By: Ashley Davis
Calling all actors and actresses! If you’re in the acting industry, you are most-likely aware that competition is tough, especially if you are in the awkward ages of too-young and too-old for a role. And because of technology, we have this little system of self-taping our auditions. If you want to be good at your job and please the casting directors, I suggest you read ahead you read ahead and learn everything you need to have a good self-taped audition.
First of all, you must have good lighting! That cannot be stressed enough because the lighting helps the casting directors literally see you. If you are filming with a light that’s hanging above you, you probably have shadows which is not good. It’s unappealing to look at when casting. If you have a light directly in front of you, such as a lamp, it is probably leaving a shadow behind you which is distracting! If you need help with which light to use, I suggest using a light near a window because natural light is always the best.
Let’s talk about wardrobe! If you are sitting down, the pants (or shoes) are not a big deal (I wore pajama pants one time and still got the role). That shouldn’t be a big deal because most of the self-taped auditions are only waist up. The casting directors are more worried about your face than anything. If in the case that you are doing a full body self-tape, solid black or white is your way to go.
On the other hand, your shirt is a bigger deal! You need to wear a mostly solid color that really defines you whether its pink, green, blue, or yellow; I prefer orange because it’s a good color on me. You don’t want any design on your shirt because it is distracting. To be a casting director, if you’re watching an audition and someone is wearing a SpongeBob shirt, that’s going to distract you and keep you from actually paying attention to their acting. But your shirt doesn’t have to be completely solid and boring looking. You can have a little bit of jewels on it as long as it is nothing flashy. Plain beads will do if there is anything. Solid colors aren’t bad though.
Many girls out there love to wear bracelets and necklaces but here is a warning: TOO FLASHY! I know you think its “cute” but casting directors are not looking for “cute” rather than talented professionals. I’m not saying that you can’t wear any jewelry at all but just keep it low and not too bold.
Now that we’re done with the way you need to dress, let’s move on to the setting in which you’re filming. You don’t want a distracting background because then the casting director won’t pay attention to you. Instead they will pay attention to what’s behind you whether it be a window, fish-tank, dresser, book-shelf or anything you may have. On that same note, don’t waste any time on creating a scene to fit the monologue/script because you are what they want to focus on. The casting directors couldn’t care less if your background fits the scene. It’s an audition, not real filming. When filming your audition, try to use a blank wall of mostly any color. (Note: try not to use a wall that drowns out your color. I tend to use darker colors so that I pop out more.) A blank wall is very professional and it keeps the focus on you as the main subject. Don’t find a zebra print pattern or a sparkly fabric to use as your background. I guarantee that 99.9% of the time if you have a busy background, you won’t get the role.
Moving on to how you appear in the camera. Again, you’re the main subject. You’re what the casting directors are looking at. When you film, make sure that you don’t have a huge space of wall (or your background) above you. You mainly want to get your chest to the tip of your head in the frame when filming. The best way to make sure that you’re in frame correctly is to have someone frame you before you film. When filming, you also want to make sure that your camera isn’t moving. Never ever have someone hold the camera! You don’t want a shaky camera at all! Even if you have to stack boxes, make sure your camera is on something that will stay still while you’re recording.
This tip is for those who are reading from a script, not a monologue. For those who don’t understand what a monologue is, it is basically just a short speech given by one character. There are no other characters involved in this other than you. You will not need a reader if you perform a monologue. A reader is needed in an audition when there are other characters present in the scene. During your audition, the reader should never be seen on camera. They should be behind the camera out of sight. They are not auditioning, you are. They are only there to fill in the spots. On a side note: never leave a blank spot in your audition to symbolize where a line should be placed. It is highly unprofessional and it’s unappealing to listen to.
The last thing you can do to ace your audition is learn your lines! That is the most important thing that you can do during your audition. You don’t want to go into an audition unsure about your performance. It will sound horrible, believe me. You should be fully confident and ready to act. Ever hear the expression: “Confidence is key”?
Good luck with your auditions! Make sure you follow all of these important tips to ace your audition!
By: Ashley Davis