April made a great point in last week’s session about taking the time we have in quarantine to continue honing your craft. Therefore, we want to encourage you to select a monologue that best fits your character and put yourself on tape.
Here is a great technique that was shared last week!
- Find sides for something that has already aired, but you have not seen. Practice the sides and set a time of your “ audition” ( ex. You select your sides on Tuesday, and your audition is on Thursday)
- Once your “audition time” ( in this example it is on Thursday) comes around, record yourself performing the slides only ONE TIME.
- Review your video to see how you did and then watch the episode of that scene to see how the actor who booked the job performed it.
- Takes notes on the different choices that were made and how you can approach different scenes in the future.
Here are some pre-selected monologues that are all less than 2 minutes (Click on the right of the playlist to view the different monologues):
To help you pick a monologue that is right for your character, watch the following video:
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR AGENT
The importance of communicating:
- Agents are here to help propel your career forward, but it is in the talent’s best interest to reach out when they are not seeing “results”
- We do not know ALL of your specific skill sets / interests. Be vocal on what types of projects you want to go out for and WHAT SKILL SETS you possess that you can offer for those projects.
- If you come across a project that fits your criteria, immediately forward the breakdown and email it to the agency, and let us know why you are a good fit for that project. Be sure to include the project details below the email forwarding so we view everything that’s related to the project.
- EX. It is more effective to say “ please submit for this boxing character because I have been boxing for 10years and have won multiple championships” rather than “ I want to be submitted for this boxing character”
- Elaborate on skill sets under other experience or resume as we use these keywords to identify your strengths to better pitch you for projects.
Situations when it is good to reach out:
- When you feel like you are not going out for projects that play to your strength.
- Ex. If you excel at comedy but the only auditions you are getting lean more towards dramatic, then tell your agent.
- When you feel like you are not going out on enough auditions.
- In this case, send us an email about your concerns.
- Ask yourself the following as well:
- Do you have open availability
- Are you responding to availability texts within 5-10 minutes?
- Are all your photos updated?
- Is your resume / skill section updated?
- What is ONE THING that you excel in, that the agency should focus on submitting you for. ( ex. You are a professional painter….so the agency should be sending you out for EVERY SINGLE project looking for a painter). If we do not know this about you, then it would be impossible for us to get you out to an audition.
For those that are hands on with self submitting on their own projects, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Please inform the agency as soon as you are called in for an audition BEFORE accepting it because:
- We can review conflicts, usage and terms of the project for you. This is really important because sometimes projects don’t have favorable terms.
- We understand the market value of certain usage terms and what you are entitled to so we can protect you.
- Be aware of Perpetuity usage, use media forever and only one time fee
- Exclusivity clause: lock you out of projects of competing brand
- Renewals: We reach out to clients to get renewals that are at the market value.
- Many times, we are also working on the same project where we can possibly get you seen for a principal role if you were selected for a supporting or extra role through self submission.
- In addition, if we already know you are going out on an audition that day, we will look into lining up other auditions for you that fit your specs.
- Our team does more than just submitting talents electronically. We are super aggressive at pitching for talents that fit the exact specs where we can get them seen last minute or on the same day audition
- Be sure to have that audition bag ready to go so you can be prepared for a full day of auditions.
- Text us back as soon as we ask for your availability. We are doing this because auditions are going on and we are trying to get you a slot. BUT we will only pitch you for that audition IF you are available.
- Also, if you confirm that you are available but later say that you are not, then that will severely decrease your chances of getting pitched in the future.
- Communication is key! We encouraged you to reach out to us via text, email and then call us if you are not getting any results.
- Remember that this is a partnership. We encourage you to take initiative with your career.
- Share resources, let us know about your recent bookings, training or new marketing materials. Talents that check in with the agency the most often and deliver on requested materials tend to have a higher audition rate.
- Text us during business hours. M-F 10AM – 7PM
- Text us if you will be out of town for more than two days so we can book you out. AND text us once you get back to let us know you are ready to audition again.
THANK YOU TO OUR GUEST SPEAKER: PAUL KWO
Paul Kwo is an actor, musician and entrepreneur. He was the one of the supporting lead actors of the blockbuster feature film franchise “God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2”. Paul has appeared in various hit series such as Fresh off the Boat, Scrubs’s and the remake of Knight Rider. As a recording artist, he released his solo vocal album “TIME” in 2016 and has performed with critically acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, international pop singer Wei Wei. Paul was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. He has a Bachelor of Music in Piano, with double minors in Theatre & Musical Theatre, and a Master of Music in Music Composition from USC.
REVIEWING THE TOP 3 SUBMISSIONS
- The Good:
- The introduction is very well spoken, welcoming and showcases Paul’s personality.
- Everything is concise and there is no rambling.
- Video is horizontal, everything is well lit and you can see his face very clearly.
- Close up, medium and full body shots were all in the video
- Clean background and the wardrobe selection show his individual style.
