How To Put Yourself On Tape Without Spending A Fortune

How To Put Yourself On Tape Without Spending A Fortune by Dallas Travers

Seems like more and more casting directors are asking for taped audition submissions. I won’t be surprised if soon the first round of all auditions are done on tape and sent in via email.

In some ways, it’s ultra-convenient: self-taped auditions usually have a deadline, but you can work around your J.O.B. and family schedule rather than having to drop everything and run across town for an in-person audition.

On the other hand, you could easily spend a good chunk of change if you pay someone every time you need to put yourself on tape. You know that the production value of your video audition needs to be good, but exactly how good is good enough to be considered professional quality?

Here are a few quick tips for making a professional video audition on the cheap without it looking that way.

DIY Video Prep

I get a lot of questions from my clients about the “industry standard” of a taped audition. There are three components that make up a professional-quality video audition: the sound must be good; the lighting must be clear; and, there cannot be anything distracting in the shot.

Sound: Get a USB mic that plugs into your computer. I use a Snowball to record all my videos, and the sound is awesome. You can find a mic like this on for about $64.

Lighting: Set yourself up during the day facing a window so you have as much natural light as possible. Place your computer in front of you to help illuminate your face.

Background: Check that there is nothing distracting in the background. If the wind is blowing, be sure to close the windows so the drapes aren’t whipping around, and put your pets in another room so they’re not walking back and forth behind you.

Now, the downside to this strategy is that you can’t move around too much, but if you follow these three tips, you will have a clear, focused picture with great sound. And that’s a professional quality tape.

Switch Up Your Motivation

Rather than thinking, “My goal is to put myself on tape, so I can knock it out of the park and book this job,” try something different. The next time you’re putting together a video audition, make your goal more along the lines of: “I’m putting myself on tape in a cost-effective way, so I can sustain this process financially.

Now that might feel like a really big stretch because the stakes seem so high when you’re auditioning. However, the more you practice imperfection, the more you’ll realize it’s really about great sound, great acting, and a clear picture.

Besides, the more experience you get at self-taping auditions, the better. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if video auditions are the wave of the future.

Do you have any tricks for putting yourself on tape? Let us in on your secrets by leaving a comment in the space below.


Should IMDb Share Your Age?

This week’s Acting Business Bite is sure to ruffle a few feathers because I tackle the hot-button issue of IMDB posting your age on its site.

Sure, I understand how frustrating that can be. But I also see too many actors waste time and energy stressing about it when they could be taking a much more powerful action instead.

So, check out the video below and get my two cents about a solution to the IMDb age issue.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know in the comments below.


TAC Scholarship Winner: September 2014

Congratulations to Thriving Artist Circle scholarship winners, Maurice Neuhaus + Ajarae Coleman!

Maurice and Ajarae each won a free year in the Thriving Artist Circle (TAC) for their video submissions answering the challenge:

Give us your best Dallas impression… extra points for making us laugh!

Check out their hilarious answers here and learn how you can be next month’s winner.


You could be next month’s winner…

Answer this month’s challenge question, and you could win a free year in the Thriving Artist Circle.

We’re switching it up again this month and asking for a photo instead of a video.

So, September’s question is:

In one compelling photo, show us your favorite “must have” item for auditions. Include #TAC or the TAC logo in the picture.

Post your photo on the TAC Facebook Page before September 29, 2014 to be entered to win.

Click here to download the logo to print and use in your photo.

Here are the rules…

1. Picture must visibly include #TAC or the TAC logo within the photo.

2. Picture must be an original work of the entrant.

3. Submissions must be posted to BEFORE the deadline to qualify.

4. You MUST answer the question to be considered for the scholarship.

5. Please, no inappropriate images, language, or behavior.

6. You will be evaluated on the following criteria:

- did you follow directions?
- creativity + originality
- quality of your answer

Winners + their entry will be announced at the end of every month and featured on, +

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