Self Tape Audition Introduction
I would say most auditions are now done by self-tape in the early stages. First, the most important fact I say to my students please it is very important to be off page. (This means knowing your words by heart.)
I will repeat this not just once but so many times. One of the main reasons is that the dialogue will flow. You are not searching for words which would hold you back in your delivery. You can then hold your head up high instead of looking down following a script. Some professionals would disagree with this but in all my experiences it has never failed me.
A basic step-by-step guide.
1. Choose a well-lit area.
2. A plain coloured wall. (No Aunty Flo’ daisy and buttercup wallpaper, this can distract the casting process and doesn’t look professional)
How to Film
3. Please get someone else to film you so you can concentrate on your acting. You can do this on a phone, small camera or a tablet as long as you know how to upload it and send it as a file to the casting director or production company.
4. My preference is head and shoulders face front. Make sure you are in focus!
5. The volume and sound is very important so you can be heard clearly. It would be best recorded in the quietest room you have. Not outside unless the piece lends itself to be outside. If it is required please make sure there is no noise pollution. i.e. traffic, aeroplanes, hoovers, etc.
6. You may need someone else to read for the other character. Make sure you can hear them. I once had a boy reading for a part and his brother read from behind the camera (not seen) and the casting director offered the part to his bother. (This is unusual but can happen)
7. Feeling relaxed will be beneficial to the outcome. If you feel happy, confident and comfortable, that will reflect in your audition. Unless you are specifically asked for something else, I would recommend a comfortably chair.
8. Remember before you begin, you need to say your name, age and agency, but only say the agency name if you have one. (Sometimes it is required which character part you are reading for) I get my students to write it on a piece of paper and hold it up in front of them and then drop it to the floor. (This is called a slate.) It is just a backup so they can see it on the screen as well.
9. Mark an area if you are standing. Why? So you stay in the same place and not go out of focus?
10. Idents. You may be asked for idents especially if it is a commercial. Another term for this is profiles. There is a lot of confusion over idents. In my experience the actor has to show a full length body shot, left and right side of his face and body to the camera before the audition begins. Sometimes you may be asked to do a circle which means you need to turn round on the spot. Finally “hands” means you need to show your hands palms and backs.
11. Do several takes and choose the best one. Ask other people which they like best. It is always good to get a second opinion. You may look better in one, but your acting is not as good, so better to ask someone else. Better still get some feedback from a professional actor, teacher or casting director.
This is a basic guide to give you an idea. It will get you through a professional audition but you have to put the other work in as an actor.
By the way and I will always say this, it is my opinion only based on my experiences.
Wish you all the luck in the world 😊