- Be mindful of the video thumbnail
- The Good
- Lighting, camera angles, and audio
- Clean background
- Clothing stands out from her background
- Close up, medium and wide shot are all included
- Don’t be afraid to show more personality in your voice over. As if you are having a conversation with your friend.
- Be mindful of the video thumbnail. Make sure it is a clear medium shot so casting can see your face clearly.
- The Good:
- Lighting is great
- Clean background
- Video and audio quality is crisp and clear
- Information provided is all useful
- All requested body angles are included
- Feature full body shot towards the end of your video
- Wear fitted pants to show body proportions
CRITIQUES / COMMON MISTAKES
IMPORTANCE OF VIDEO THUMBNAIL & LABELING
- When casting directors are going through hundreds of submissions, they are only seeing your thumbnail. If the quality is bad, or the framing is off, they might delete your self tape without watching it.
- Your thumbnail should be the following:
- Medium close up shot
- Clear photo of your face
- Good lighting & Clean Background
- Here’s a quick preview of what they see when they review submissions
- If your face is not clear, the lighting is too dark or the framing is off then your submission can be easily overlooked.
- WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
- Do not start your self tape video with a full body shot.
- The majority of your video should be done in a medium close up shot so your face can be clearly seen
- The Good:
- The content of this self tape was great. Talent was well spoken and showcased his personality.
- Delivery was engaging and clear.
- The framing is too far away / bring it in closer to a medium body shot)
- If there are brighter lights, we will be able to see his face more clear
BACKGROUND / BACKDROP
- If you have a backdrop, make sure it fills the entire frame and you do not see the edges in the video.
- Make sure you are not wearing the same color shirt as your backdrop and that it is not wrinkled
- Left Video: Framing is good but main thumbnail is blurry, Right Video: distracting background with not the best frame and lighting
- Content was good for both with a good personality.
- White shirt & White background
- Wrinkled background
GOOD SELF TAPE
- SLATE: Your Name, Agency Name
- SCENE: Your Name, Agency Name, Project Name, Role Name,
- PROJECT: Your Name, Agency Name, Project Name
- HEADSHOT: Your Name, Agency Name
- FULL BODY: Your Name, Agency Name
- Grey backdrop is highly recommended, It’s good for photos and self tape
- Make sure if you have a white background, that it does not get overexposed.
- Make sure if you have a white background, that it does not get overexposed.
- Make sure your thumbnail & overall video is not too dark
- Wear form fitting clothing that showcases your proportions.
- Reiterate: Clothing should not be the same color as your background
CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER FOR THE WEEK 1 CHALLENGE: JOHANNA HANEDA!
Examples of Digital Polaroids for next week:
VIDEO PODCAST AGENDA
- Weekly Video Podcast Zoom link:
- Introduction Self Tape Video Guidelines:
- Complete this form if you are interested in working with other talents as readers for self tape auditions:
IMPORTANT: Please send over your digital polaroid of your profile shots in all angles. Be sure to wear form fitting clothes so we can see your body. Send them over as a collage just like the photo below. Label your file name and upload them to this link below:
IMPORTANCE OF SELF TAPE
- WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT
- With the current situation, this is the only way casting directors are auditioning. Therefore, you want to treat it as important as an in person audition.
- Even after things go back to normal, please do not disregard the importance of a self tape
- Helps save time for both talent and CD.
- You do not have to drive through LA traffic,
- Showcase your skills in the comfort of your own home.
- A good quality self tape has the potential of being shared for other projects, with other casting directors, producers and directors in the industry. –
- Can lead to more booking opportunities.
- EX: Talent initially auditioned for Sony and perhaps they do not book that job, but the same casting director will book them for a different project they are casting.
- WHAT TO SHOWCASE IN YOUR SELFTAPE:
- Should be friendly, energetic, confident and NOT robotic. REMEMBER: This is your first change to show your personality and how professional you are.
- Be sure to also include your personal style and showcase who you are in your slate. This does not mean you need to act over the top, but rather act naturally as if you are speaking to a friend.
- This goes for both theatrical and commercial self tapes.
- TIPS / THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Do NOT wait until the last minute. Get your selftape submissions in as soon as possible
- Don’t forget about your RESUME!
- Be sure to keep it up to date on all platforms
- (Casting Networks, Actors Access, and your personal PDF resume)
- List ALL on-camera experience ( school, teen days, even projects you did with friends), training and specific skills that make you stand out.
- EX. Training in the commercial world would be improv classes. Good place to look is Second City or Groundlings workshops. Remember that commercial acting is geared towards acting with few words but a lot of subtle facial expressions.
- HOLD CAMERA HORIZONTALLY ( WIDE ANGLE SHOT)
- NEVER hold it portrait even if it’s a full body shot.
- The vertical angle does not flatter your overall body shape and proportion
- PROFILE SHOT:
- Want to see overall body profile and proportion.
- IF you don’t have enough space for a full body profile, leave your profile shot until the end of the video. Then when you are done with your into, walk away from the camera and back towards it while staying in frame.
