"Commercials, Unveiled" with John McKinney

Voiceover Lab

New York

"Commercials, Unveiled" with John McKinney

Thursday, October 17, 2019

3:00 PM EDT
Check-in begins at: 2:45 PM EDT


There are few industries as mysterious or confounding as the world of commercial acting.  From the talent selection process to copy interpretation, misperceptions abound.  No doubt you’ve felt this to be true every time you audition.  Breakdowns are scanty at best.  Direction is confusing if not ludicrous.  One acting teacher will say one thing, another will say the opposite. In short, everyone’s playing a guessing game – including many in the industry – trying to anticipate what ad agencies want in their talent.  It’s as if no one really knows what’s going on.

Why not come meet someone who does?

As a former award-winning copywriter for over twenty years, John McKinney has created – and overseen casting for – over a hundred national TV and radio campaigns and understands the concerns and secret “rules” of copy delivery.  And as a former radio DJ and voice actor himself (and currently a published playwright), John understands the actor’s process and can explain the business in their own language.

This two-hour seminar will pull back the veil from the murky, labyrinthine world of commercials and voiceovers and provide much needed insights on everything from breaking down copy to audition technique to networking tips.  The final segment of the class will be reserved for Q&A so each actor can address their own special concerns.  

Please note: there will be no reading as this is strictly a lecture/Q&A.


John McKinney 

As Casting Director at Pomann Sound as well as other prominent New York recording studios for the last 10 years, John has cast voiceovers for countless TV and radio commercials and animations for such well-known clients such as Verizon, Heineken, Castrol, Subway, Fisher-Price and Michelob.  

Prior to voice casting, John put in a 25-year career as an award-winning copywriter at several top New York ad agencies including Gotham, McCann and Grey.  During this time he created and oversaw the casting for both national and worldwide accounts such as Mercedes-Benz, Bank of America, Newman’s Own and Lufthansa.

John is no stranger to performing on mike himself, however, having begun his career out of college as a radio DJ at various stations throughout the Northeast.  He continues to do voice work occasionally even to this day, with credits that include General Foods, Verizon and BBC Productions, to name a few.

John also happens to be an emerging playwright (published) and is very active in the New York theater scene.  He feels this has helped him to communicate with actors clearly and precisely when giving direction, both for stage and on mike.  For this reason he often draws talent from the theater world when casting commercial projects, and vice versa.


Two solo booth sessions must be completed.

If you have previously attended this event, you will be removed from the RSVP list.