Every actor can be categorized into a particular "type," or character pool. Their type is their general look, personality, or oddity that sets them apart from another person. Commercial acting is when an actor's "type" really comes in to play because rather than acting to sell a character, you are acting to sell a product. Commercial acting is less about acting skill and more about fitting into a particular character niche. It is, in some ways, the easiest type of acting to get work in, because there are so many opportunities, especially for actors with unique looks. Many of the roles don't even require the actor to speak. You may need to make a certain facial expression, dance, or simply stand there with a smile.
The world of commercial acting is always changing, depending on current trends and public interests. The possibilities of commercial acting are endless, plus it can be extremely lucrative and consumes a very little amount of the actor's time. The typical commercial shoot only takes about two days and pays an average of $2,000, plus residuals. Residuals are payments an actor receives every time the commercial is aired anywhere in the world. Depending on how long a commercial remains on television, residuals can prove to be an easy found wealth of income.
Another benefit of commercial acting is that commercials are shot in every city, big or small, so you don't need to live in a large city like Los Angeles or New York to find work. Local commercials do not pay as much as nationally, or regionally, aired commercials, but they are still a very good way to get exposure and experience in front of the camera before pursuing a television and/or film acting career. Many actors, even famous ones, have gotten their start in commercials. Also, once you book one commercial, it's easier to book another. You become a product in and of yourself.
Acting classes that specialize in commercials are a great way to improve your chances of booking commercials. Even though this type of acting doesn't usually require you to memorize many lines, or have to juggle different emotional directions, you will still need to evoke what the director wants. Acting class shows you how to effectively do this. You will be more comfortable at auditions with the necessary training, and therefore more likely to book the job. Practice makes perfect!
Keep in mind that hundreds of actors audition for the same commercial role. Oftentimes, actors don't treat a commercial audition with the same professionalism as they would a dramatic audition. This is a huge mistake! Booking just one commercial could get you enough money to live on for the entire year or more, not to mention, the exposure that can lead you to the role you've always dreamed of. Have patience, be professional, and audition on as many commercials as you can. Eventually, your "type" will be the perfect match for the role!