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Episode 232: Interview with Commercial Master David Cady

acting training May 17, 2023

David's Advanced Commercial Class

About David:

DAVID CADY is currently a professor of commercial and musical theatre performance at AMDA, NYU, and Pace University.

Prior, he was a casting director for Donna DeSeta Casting for close to 30 years.

In addition to countless commercials, his casting credits include the original Dirty Dancing, Disney's Enchanted, Michael John LaChiusa's The Petrified Prince for the Public Theater, and the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's Whistle Down the      Wind, directed by Harold Prince.  

He was an original cast member of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along, and can be seen in Lonny Price's film about the experience, The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened.

Most of the auditions are self-tapes. 

When do you make a daring choice? 

The times when I didn't ask for permission to be Peter Pamela Rose. Those were the times I got the callback or maybe booked the job.  

Really understanding how to interpret that script.  

What is your relationship to the product? 

When you have a theatrical text, it's your job to become the person on the page. And when you have a commercial text, it's your job to make the person on the page you.  

It's odd because even though you are filming something, you are capturing a live performance.  

It must still have that sense of spontaneity, that alive quality if something is 95%. Great. Or let's even say 90% great. You don't throw it out because 10% is not exactly what you would want it to be.  

How many takes do you do?  

What am I trying to achieve here? 

They have to have performance energy, and they have to have performance commitment.  

It's hard to develop a healthy perspective as to what they are looking for.

Ask yourself: What am I looking for when I watch myself tapes?  

Go to an audition with the, "I can't wait to show you what I've got. Like I can't wait to show you what I have." 

And I think in some ways if you can bottle that excitement in your self-tape, and I think there's a real trick there. 

Dropping off the gift of your talent. 

Are you someone who has strong ideas about what this performance looks like? Are you someone who makes choices? Are you someone who makes interesting choices? Are you someone who does something that's out of the box that gets their attention, whether it's something that ever ends up in the commercial or not? 

It's a sense of self, and it's a freedom, and it's a joy in, in doing this that just, that comes through.  

There isn't a tentativeness. 

It's not your job to tell the audience how they felt about your performance. 

I would always love it when an actor screwed something up or said something that wasn't in the script. And I would say to them, do you know that that happened? And they'd say, oh, really? 

Improv in Commercials is different. 

You want to be accessible to yourself. 

How to handle one-liners.