Auditioning… Digitally… Online…

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Online Audition Submissions

Okay, great, I know which part I want…. So now how do I audition??? As a director and producer of stage plays, I’ve at times required ONLINE AUDITION SUBMISSIONS.  Some actors ask  What does this mean?  What do I do?  How do I audition?  On the other hand, after having watched several submissions I’ve wondered, do they even know what this means?  This tutorial is for anyone who’s ever had to create a digital video to submit for an audition.  It may not be what every casting director wants, but it is what works for me.  Hope you enjoy and find it helpful.

Step 1: Selecting and Creating your Audition Monologue:

This can seem scary if you’ve never done it, but here’s the jist of it: Start by going to the script, which may have been provided for you.  If not, I would google it, and you can sometimes find at least a sample of said script.  Next, get familiar with the play/script.  You could even follow along watching the play on YouTube.  In fact, watch several performances to get an idea of the character, but do not, I repeat do not, try and copy anyone’s performance.  Not only is this plagiarism, it’s tacky and not at all what a casting director with any tact wanting.  Select a part or parts of the script that seem to best portray your character’s personality.  Next mesh them together into a one person, stream of conscious piece of dialogue.   Pick out a scene or section(s) of dialogue that you think that you can best use to portray the character that you want.  You will only want enough content for about a one minute performance.  Once you have your audition piece worked out, you will want to either type or hand write your chosen lines for your one minute audition.  Remember that a monologue is one character speaking alone.  If you want, you can have a friend help you with your audition in more of a duet fashion.  Just be clear as to who is auditioning for what in your email/submission.

Step 2: Rehearse Your Newly Created Audition Piece:

Once you have your audition piece worked out (your chosen lines/scene typed up or handwritten by you), it’s time to rehearse!  Get comfortable with your piece; memorize it, and figure out your characterization.  Once you think you’ve got a handle on this, find a friend and perform it for them.  Get feedback from others on your performance.  When you are comfortable with your piece, it’s time to record.  

Step 3: Setting up to Recording your Audition Piece:  

Okay, so you could get really fancy equipment to record your piece, but let’s be honest… for most of us, the best piece of recording equipment that we own is our phone.  At best, you at least have a friend who has a phone that records video.   Make sure you have a space to record without a lot of distractions, both visually and audibly… like no dogs running around in the background… or water running.  I know you’re laughing, but I promise you that I’ve seen and heard some weird stuff.  If recording outside, make sure there’s no traffic noises to distract from your audition.  The background should be clean/uncluttered.  You want the center of attention to be you, not a messy room.  Do not have someone hold the phone while recording unless you’ve got some serious image stabilization built into  your device.  Find a spot to prop your phone up, not at a weird angle, and if you have someone with you, have them push the record button.  If not, it’s okay with me if you hit the record button and step back into position before beginning.  If this still bothers you, you could always edit that portion out of the video.

Step 4: Recording Your Performance Piece:

Once you’re in position, start out by clearly stating your name and the role that you are auditioning for.  This is definitely not something that you want the casting director to miss.  Do this as you, not as your character.  Then step into character and begin your performance/audition.  Once you are done, step out of character, look at the camera and say Thank you, which is a more polite way to signify that you are done than simply walking up to the phone and pushing the button.  Also if someone is pushing the button for you, it signals to them that it’s time to stop recording. 

Step 5: Sending your Video Audition:

The Audition Bible: Secrets Every Actor Needs To Know

Whew, you did it!  So now you have to send it to the casting director.  There are two easy ways to do this.  Your first option is to go to your gallery on your phone, click the video, click share, click your email, and from there, type in the casting director’s email address.  Be sure to follow any specific instructions given by the casting director.  If none were given, put your name and the role in which you’re interested in the subject line, and then send.  A second option (which may not work for every casting director) that is fairly easy is Google Drive, which is a free app that you can download if you don’t already have it on your phone  Once you have the app on your phone, open it and click the plus sign  “+”.  Then click “Upload”.  Go down to gallery and click your video.  Once it is uploaded, click the video.  There should then appear three dots at the top right of your screen; click them and then click “Add people”.  From there, you should click the three dots in the upper right of your screen, click “Add people”, then type in the casting director’s email address, and click the paper airplane symbol in the upper right hand corner of your screen.  

One Last Note

Regardless of which method you choose for sending your audition, remember that it has a time stamp on it, so your casting director will know if you didn’t meet the deadline.  In essence, this is a sampling of how timely you will be in terms of rehearsals and performances, so don’t give a bad first impression by being late.  Also, avoid giving excuses.  We’ve heard them all, good and bad.  Just be on time, and even if it’s late, be polite and don’t give excuses.  Now get out there and BREAK A LEG!  🙂

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