Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Skype Audition Take Two-My Second Experience

So a few months ago (well, back in July actually, I honestly didn't realize that much time went by), I wrote a post about my first Skype audition. Basically, I wrote about the experience and how bad it was and what I learned to help make the next one better. Well, I just had my second audition via Skype today and I thought I would do a follow up post comparing this time to the first. As in, did I follow my own advice and how did it feel this time?

My original post about Skype auditions seems to be my most popular post. I've researched them as well and I've only found a few good articles about the subject even though it is becoming more and more popular amongst casting directors. So hopefully this post--written from the perspective of a struggling actress who is also new to Skype auditions--will help someone out there to feel better prepared and more comfortable before their first, or even second or third, Skype audition.

Needless to say, today's audition went much smoother than the first. I gave myself plenty of time to test the camera, lighting, and audio. I made sure my makeup and wardrobe translated well on-screen. I framed myself and set my webcam in just the right position well before time. I made sure my cat was far out of the way. The thing that helped me to feel the most confident though, was practicing my lines several times on the web cam. Ten minutes before the scheduled call, I made sure the apartment was silent and waited calmly in front of my computer for the moment so I would feel completely prepared. Yes, I was anxious and a little nervous, BUT, this time around I felt confident, comfortable, and was ready to have some fun.

The thing that gave me the most anxiety when doing a Skype audition, was where do I look? At the camera? At the screen? Both? Whenever I've done a video audition, if I don't have a reader or if it is a monologue or copy, I've always read straight to the camera. If I have a reader, I look at the reader.

Well, I also tested this beforehand to see which looked better. I rationalized that if I were at the studio auditioning I would be looking at the reader, not at the camera. So, check one. As for the introduction portion, I planned to look directly at the camera, so from casting's perspective I would be looking right at them. But, when looking at myself on the screen prior, I saw that it did actually appear as though I was looking at the camera. Maybe it worked that way because of the position/height of the screen/computer and how I was standing. So, I decided during the introductions I would go ahead and look at their image on the screen so I would feel more natural and comfortable. I hope it looked okay. (Geez, I must sound like such a newbie. I guess in many ways I still am.) I don't think it's expected to be perfect, but you always want to make it the most effective it can be.

This time around, I also was more conscious of keeping my speaking volume high enough (I do not have a fancy special microphone, although now I am thinking of investing in one) and I also made sure my energy level stayed consistent throughout the entire audition. Especially since the casting was for a scripted comedy.

Overall, I am completely happy with how the audition went. And also a little proud of myself for truly utilizing everything thing I learned from my first Skype audition. Time to let this one go and focus on my next two auditions which are scheduled for tomorrow. (No, they won't be through Skpe.) :)~

UPDATE May 13, 2016

I just want to clarify about to where to look when auditioning on camera. Since I wrote this post, I've learned when doing an on-camera audition you should always direct your lines a little to the side of the camera or right above. (Unless it's a commercial audition.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fun with Monologues

I admit it; I haven't always loved to do monologues. I loved them even less when I had to perform them for auditions. For years, monologues eluded me. I would even say they intimidated me. They just never felt natural or comfortable for me no matter many of them I tried to make my own. A few months ago I had to audition for a television crime reenactment show using an improvised monologue. I have to say, I never felt so good about a monologue audition in my life. Because I came up with it myself, I didn't worry about getting every word right. Therefore, I really just allowed the character to come through. I just had fun with it. And..... I booked the role(!!!). I think that was the first time in a LONG time I booked a part with a monologue. In fact, I can honestly only remember one other time in particular. When the audition was over, I evaluated the reasons why I felt like this particular audition had been a successful one. Was it simply that I was getting more comfortable with the auditioning process itself as well as auditioning with monologues? Well, probably. Experience does help. But I knew there was something more. What was the difference this time? The answer was pretty clear. I had a blast doing it. I finally realized that the key for me to be successful at performing monologues is to have fun doing them. Yes, I always remember certain techniques like "decide who specifically I am talking too" and "make it sound like a real conversation." But the only way for me to be comfortable, natural, and really let the character/emotions shine through me is to have fun with it. That being said, below is the link to a new monologue I worked on yesterday with director Jhoe Davis. He chose the material and then worked with me on each emotion he wanted to see throughout the piece.

Check out his website here:

Please take a look and feedback is welcome:) Below, feel free to post links to monologues you have been working on. Thanks for reading!! (And watching!)