Are you ready for Virtual Castings?

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Are you ready for Virtual Castings?

Top Tips from an Agent to help you WIN your next audition

This year has seen a huge change in the casting process for performers, with the majority of auditions and screen tests now being done virtually via Zoom. Something that’s likely to continue for some time and in fact, we may have seen the casting process change for good since it’s proved not only to work but from a casting point of view, it saves on room hire for the day.

Online castings tend to come with some advantages; you get to save on travel costs and time, it removes the anxiety of the dreaded waiting room area plus, it opens the door to auditions you might not be able to attend if you live on opposite sides of the country. But, they can be daunting if you don’t know what to expect, and not only is auditioning in your own home a bit weird, but having to walk and talk your script to Zoom can take a bit of practice.

Self-tapes have also become increasingly popular over the last few years, often as well as your showreel you may be expected to film a short introduction video about yourself, this gives the casting professional a real chance to see your personality and who you are.

The key to a successful casting is preparation and knowing what to expect. Making sure you have the right technical equipment for a start. The good news is, for the majority of performers the savings from traveling to an audition can be used purchase your own simple home filming kit to ensure you’re prepared for home filming. For any live Zoom castings make sure you have a strong internet connection so you don’t cut out.

Recently, we ran a webinar with the Top Presenter Agent Karen Witchalls-Plunkett from Perfect Match Presenters who talked us through the new online casting process and the importance of being prepared specially at the last minute.

Here are some of the tips form the session:

1. What presenters can be doing to keep busy

As a presenter putting your best self forward is very important. Getting up every day and getting ready in case you get a call for a casting or self-tape should be a priority. It’s also important as how you feel is how you reflect yourself. So, if you’re still in your onesie until lunchtime you may want to think again!

Keep creating your content online on platforms such as YouTube and ensure your websites and casting profiles are all up to date. Casting professionals like to see a presenter that’s busy even when they’re not working.

2. Getting your filming right

The location of your filming is very important. Bad Video can be very distracting. First of all, choose a nice dedicated space in your home which will be your area of filming, ensure it’s clean clutter-free (make sure you tidy that washing away!) Your background should ideally be a plain white wall. If you don’t have a plain wall, you can purchase an affordable pop up white backdrop.

Have nice natural light, do not have a window behind you as the camera will focus on the brightest light which will be from outside, this will then make you darker and harder to see. Instead, you can use the window facing you or you may want to consider purchasing an LED ring light.

Make sure you have the correct framing of your video or zoom call by using the rule of thirds (see example)and ensure your video is steady, prop your laptop with books or you could look into a cheap foldaway laptop stand. For your phone invest in a tripod.

Finally, the sound is at least 50% of your video quality, if not more important than the visual itself. Generally, the internal microphones on mobile phones and laptops are not great, they can make audio sound echoey and tinny, so invest in an external microphone so you have good, clear sound. If you’re looking for a microphone for your laptop we recommend either Rode NT USB Microphone or for a budget option iGOKU Lavalier. For smart phones either Rode Smartlav or Altson Lavalier Mic just check the compatibility with your phone or if you need any adapters.

3. Importance of your Introduction Video

Casting professionals are now looking at these video introductions as part of their casting process, if you get this wrong it might cost you the job.

Your video should have a Beginning, Middle, and End. Ensure you catch attention by saying your name and what you’re doing at the moment. Keep your energy up throughout the video, think about your USP, what are you good at? What makes you unique? Mention a passion or hobby. In the end, use a short call to action like ‘That’s me I look forward to hearing from you soon’ or ‘If you want to hear more about me check out my website at xxxxxx’. Unless you’re an expert at ad-libbing, plan your structure. It’s a good idea to use what we call the ‘Rule of Three’. There tends to be a natural flow with 3 items and not only can your short term memory easily retain, your audience is also more likely to consume information this way.

Missed the session?

Don’t worry catch up with the replay for more top casting advise in our free member’s area where you can also watch videos and webinars from our top industry experts including;

Award-winning Radio Presenter and Podcaster Sam Sethi,
BAFTA-winning Producer & Director Helen Sheppard,
How to Dress for Success with Stylist Sarah Biancardi.

Want to nail your next casting?

Could you walk and talk to the camera while delivering your script on a zoom casting?

Get valuable and immediate feedback on your audition performance and how you come across on screen from an experienced presenter agent and top media trainer.

Work with top presenter agent Karen-Witchells-Plunkett on our virtual casting workshop on Saturday 7th November 11:30 am (UK time).

This session will be run like a true to life casting. You’ll be given a short script to learn beforehand where you will have to deliver to the camera. You’ll be expected to follow directions, walk into shot, and deliver your PTC.

Don’t wait for your next casting to get prepared!

To book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/presenter-casting-workshop-tickets-125712969877

Places are limited hurry up and grab yours now!