Patrick will be starring in the Last Cyclist at the West End Theater this May - June. Click here for info

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Online Video Auditions!

I LOVE technology. Who doesn't?

Don't answer that.

I especially love when technology works how it's supposed to. By making our lives better. For example. Auditioning. It's not the most fun thing in the world. Sometimes it can be soul sucking and destroying. Oh yeah, and disappointing. Even more so, sometimes, when there is an amazing project out there but there is no physical way to attend the auditions. As happened to me recently. So what did I do? I contacted the theater and asked if it would be alright to record my audition...Resounding YES!  So I went to work recording myself.*

It's easy, fast, I can edit it for the best possible take. It's still stressful, don't get me wrong. but I feel like there is a little more breathing room when sending in a pre-recorded submission. I've been asked a few times for various projects to audition via online video. I wish more things would go this route. But I write this saying...if you see a posting out there for a project you feel right for, contact the casting department and see if they'll allow you to submit online.

All that being said, now that we can upload auditions online, I have some advice for doing so. Being actors and artists, we are always trying to maintain some kind of online presence for our work. The internet is a wild crazy land and information is all over the place. Some auditions we post online now might not look so great a year from now. Or might cause casting directors who are looking into you to suddenly see you in a different light. One not favorable for their current project. Feedback I've received from casting directors seems to say, "if it's not relevant, take it down."

1) Privacy Options. All video upload sites, you tube  Vimeo, etc., give you the option to make the video private and password protected. If not password protected, they at least give you the option to make the video available to anyone with the direct link. Not the whole world. Make sure when you're uploading an audition for a specific project you check these options.

2) Social Media. Don't share this with the world. YouTube has the option to share videos to people by giving the direct link and not making it public. However posting it on Facebook or twitter kind of defeats that purpose. No?

3) Delete! Once you're done. You know the project has been cast. Get rid of that video. You don't need it anymore. For anything. And keeping it on your account is just begging you to give in and make it public and start sharing the crap out of it.

Sadly we're in a field where it's all about perception. You may have nailed an audition with one of these videos, but to another CD who may stumble upon, it could make them think twice. I'm not saying this will happen, but it could. And it's something that's come from the mouths of several casting directors I've met with.  Examples of your work are great, too much and it gets muddy.

That's not to say actor slates, or videos from classes are not usable. By all means. Those are fair game. Because they're things picked out for you to exemplify your type. And they're examples of you working with a CD. You working with a professional? Perfect. Use it. You auditioning for a part you may or may not be right for? Don't keep it around.

Again, these are my opinions based on what I've heard navigating this crazy business. But to me it sounds like sound advice. Especially coming from people who are in the business of trying to sell you.  In a non sex-trade kinda way.

*No I didn't get cast. But I did receive an amazing thank you email.