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You want your virtual auditions to stand out and I want your virtual auditions to stand out. So, how do we make this happen every time? It’s pretty simple. Keep reading for a list of clear virtual audition tips to help make your next self tape shine. 

First Things First

Please don’t wait for the call from your agent telling you that you have a virtual audition to think about virtual auditions. You want to be focused on the work as you prep, not running around buying items you need or designing your home office.  

Do A Test Run

I highly recommend the occasional test run to make sure you are ready at a moment’s notice. You could be at work when you get the appointment, which could be as soon as the next day, thus giving you minimal time to prepare.

Find a few scene partners to practice with regularly. Read for each other, taking turns as the actor auditioning. Find sides from contemporary film and/or TV. Don’t overlook those co-star roles in your prep. 

Secure a Space 

Make sure you locate a quiet, secure space for your virtual auditions. It should be somewhere you feel comfortable and won’t be interrupted. I like to see risks in the work, not the location. Make sure you know you have reliable wi-fi, too. If your connection drops out, nothing else matters.   

Check your Sound

How is the sound on your rehearsed auditions? The main reason to practice these is so you can watch them back and check how it looks and sounds. Again, you don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money. Your phone or laptop can get the job done. Just check everything well in advance of any actual auditions and fix any problems. It isn’t hard to create an acceptable level of light and the sound doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be uninterrupted by kids and pets.  

Dress Appropriately

Dress nice, but like any other audition, you don’t need a costume. Wear pants! Or whatever you would wear normally below the waist. This isn’t a Zoom call with your cousin. They may ask to see you head to toe. Probably not, but it’s possible. Could happen during the slate.    

Practice 

Your prep should be exactly the same as it would be for an audition in a casting office. The job is still the job and we’re still hiring professional actors. After seeing thousands and thousands of auditions for 30 years, I can tell when an actor hasn’t prepared well.

Be Timely

Punctuality is crucial. Assume your slot was given for a specific time and you have to be ready to go ten minutes early and be prepared to wait as needed. 

Expect the Unexpected

Be ready for anything. Technical difficulties, mistakes, bloopers. They will happen on set so they may happen in a virtual audition. They are opportunities to show us how you handle adversity.

Relax

You’re well-prepared and you know before you start your virtual audition that you wouldn’t have been given the appointment if you didn’t deserve it. Please don’t let nerves be the reason you don’t book. Virtual auditions should be a little easier in this respect because we aren’t in the same room and the waiting room is at your house. 

It’s virtual. There is no extra pressure on you to memorize your scene. Know the material, make choices and stay directable. Don’t get so locked in on a choice that you can’t let it go and perform a strong re-directed scene.

Use your Laptop

While a phone is okay, the picture is better and the frame is more professional if you use your computer. 

Do Research

Do yourself a huge favor and try to see some virtual auditions. There’s no replacement for actually seeing some of the issues casting sees so you can understand better why you want to avoid them. I used to tell my students that the best way to see how NOT to audition was to sit in on a casting session. The first time you see an actor crash and burn in an otherwise great audition because they tried to memorize the scene and didn’t hold their sides is all you need to know never to make the same mistake.

Conclusion

Most of all, treat virtual auditions as you would any other audition. The more you think of this as an in-person meeting the better off you will be. This may be hard because we’ve all gotten used to certain habits in the past year. Follow the above guidelines and it will be hard to go wrong.


Written by Mark Sikes

Mark Sikes began his casting career in 1992 for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Corman. In the past 25 years, he has cast over 100 films as well as television series, commercials and web series. He has cast projects for Tobe Hooper and Luke Greenfield and many others. In the past few years Mark has also produced four feature films.

Based in Los Angeles, Mark has cast films for many markets including the United Kingdom, Peru, the Philippines and Russia. Domestically, he has cast films that shot all over the country in Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Virginia and multiple projects in Colorado.

He currently teaches three weekly on-camera, audition technique classes in West Los Angeles.  Follow Mark on Twitter @castnguy.