July 29, 2022
What is a self-tape audition? Here we go. Well, let's start with vocabulary. How we speak to ourselves is critical. It's actually a self record or it's a self-DVR. It's a self digital video recording. Self tape there hasn't been videotape for well over 30 years. So, let go of the tape word because there's no tape. So, what is it? It's an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skill as a storyteller and also to introduce yourself. It's important to remember that every audition you do those two things are at work all the time. Your ability to tell a story and invite the audience in come on in but at the same time to reveal as much of yourself as you can in this length of time. So, what is the self-DVR, the self-digital video recording? Well, the glory of this golden age of zoom is put together a variety a library if you will and even if you won't of backgrounds. I'd have at least half a dozen of them that are just there so you don't have to think about it. So, when an audition comes up you can put all of your time into being a text detective. All of your time into all of the particulars of the story and what other particulars of the story? 15 guide posts, 6 viewpoints, 4 parts of vocal variation, and the 4 agreements. You need all of your time to there not thinking about what's my light setup. So, I would have three or four different light setups. One that feels a little bit more like a light comedy.
Write down the word tone, tone is very important. Part of the joy of this acting thing and I think a lot of you got into it as I did because of the high school drama club or an experience you had in college or community theater that you loved being around other crazy passionate people like yourself. Well, this is no different. When we look historically, when Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart were starting out and they were broke in New York City they were roommates. Well, it worked out for both of them. For our younger folks if you don't know who Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart are I recommend Wikipedia and google, right. Also, in New York City when Dustin Hoffman was starting out and Gene Hackman was starting out they were roommates and then they wanted to lower the rent so they moved in a guy named Robert Duvall. You don't know who those folks are? Look them up. You want to be part of film history, study it. Then if we go across the sea when you and McGregor and Jude Law were starting out they were roommates. So, it takes a village. You need folks, you need to be around folks that share your vocabulary and your ideology of what acting is. So, you're not by yourself with this stuff because it really isn't done alone. Storytelling, you need a community of people to learn and to grow and here we hold. So, please write down, raise your personal standards to the heavens or raise my personal standards to the heavens. You must know that when you start auditioning you are making first impressions and those first impressions are forever. Impatience kills craft and career. Enjoy the journey don't be chomping at the bit to put yourself out there professionally.
You want to see and you want to learn about the camera, student films are great places to start. One of the great blessings of studying at lincoln center is I had as many classical musician friends, dancer friends, opera friends, as I did actor friends and you would never think of any of them auditioning for a professional company until they were really ready. So, you must always remember that acting is the seemingly invisible seemingly ordinary art of relaxation and expression under extraordinary circumstances, under the heading of impatience kills craft and career. Rehearse slowly to later perform swiftly and right in the comments, we read all of them. If you're enjoying this and you're learning about what a south DVR audition is click on the link below. So, certain things that every audition must have, must have a beginning a middle and an end. I recommend all of you put together six monologues in a variety of styles that are no more than a minute and 15 seconds ideally, a minute. Because you know in a minute, we can tell if you know how to tell a story professionally or not and this is dreaded. So, we don't want this to happen, right? So, what must every audition have? Well, we said a beginning a middle and an end. Storytelling is structure, it has to have humor. Beware of labeling that this is a sad monologue or scene or this is a dramatic monologue or this is angry. Everything is everything all the time. Otherwise, you're going to reduce it to one two never three dimensions so and then we'll get ahead of you and that'll become tedium. So, we all have two equal and opposite needs. We have the need for reliability and we have the need for unpredictability. Every audition needs that.
In the world of production we have the need to know that you're going to be very prepared but you're not going to be predictable. Now, that might seem like an easy thing to do but it really does take some study. Because it appears spontaneous but that spontaneity came out of the preparation. So, please write down, I must know that I know what I know. You've got to know that you know what you know. Now, oftentimes in auditions, you'll be asked for three scenes. Make sure they're different overall and make sure they have differences rooted in 15 guide posts, 6 few points, 4 parts of vocal variation, the 4 agreements. The more you study this stuff will become second nature and it will make sense to you. You're going to find you're often given numerous scenes and on the day can be a live zoom audition or if you get down to the finals and it is in person which is not always the case anymore. A lot of times all the casting happens this way, yeah. You will find that casting will say to you, "Yes, I know we asked for three scenes but we're only going to see the first one". Why do you think that is? Well, I can tell you why. Because every actor came in and did all three scenes like the first one. So, we say well if they do a solid piece of work with the first one then we'll ask for the second one in the third one because it just ends up being a waste of time because everybody does the same thing over and over again. So, be sure they're different and what does that come from? That comes from being a tax detective. We always hearken back to what can I work on every day? Remember, every play particularly Shakespeare but every play script was written to be performed aloud. I recommend always reading aloud never reading it silently like it's a novel. It was never written to be that way and you need to think of the text as musical notes. For those of you that don't read music I read it a little bit and play drums largely by feel. If you look at music that it just looks like squiggly lines. So, your job even though it's the English language or it's written in French or Italian or Portuguese, etc. Your job is first and foremost to personalize it so we get to know you and take it off the page.
So, that is of critical importance. Beware of consistency, consistency is the death of good acting. Yeah, you don't want to kill the good acting. Anthony Hopkins found mischief in playing a cannibal in the silence of the lambs. Now, you might say a cannibal is not funny. Well, Mr. Hopkins didn't say that and who knows? I've never dined with one maybe it was hysterical. Roberto Benigni's life is beautiful. It's about the holocaust, he found humor. The reductive actor says there is no humor in that but the few people that I have met who survived the holocaust said humor was the only thing that kept them alive and got them through the day. Roberto Benigni principle... I invite you to come visit a class. Come on Saturday as our guest. You will love this community I'm quite sure of that. Click on the link below, come on...