The #AdsGoUnion campaign, in collaboration with the NextGen Performers Subcommittee, held a Jan. 25 educational panel acquainting millennial union members with the current landscape of commercials performing. The event, which took place at SAG-AFTRA Plaza, was moderated by actor Katie Von Till and subcommittee Chair Ben Whitehair, both Local Board members. Panelists included performer Brent Bailey, Casting Director Francene Selkirk, Talent Agent Jennifer York and SAG-AFTRA Associate Commercials Strategist Shaine Griffin.
The panelists discussed the evolution of commercials work, the struggles and opportunities commercials performers are experiencing in this rapidly changing market, and the importance of union solidarity in our efforts to recapture commercials work. They shared tips to help young performers succeed in the world of commercials, such as the necessity of taking improv classes, which enhances resumes while boosting one’s confidence and abilities in auditions. Panelists also emphasized how commercials performing can translate into theatrical success by providing a lucrative and consistent means of work.
Selkirk reminded the audience that casting directors see many headshots in a single day, and she implored young performers to ditch colorful backgrounds and to not pose in awkward positions or with their mouths open. The event was well attended and provided a wealth of information for young union members on achieving success as commercials performers.
Photo: The panel included SAG-AFTRA Associate Commercials Strategist Shaine Griffin, Casting Director Francene Selkirk, Talent Agent Jennifer York, co-emcee and Commercials Organizing Committee Chair Katie Von Till, commercials performer Brent Bailey, and co-emcee and NGP Subcommittee Chair Ben Whitehair.