Election day is finally here! Today going to be a historical event for our country and the world. And now, it’s going to be different for you as an actor. So many people have come to me saying, “I haven’t gone out at all commercially in two months!” “It’s been so slow!” “My agent isn’t getting me out!” Hold up. Rewind. Have you seen what’s on television?
I’ve done tons of workshops and always heard from commercial casting directors that times tend to be “slow” during election year. After being here for a few years, from my experience as an ambiguous and bilingual latina (I tend to be lucky and get selected to go in for a lot of opportunities)…. it’s true. I had gone out a lot more over the past few years in comparison to this election year. I’m not mad at all, I just haven’t really given much thought to it. You really just have to accept which jobs are actually there and which are not.
Why are things different during election year? Well, for starters, look at all of the presidential campaigns. They are clearly buying ad space, probably starting from early in the year, if not starting in 2015 when all the candidates were buying campaign seconds. It’s crucial for them. According to this article from www.slate.com written back in February 2015, it shows that presidential campaigns began 21 months prior to the Nov. 8, 2016 election date. You do the math of how this affects your audition track record. If they’re taking up all the ad time, there’s no room for other commercials to air.
Then, as if you need to be more confused about the 2,245,873 propositions that are being proposed, those also take up ad space. So are your state and local officials campaigning for your vote. So, how many commercials does that leave for you to audition for? See what I mean?
Those few commercials left for you to audition for, many seem to be going non-union. I will be doing a bit more research and get back to you, but it explains a lot. So it’s great if you’re non-union and booking commercials, but maybe not so great for an actor who is union, hoping to go in for that next hot national spot. There is no right or wrong, no winning or losing, no rhyme or reason, it’s just a matter of the business. Remember: it has nothing to do with you.
So fingers crossed things pick up a bit for us going into the holiday season on the commercial side and episodic season! Break a leg.