As auditions are ramping up, here are some self-tape tips. Competition is fierce and it never hurts to make sure you are sending in your absolute best!
BASICS - I'm assuming everyone on this page knows the basics about lighting, solid color background, framing (not a lot of space over your head), smart phone in landscape (horizontal) position. If not, you can find many resources on the web.
SOUND - If you're taping with a smartphone, using a lavalier mic is a game-changer. It brings focus to your entire vocal range, even your quietest lines are clear as a bell. (The only exception would be a screaming audition - then, yes, we can hear you...)
TONE - Determines the reading of even the smallest roles - a bank teller on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" would likely differ from "CSI: Vegas." Misinterpreting Tone = Missed Opportunity. Do your research!
FRAMING - Speaking of tone, your framing is also affected by the tone. Some casting directors will specify the frame (i.e. waist up.) If not, as a general rule, in a drama we need to see your thoughts, so the frame should be at least from the top of your shoulders. A comedic scene may be a wider shot so we can see your physicality. Also action scenes will likely require a wider shot as well.
TAKES - I always send in more than one take, unless it's otherwise specified. BUT ONLY if I have a legit second or third DIFFERENT interpretation. For example, if you're reading for a bank teller, maybe the first take is pleasant and helpful, the second take more business-as-usual. If you're sending in that second take, casting directors truly want to see something different, not a slightly different read of the word "and."
REVIEW - I know this seems like a no-brainer but always review your takes. If you notice that you mispronounced a word or didn't enunciate clearly, do another take. And watch to see how you're LISTENING.
Remember, these are just a few points to help you be your best. The more you audition, the more you'll discover on your own. I'm rooting for you!
By Andi Matheny Acting Studios