• Melonie Mack

8 Tips For Self-Taping Your Next Audition


Quite a few actors nowadays are self-taping for auditions due to quick turn around times in the industry. Many of my clients put themselves on tape with me at the studio but if they are out-of-town, have numerous auditions in a day or are on a different coast than where the CD is casting, they now have the option to self-tape.

Here are some tips to creating a great self-taped audition:

1. The Camera

A good quality camera is ideal. However, I’ve received scenes shot on iPads and iPhones that are pretty darn great. You just wanna be sure to minimize background noises such as planes, beeping traffic, barking dogs or any other distracting sounds that may occur.

2. The Camera Operator

Get someone who knows the camera you’re using and can run the damn thing.

3. Sound

Omg, this is vital. If they can’t hear you, they’ll move on to someone they CAN hear.

4. Lighting

We wanna see your beautiful face! To ensure that you can simply create the following: be sure the main light is on you, have a fill light from the back and possibly side lighting as well to eliminate those shadowboxes on the wall.

5. Background Color

We usually use a deep royal blue or grey background for castings, so if you can find something like this, you’re ahead of the game. White tends to be too stark. Again, be sure it’s a clean wall; no doorknobs showing, closet doors or backgrounds that are distracting. Remember, we want to focus on YOU, not the dirty dishes in the sink behind you.

6. Reader

Get an actor friend who’s GOOD to read with you. Be sure they are eye level; sitting if you’re sitting, standing if you’re standing. If you can’t find someone GOOD, then get someone who can at least read well. You want to be able to act off the reader instead of having to worry about where your eyeline is, who you’re talking to and where the camera is focused. You also want to be sure that your reader has a softer voice than you as she/he is right next to the microphone.

7. Slate

A good slate, starting from shoulders up then widening out getting full body, then back to mid shot is great because then cd’s get a sense of your shape, your style and your look. A simple, “Hi, I’m ____(insert your name and agency) ____ reading for______(insert character name)____.

8. Movement

I’d keep it minimal as we want to see your reactions to what’s being said, your connection to the relationships/reader in the scene and if we believe you or not. That can be challenging if you’re moving all over the place. That’s NOT TO SAY don’t move at all. We need to see that you embody this character as well. Hopefully, most of you pursuing tv/film are in a wonderful on-camera class that’s teaching you how to work on camera.

#acting #selftaping

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MEL MACK ACTING STUDIO, LLC

INFO@MELMACKACTINGSTUDIO.COM

(212) 414-4777

New York, NY

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*Mel likes to maintain a comfortable work environment for her actors and therefore does not allow auditors.
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