Because we are a regional agency, we are often asked by our clients to have our talent submit self-record auditions. When you submit for such a client, we need your audition to be the best it can be! It is more important to prepare and have an excellent understanding of the character than to have excellent video quality. However, a better quality video will show clients that you are taking your career more seriously.
So, be sure you know the script and character’s needs inside & out before you begin recording and take the steps (see below) to assure your audition materials catch the eye of casting, and use the best resources possible.
If you are prepared to pay someone to assist you below is a list of professionals who may be available to help you record. Project dependent recordings are worth every penny spent for the quality.
We strongly encourage going this route if you’re able and the project seems worth the added cost.
Pros who may be available to record directed/coached audition
You should ONLY telephone these folks when seeking their services, either for audition recording or for acting workshops or classes.
In the greater Seattle area …
- Heidi Walker, CSA: email@example.com
- Jodi Rothfield, CSA: 206.448.0927
- Mighty Tripod Productions: http://mightytripod.com/coaching-for-actors-in-seattle/
- Patti Kalles, CSA: 206.533.2660
In the greater Spokane area …
- Crystal Reiber: 208.704.2767
- Dawn Taylor-Reinhardt: 509.362.2369
- Demogogues: 509.795.2024
- Gretchen Oyster: 509.230.5283
- KDKOne Digital Media: 509.624.9400
If not working with a pro, you can follow the instructions below with assistance from family, friends or a fellow actor to record yourself.
- The highest quality video camera you have access to that creates digital files that can then be uploaded to the Internet. When using an iPhone or android you should be sure to turn the phone horizontally NOT vertically so that it plays as expected when uploaded.
- A tripod or other steady surface to mount your camera.
- A neutral background. Filming in a messy room reflects poorly on you and is distracting to the eye.
- Make sure your audition space is well-lit and that you are facing the light. Natural daylight often works. A workshop light can do the trick, too. Just make sure the audience has easy access to your entire face. See the Back Stage article below for more.
- A good reader for any two-person scenes. Someone with acting ability; but who won’t overpower you.
- An external microphone, particularly for any two-person scenes. We want to be sure to hear you … not your reader. Note: if using your smartphone to record, the earbud/mic that came with your phone can make a good microphone … clip it to your shirt! (hide the cords)
- Record a test and check all lighting, sound, framing, etc.
- Slate at the beginning (Your name, the character name.) with a full body shot then change frame to chest up for the audition.
- Memorize your lines or at least be VERY familiar with them. Any one can read the lines, memorization will show commitment and allow you to use your body more.
- Dress in clothes, hair, makeup, etc. appropriate to the character and scene you are auditioning. No need for all-out costume, just hint toward the character with color and style.
- Reader should (if two-person script) stand 2-3 feet to the side of the camera (but should NOT be in the shot). This way you will be filmed speaking to them at an appropriate angle and their voice won’t be significantly louder than yours on the recording. If no one is reading with you, read looking into the camera as if the camera is the person you are talking to but always read off to the side of the camera if you have someone reading lines with you.
- Send a MAXIMUM of two takes.
You MUST upload the file as directed in the notice you received from your agent. We will typically ask that you upload to YouTube as an ‘unlisted’ video (this is a YouTube setting). Be sure always to make your video unlisted or private when posting to any public sources.
Send the ‘link’ to your agent.
IMPORTANT: NEVER share an audition file with anyone other than your agent. Again, DO NOT SHARE your audition publicly, ANYWHERE not on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. Clients get very sensitive about unauthorized release of their project material and you could be disqualified from consideration as a result or worse: don’t be that guy.
Keep a copy of your audition to review if you get a callback and if booked you can keep for your memory book.
TIPS: Find lots of online sources that contain audition recording advice and tutorials such as: Video University and Backstage Video Audition Tips. Find still more by searching: ‘recording an on-camera audition.’
Bottom line: Know the character, produce the highest quality video recording possible, deliver the file as directed by your agent, save a copy for yourself and then let it go and prep for the next audition.