• DC Brandon Films

Tips for a great self-taped audition

Hey guys! Thinking about submitting an audition tape for one of my short films?

I have watched hundreds of audition tapes over the years and cast many actors based on their self-taped performance. Here are a few ideas to help make yours shine, too!

1. Read with a friend for the scene. They should be off-camera, just behind or beside the camera. Reading alone is very hard. Having someone else there to read with can really elevate your performance. They don't even need to be an actor.

2. Rehearse a few times before you record. Nobody nails it on the first take. Give yourself a chance to warm up and get into character.

3. Read through the entire script, think about the character and where they are in their emotional journey for your scene. It's not just about the one scene you are reading for. A successful self-tape demonstrates the actor's ability to become the character. To do that, you must understand what the stakes are in the scene in the context of the larger story. What have the been through to get here? Where do they want to go? What is their goal?

4. Go too far and then dial it back. This one is a bit odd, but I really think it works. Too many auditions tapes feel flat. That's not to say the actor cannot act, it is to say they've just not taken a big enough risk emotionally with the recording. It's a symptom of having no director there. No other actors. No emotion to play off of. I have found that it can help to do a take that feels too big, too emotional. Then do a take that feels more natural. Watch your recordings. Note the differences in your performance. From there you can self assess as to which take to submit. Perhaps a subsequent one.

5. Don't stress about using a good camera or mic. A cell phone or webcam is fine. Just be sure you are in a well lit space and about 5 feet away from the camera, that your face is easy to see. Self tapes are about you, not the production quality.

6. Have fun with it! Even if it is a darker scene, make it clear enjoy the craft of acting. Believe me, enthusiasm goes a long way.

7. Be sure to state your name and the character you are auditioning for at the start of the video.

I hope these tips prove helpful. I can't wait to see more auditions come in. As always, you can see all acting opportunities on my casting page.