Not every audition goes perfectly. Actors have good days and bad days, (you are human, after all.) How often do you find yourself thinking, “That was crap. I KNOW I could’ve done better. I can’t believe I…” Far too regularly, we see actors dwelling on what they consider a “bad read.” While it’s ok to […]
You’ve got all your technical aspects in order, and your tape looks beautiful. But how many of these good-looking takes should you send on to casting? The answer to this question is easier than you think: send ONLY the BEST take. You have to trust your gut on this one. If you have a take […]
You’re laser-focused on getting your acting career off the ground: kudos to you and your hard work! However, remaining singly focused on acting can easily lead to one or more of the following issues: 1. If you’re not seeing a pay-off, you’ll go slightly crazy with frustration. 2. You could alienate your friends and/or family […]
Self-taping. It’s a blessing and a curse.
On the plus side: it provides so much flexibility, (auditioning at midnight, after your shift is over and the kids have gone to bed? Hallelujah!) It alleviates some audition anxiety, (no intimidating waiting room stares,) and allows you to really take some time with the character, (I can do as many takes as I want? DREAM. COME. TRUE.)
On the other hand, it can be a technical nightmare (lighting, sound, UPLOADING?!) It can also be a MAJOR time suck because you end up taking TOO much time with the character. (15 takes of the same scene, is 12 takes too many.)
I began tweeting out some #SelfTapeTips in an attempt to help simplify things and provide enough information that you can avoid some of the major self-tape traps. But there is so much more than 140 characters can cover. So, in this series of blog posts, I’ll consolidate and expand upon those tips and provide examples, wherever possible. (In all examples, actors faces have been whited-out to maintain anonymity – it’s not a series of weird, masked auditions.)
**DISCLAIMER: These tips pertain to when you are taping at home. If you don’t want to worry about any of these technical issues, there are a number of wonderful self-tape companies, as well as fabulous audition coaches (ahem) who will coach AND tape you.
The Technical Basics: Your sound, lighting, frame and backdrop.
This is what a normal audition looks like in our office:
You can see that our frame is fairly tight – from about the mid-bust/chest to just above the head. We use a photography lighting kit and plain blue paper as our backdrop. We also mic all of our actors.
This is a fairly standard casting set-up. There will, of course, be variations in every casting office, but this gives you a general idea.
The TECHNICAL goal of self-tapes is to make them look like they were done in a casting office. (ANY casting/professional office – you don’t need to copy the photo above.) This way, they won’t look markedly different than someone who came in to read live.
This is where your biggest hurdle lies when taping at home. Finding a blank wall, corralling all of your lamps to light you properly, dealing with sound, etc. The good news is that once you find a set-up that works, you won’t have to think about it every time. But it will take some tweaking to get there.
In my next blog post, I will give you some tips for working with what you’ve got at your disposal.
Welcome to the inaugural [Erica S.] Bream Blog-post!
Finally a place where I can give use more than 140 characters! (Massive relief. Brevity is DIFFICULT.)
I’ll be blogging (and tweeting!) about audition tips and tricks for actors, as well as general advice and anecdotes derived from years of casting.