When you’re auditioning for commercials you’ll hear the word ‘category’ thrown around a lot.
A category is basically the character you’re called in for.
The “intern”, the “boss”, the “spunky grandmother”, the “Olympic medalist”. (Although, they’d probably get an actual medalist for something like that. And they do. :P )
In the above photos, we are ‘Mums’.
Each category has a time frame that they’re run through during the session. So, for example, the intern “outside times” could be from 10 am to 1 pm. That means, the casting house is seeing actors for that category only from 10 am to 1 pm. (That’s also why there may be wiggle room if you’re running late or have a problem with your time. If you’re stuck at your doctor’s, you can call your agent, who will call the CD, who could say ‘Just show up any time before 1 pm’. This is for the initial call only. Callback times are more set.)
There could be more than one category seen at a time: interns AND bosses from 10 am to 1 pm. They’ll pair you up when you get there. Mom, Dad, and Kid. Again, paired up to go in.
Some commercials may feature only a couple of categories, ie. boyfriend and boyfriend. Other commercials may have a number of different categories: the Boss, who the spot centres around; the Boss’s secretary; the Boss’s accountant; the Boss’s mail carrier; the employee who hands the Boss the ice cream at the end of a long day.
Each category is cycled through the casting, recorded, and the auditions sent to the agency and director so they can make their decisions as to who they’d like to call back.
So, NBD. A category is just whatever you’re playing at the moment.