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Quarantine Self Tape and Zoom Blog Feature Photo

Quarantine, Self Tapes and Zoom – Oh My!

In the old world, the biggest challenge of the audition process was nerves. Sitting in the waiting room outside of casting getting ready to go in and deliver your performance and dealing with the butterflies in your stomach and the crazy thoughts running through your head. 

With the covid19 outbreak, everything changed. You already know this. What you might not know is the amazing way the film community has risen to the new challenges that come along with production. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on countless AMAs with casting directors, directors, producers, show runners, union reps and more and hearing about the creative and innovative solutions they’ve come up with to get the industry back up and running. The way I see it, change can be painful, but always leads to something better and I think this time is proving just that. 

For the foreseeable future, in person auditions will be greatly limited and casting will favour self taping and Zoom to get their shows cast. Initial auditions will almost certainly be self tapes and callbacks will likely be happening over Zoom. This can be really daunting any actor who isn’t properly prepared and now is the perfect time to build and test your home set up. I’ve created a full tutorial on how to effectively self tape and Zoom from home, check it out here! 

Get set up for successful self tape / Zoom auditions 

I say it in the video, and I’ll reiterate here – everyone is forgiving right now of a less than perfect set up. We’re all in the same boat, learning to shift and readjust and try something new. So if you don’t have the best set up yet, don’t worry about it. Just make a list of all the things you’d like to have in your home set up and slowly build one item at a time. Focus on the basics; filming horizontally, good enough lighting to see your face, distracting free backdrop, proper eyelines, clean audio and proper file size and sharing. (If any of that causes anxiety, don’t worry, I cover it all step by step in the tutorial above).

If I can recommend nothing else, it’s this: Start Now! Don’t wait until your first self tape audition or Zoom callback to figure it out. By that time, you’ve got to worry about building your character, learning your sides, choreographing your moments and settling into a great performance. Don’t make your acting job harder by also having to worry about the technical sides at the same time. Do yourself a favour and take an afternoon to test your self tape and Zoom setups so that when your agent does send you that audition request – and they will – you’ll be ready. And as forgiving as everyone is right now, the longer that self tapes and zooms are the norm, the more actors build and perfect their home set ups, the higher the expectations will be for you to deliver quality self tapes, and bug free Zoom connections