However, even with a lockdown, we have to start embrace the power of community. (Thank you Zoom).
I think it would be fair to say that all actors have faced difficulties when it comes to self-taping. Whether that be technical difficulties, personal challenges, or plain old doubt, it is something that many of us share in common.
When I first started self-taping back in the day, I was faced with so many questions that I didn't know how to answer. "Is casting watching my tape?", "Why does my lighting look like that?", "What kind of read do they want?", "How many takes should I be doing?", "Do they think I'm good?", and the list goes on. Does this sound familiar?
If it does, don't stress. Those questions are completely valid and so many of us think the same way. The biggest thing is, don't let those questions and doubts control you. Keep them in the back seat of the car, but don't let them drive.
After years of practicing, searching, and applying, I've come to discover three key points that have helped me overcome my own self-tape hurdles and bumps. Hopefully they will...
Like it or not, as an actor you are a business. Most actors believe that having an agent or a manager means they can sit back on the sidelines while someone else takes care of their career.
This is unfortunately wrong. There is a reason agents only get a 15% commission: they only put in 15% of the work.
You as the actor are responsible for creating work for yourself, finding training, staying ready for your auditions and self-tapes, tracking your business expenses and so much more!
Take control of your mindset!
Take advantage of all the tools around you to boost your mindset and your confidence. As an actor, confidence is key. Are you taking workshops on mindset and manifestation? What things are you doing to remind yourself that you are enough, that you are worth it, that you are proven?
Ask yourself what you can do for YOU so that you can bring yourself to the business as authentically as possible and uncomplicated!
The thing that most agents, casting directors and...
Self-Tapes can be really scary if you're unprepared, or you don't know what you're doing.
It's even more vital to know how to self-tape today because everything is happening online. Self-Tapes are taking over the casting game, and I want to make sure you're prepared!
Here are some important tips to make sure your self-tapes are really strong.
Have a designated space
Having a self-tape set-up that is always ready to go takes away the worry of figuring out how to shoot, and means you're always ready to go at a moment's notice.
If you can have all of your equipment set up in this space at all times, even better! If you can't do this, make sure you can set up quickly and easily.
Your space should have good lighting (if you can set up in front of a window, awesome!). Natural lighting will always look best on camera, but if you invest in good lighting that works too!
Have a neutral backdrop so all the focus is on you, and not on your cluttered bedroom! A blank wall works...
When we don't prepare for an audition that's when self doubt starts to creep in, nerves show up, and we don't present our best selves.
The challenge for most actors is "What is the preparation work?" The important thing here is to develop a system that works for you, and stick to it.
1. Do not perform your script when you first get it.
Approach your script as an investigator. Read through it (in your head) as an audience member and start to highlight some important points of the story. Then, read through the script a second time, and write down any important things you might have missed. Then, you'll want to read it a THIRD time from a director's point of view. Really pick up on all the details as well as the bigger picture. Try to stay disciplined and go through the steps one by one.
2. Do not daydream as if you have already gotten the role.
This puts your focus inwards. When you go into an audition, you want your focus to be on the story,...
Being an actor can be very isolating at times (let alone during a global pandemic).
When you first get an audition, you lock yourself in a room to study your script.
When you arrive at your audition, you feel like a social outcast in the waiting room, trying to stay calm amidst a sea of other passionate artists.
When you leave an audition, you rarely get any feedback unless you book so this can also create a feeling of loneliness.
With the acting world at a bit of a standstill, this is a perfect time to get quiet & work on your skills before our biz gets back on its feet.
How is your scene analysis game?
Do you struggle with breaking down your scripts?
Do you find it difficult to connect with your characters/scenes?
How easy is it for you to 'throw away' your work and surrender to the moment?
There are three parts to actor scene-study: I call them Study, Sense, and Surrender.
Study encapsulates your ability to break down and analyze a script. You are basically a text detective, finding the clues that the writer has left you.
Sense represents your ability to personalize the text. Your universal connection to the world and themes of the piece. It's the emotional part of scene-study.
Surrender illustrates your ability to let go of the work and lose yourself in the moment-to-moment discoveries & actions of the piece. This is often the hardest step but arguably the most important.