Most auditions use to be in person, but that’s no longer the case. Many auditions are done from home, which means you have to learn how to do some things. The following are a few tips to help you present yourself, often referred to as slating.
Understand the Requirements
Before you audition, you need to know what is required in your introduction or slate. Sometimes, casting directors just tell you what they want. Other times, it’s written in an email or the casting call. Be sure to read notices carefully so that you don’t miss any pertinent information.
Look for the slate, and you’ll see what you need to start your audition tape with. It could just be your name and the agency that represents you. Other times, it includes your height and weight. It varies, so make sure you know what they want.
Gather What’s Needed
There are certain things you’ll need to gather for your audition tape. This is going to include your demo reel and body shots or profile shots, which are sometimes required by the casting director.
Usually, the shots will be a part of your introduction. If it’s required, you’ll see it on the slate instructions, or you’ll hear it from the casting director. If this is the case, then make sure that after you offer the information that you present pictures before you move on.
If Nothing is Asked
Every so often, there are no instructions or anything of the sort. This could be a little scary because you want to get things right. When this happens, it’s recommended to just state your name and the part you’re auditioning for.
Nothing else is necessary after that except that you audition for the part by delivering the performance you think will land you the part. Of course, you can add your reel and some of your best photographs, but they don’t have to appear as part of your introduction.
There are a few things to keep in mind when slating or introducing yourself. The slate gives the casting director the first impression of you. Some folks take that to heart and introduce themselves in full character.
This sounds good, but it could make you seem inflexible or you might be typecast. Maybe offer a hint of your character, or just be as neutral as possible so that they can see who you are as a person and who you can be as the character. Go with your gut here, but keep in mind that the slate is going to give them an impression of you that’s hard to shake off.
The Tail Slate Alternative
Your audition tape might start with your performance instead of this introduction. This happens sometimes, and you need to be aware of it or you might lose the part simply because you didn’t follow directions.
If you’re asked to provide a tail slate, then you’ll be adding your introduction at the end of the audition tape. This saves casting directors time. If they don’t like what they see, they can move on without seeing your introduction. It also makes it easier to judge talent alone.
Getting Into the Performance
It’s time for the performance, and this can be kind of tricky to get right. Of course, your performance is based on your talent and understanding of the character, but the way you send in the performance matters. The most effective and most common way to do this is to simply record yourself in a close-up position.
This allows casting directors to easily see your performance and facial expressions. Some actors with certain skills like to zoom in and out or try other tricks to keep the casting director’s attention. This should not be attempted unless you can deliver without being too distracting. If your editing skills aren’t good or you’re not a good camera operator, then stick to the basics.
Now, you know what is required of you when you’re presenting yourself during your audition. If you get this right, the rest is up to your talent and luck, and hopefully, the stars align in your favor this time around.