean and sparkling. And shave. Ladies, it’s a good idea to shave your legs and armpits – unless, of course, to not do so is part of your “type,” – and gentlemen, lose that stubble (again, unless it’s part of your look). And, it’s always a safe bet to make sure your feet are clean and toenails are also trimmed/clean.

Luckily, today, when asked to show my hands my nails were short and clean but I do have a nasty habit of biting my cuticles so I would have done well to have given them a little more attention than I did. But I think it was OK…

Good luck!

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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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