A Master Class in 2 Seconds

  • Brad Holbrook |
  • Feb. 1, 2021 |
  • 5:21 p.m.

I hate commercials and will go to great lengths to avoid seeing them.  Don't get me started on why.

Sometimes, though, a commercial will be so persistently presented that it outfoxes you and manages to get your attention at some point.  

And even less frequently, that commercial will include a bit of acting brilliance.

In this Allstate commercial, there's a 2 second long snippet of a young girl noticing something on the roof of a moving car.  There are an infinite number of ways this could have been an unremarkable moment, the way so many commercial moments pass by unremarkably.

But whether it was the instinct of Violet McGraw (the actor) or the direction of the director, we have an excellent example of how the pressure cooker of commercial production can create a next level example of making the most of what could have been a mundane and forgettable moment.

Her pursed lips, furrowed brow and double take are simply perfect and honest.  

And memorable.

 As much as I avoid seeing commercials, there are a few that have some magic moments in them, acting-wise, and it's important to be able to recognize when they occur.  

Some very talented actors and directors are creating commercials, but the pressure of pushing the message of the product usually dilutes those talents in terms of presenting examples of great acting.

The more generic your instincts tell you to be when you audition for any acting job, the less likely you will come up with something compelling to offer.