Tips and Tricks: Producing a High-Quality Audition Video

Written by Mark Catlett |

Creating a High-Quality Self-Taped Audition Is Key to Getting a Job in Our Socially Distanced World

Prior to March 2020, video auditions, or “self-taped” auditions, were gaining momentum and becoming a mainstream process for recruiting actors for hard-to-fill roles across the country, but many companies and actors were taking baby steps into this new world. And then, in mid-March 2020, all things changed.

Only two weeks after we were all together for SETC 2020 in Louisville, our busy, hectic lives hit a hard pause. As theatres navigate this new socially distant world, one of the first parts of the theatrical process, auditioning, is being rethought and adjusted. And the video audition has become critically important.

Here are some tips and tricks for producing the highest-quality audition video:



Be specific and create fresh audition material for each posting. Take the time to create a new, fresh submission video specific to the opportunity. Companies know if you are sending a general “to whom it may concern” type of audition clip.



Record your submission in a professional setting. The background, lighting and sound are critical to your submission. Make sure the background is free of clutter and distraction and that you find good natural lighting and sound.



Partner with an accompanist. Avoid karaoke tracks or oversynthesized tracking. Spend the time and small amount of money that are necessary to have your favorite accompanist record your unique audition cut virtually and send it to you on your smartphone.



Dress professionally. You may be recording from your home, but dress and style yourself as if you were attending the audition in person.



Find a way to create a quick and concise introduction. Video auditions lose the personal interaction that takes place at the start and finish of your audition. Casting directors get a lot out of those moments in live auditions, and we love to see a bit of “you” in your introduction and salutation.


This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of SETC News, the bimonthly newsletter of the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Written by Mark Catlett
Mark Catlett is the current chair of SETC's Professional Theatre Division.

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