Monday, March 14, 2016

Self-taping vs. in-person vs. Skype

There's a trend for actors to self-tape or self-submit auditions. This means that instead of auditioning in person where someone will read with you and someone else is responsible for recording/technical stuff, you need a good partner to read other characters' lines, and record, edit and upload a quality video of your audition. 

On the one hand, I'm very grateful for recent opportunities to audition for a few high-profile out of town projects I might not have been considered for without self-taping. On the other hand, the pool of talent expands, so more actors may be submitted for each role.

More pros: You can do the scene as many times as you want (or your partner can stand). This eliminates the tendency some actors have to think they could've done better, or  fret, "If only I'd done THAT." 

You don't have to show up to an assigned audition appointment that may be inconvenient. 

You can record any time before the submission deadline. 

More cons: You're responsible for producing a video with a non-distracting background that matches the sound, lighting and video quality of an actor who may go to a professional studio. You can do that, too, but the cost could be prohibitive.  

You don't get any feedback from casting or production personnel. With indie features, short films and certain other projects, the director him/herself may be in the room and offer direction. Not only that, you get to meet some of the team and perhaps establish some rapport. 

You don't know if your video is ever watched. At least when you're in the room, someone sees the results of your preparation. 

Self-taping can take a long time, because of technical difficulties or mistakes. The last one I did took almost 4 hours because my extremely knowledgeable partner had trouble syncing sound and exporting the video.

In person, I'm often asked to do more than one take. I prefer the opportunity to make different choices. I don't recall any self-tapings I've done that wanted more than one take.

I'd like to see more Skype auditions. I've only done one. Skpye allows actors to get some feedback, start building relationships, and make the process a bit more personal...without distance and equipment/video skills being issues. 

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