Actors should be very thankful for the way technology has developed in the past two decades. We can now easily record our video auditions and send them to any other part of the world, hoping to get cast for a project. And while you might not want to send it that far, it’s still good to know that the convenience of auditioning for multiple parts without leaving the city is here to serve actors.
For LA-based performers who usually have the busiest time of the year starting February-March during the pilot season, and London-based actors that are busy all year round with castings happening all over the place, self-taped video auditions is a great opportunity to secure some work for the future. All you need for it is a pocket camera and a corner of your apartment to film; everything else is just an enhancement.
Quick Tips for Video Auditions
Make sure to turn this list into a checklist for yourself and try to tick all these boxes when making one of your own video auditions. Now get your partner or fellow actor behind the camera, and begin the process. For more technical advice, see 5 tips for Self-Taping Auditions.
Full-body or head-to-toe shot. It’s a good idea to start your self-taped audition this way, showing yourself in full frame. Casting people will need to know what you look like on camera in full height.
Don’t forget to slate. Zoom in on your face (from top of the head to shoulders) and state your name, age, where you are from and your acting representation (if you have one). Everything else casting directors will be able to find on your resume which you’re sending in alongside this self-taped audition, but in case CDs do ask you for something else — don’t forget to include that in your slate, too.
Read with the person, not the camera. This means you shouldn’t be looking straight into the lens. You have a partner to read off (who’s obviously off-camera), so look at them — they’re your reader in these video auditions.
Remember your lines all the way through. Don’t make any cuts where it’s obvious you’ve forgotten your lines. Have your lines memorized and read through the whole audition piece in one go and of course don’t read if off the script. Although you can have the script in front of you and peak occasionally.
Never rush through your lines. You’re not in the casting office, which means you have all the time in the world to prepare for this and then take some more time to perform. No more nerves and no more rushing — just do your best to show how perfect you are for this part.
Your partner should be of the right gender. Don’t get your boyfriend read a male part and vice versa. It messes with the immersion and looks unprofessional.
Always watch it before sending out. This sounds like a no-brainer, but never forget to watch your recorded video auditions yourself, have someone else look at it and decided whether that was your best. If it was, you have the green light to send it out and you won’t regret a thing. However, if you feel you could have done better, don’t be lazy and film it once again — you never know what opportunities a great self-taped audition might bring.
Whenever there is casting for a project that is further away from major cities, CDs do expect a lot of video auditions to be submitted. Most of these video auditions are being watched, so there’s a good chance that yours will be seen too. Make the best of it and even if you’re not being cast for this part, hopefully the CD will take a mental note of your performance and invite you for something different next time.