The Self Taped Audition:
At some point in every actor's career, be it Television, Film or even Commercial you will be asked to submit a "self taped" audition to your Agent. If possible, you should have a coach or a taping service help you out with these auditions. Coaches are experienced in what the Casting Directors like and can help you send out the most professional tape possible.
If it is a last minute request, and you cannot get into a coach or taping service, here are some helpful hints to ensure that your videos will look as professional as possible.
1. Read the Directions: Make sure you read any and all directions. Every Casting Director has their own way of doing things, so when your agency sends you the directions, make sure you follow them to a tee, no substitutions!
2. Slate: Always begin with your slate (unless otherwise directed). If it is indicated how they want the slate, please slate as indicated. Some Casting Directors may want you to hold a sign while slating or do a full body pan, and side to side profile shot beforehand, or simply have you slate after the scene. If no directions are indicated just do a simple slate consisting of name, age (if under 18) and agency. Make sure your slate is warm and you end with a great smile!
3. Basic Taping 101: When taping make sure you are taping from the shoulders up. The focus should be on your face, since in TV & Film that is the most important detail. You should tape in front of a neutral background, a basic colored wall is the best and have no background noise. You should never have anyone else reading on camera with you.
4. Audition with Confidence: Make sure to maintain good eye contact at all times. Eye darting is very distracting and can cause you to look unsure of your lines. Make sure your eye contact is strong and you are looking directly into the camera (unless otherwise directed) and make strong choices. Also, do not be afraid to make bold choices, this is where it comes in handy to work with a coach beforehand. You want to show the Casting Director that you have what it takes to bring the character to life! Go the extra mile to stand out, and don't be afraid to step out of the box!
5. On Camera Appearance: When dressing for the camera, make sure you are being subtle. Light make up for women, no make up for men or kids. Make sure your hair is out of your eyes and that your appearance is nice and neat. Wear something simple on top, a nice color that compliments you and nothing too busy. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum and kids should steer clear of big headbands or hair accessories. You want your talent to stand out, not your clothing!
6. Your Reader: Make sure the person that is reading with you is not too loud or distracting. They should be reading softly off camera.
7. Sending Files: When sending your taped files, you should try to download a program on your computer that can downsize file size. Agents or Casting Directors have a hard time receiving large files via email. You can also send files via wetransfer.com, yousendit.com or sendspace.com and that can help compress files for you.
*** The tips above are for a basic audition, again, make sure to READ what the Casting Director or Agent wants and follow their protocol!
If you have any tapings, please feel free to call me! I will do my best to find a slot for you. These auditions are important and taping with a coach can definitely help you send out your best audition possible!