- ANOTHER option is to go to a different location with more space to film a quick profile shot that you can use for all self tape videos ( as long as your body remains the same)
- MEDIUM SHOT:
- CLOSE UP SHOT:
- just right above your shoulder,
- FULL BODY SHOT:
- Continue to hold the camera horizontally
- Make sure no clutter
- Solid Color
- No wrinkles!
- Make sure you have good SOFT lighting.
- Harsh lighting will make your skin tone look off.
- Make sure you have enough lighting so you can be seen clearly WITHOUT pixelating.
- TIPS: Film during the day at the brightest spot in your house.
- Invest in a ring light or other lighting equipment so you can film self tape at any time of day. ( Will talk about equipment toward the end)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRINT/ COMMERCIAL & THEATRICAL SELF TAPE
- WHAT THEY ARE USED FOR:
- Commercial: Purpose // Commercial
- FAST TURNAROUND: In a commercial video when casting ask for a quick self tape intro and profile shots, it means they want to see what you currently look like.
- Need additional cast members last minute
- What to include:
- INTRO: Show your personality by introducing yourself with a quick bio about you, your hobbies and any other specific questions they are inquiring about.
- Do not ramble, be short and sweet and to the point.
- Showcase YOUR personality / state any specific skill set you have that is relevant to that brand
- IF ROLE ASKING FOR “REAL LIFE Fitness Instructor”
- EX: Be relevant with real life experience you have in the Financial, IT, Fitness and Health Industry the better.
- Real people with real life experience are important and can be more bookable than others.
- Be authentic, inviting and confident!
- Approachable, Inviting with a big smile.
- Theatrical: Purpose // Theatrical:
- Preliminary round considered as your 1st selftape audition
- If they like what they see in the selftape, they will invite you to come into the studio for an in person audition.
- Self tape should fit the mood of the character you are auditioning for.
- A quality reel can also help the agency PITCH you for other projects.
- If your video files are not saved accordingly, it can be easily lost and overlooked when they try to locate your files through all the thousands of self tape submissions.
- It’s so important that we label the self tape following the instructions.
- Slate_Kim Loan Duong_Image Powerhouse
- Take 1 Kim Loan Duong_Marvel Kat Image Powerhouse Agency
THEATRICAL SELF TAPE
- What to include:
- Include a slate, state your name, and role you are auditioning for
- Follow the detailed selftape instruction
- Look directly into the camera
- State your name and answer any questions the CD has asked.
- EX. Hi, my name is Kim Loan. I am reading for the role of Boss lady.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Performing your Scene:
- DON’T look directly into the camera unless the script explicitly calls for it ( except for your slate).
- Look just to the left or right of the camera since this is how you will be shot for a scene with other actors.
- Avoid looking down to read the script/ if it is not memorized, keep the script at eye level
- BE CONFIDENT 🙂
- Being able to self tape means that you have the time to nail your audition perfectly. So run the lines and do a few takes beforehand to ensure the best final result.
- Upload them to ecocast as well as the agency portal for review
- If CD allows you to submit more than one take, make sure each take is DIFFERENT
- Let us know if you see there’s another role that you are more suitable for and let us know the reason why
- Include a quick blurb why you are suitable for that role
- Mentioned any recent bookings
- This was a very common question that we received and it is a very good one.
- Readers are important to have for your self tape but we understand that they are not always readily available.
- TIPS ON HOW TO FIND READERS:
- Network with other talents from the agency, in class or other performers that you may know.
- We are going to be sending out a poll to you all in this zoom call asking if you are interested in sharing your contact information so we can put together a group of talents interested in helping each other self tape.
- Utilize Zoom! It’s free to sign up! www.zoom.us
- You can video call your reader and they can perform the lines to you through your computer. You can even record the session on Zoom and that can be your self tape.
- NOT RECOMMENDED BUT DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
- Record audio of you reading the other lines and play that audio back so you can perform to your own recording.
- This may take some time to get right, but can be a good option if no one is available.
WARDROBE & MAKEUP
- WHAT TO WEAR
- Clothing should be form fitting to show your body proportions and can be layered with a jacket or sweater to show a specific style.
- It is not necessary to wear a costume UNLESS specifically instructed to do so by CD.
- WHAT NOT TO WEAR
- Do not wear something that is the same color as your background / backdrop
- Nothing too distracting / has large logos
- MAKEUP is a MUST for both make and female. When they say natural makeup it means on-camera ready makeup with the basics.
- Eye concealer under eyes
- Full coverage long lasting
- Moisturize your lips with a tint of color
HERE’S A LINK TO OUR SUGGESTED WARDROBE SUGGESTIONS AND MAKEUP
MEN’S WARDROBE: https://www.pinterest.com/officialkimloan/mens-wardrobe-styles/
WOMEN’S WARDROBE: https://www.pinterest.com/officialkimloan/womens-wardrobe-styles/
- WHAT TO USE TO SHOOT:
- Camera or Smartphone are both OK
- Camera will give you more flexibility.
- REMEMBER: Must shoot horizontal which is sideways and not vertical.
- It is extremely important that we are able to hear you clearly. Film when it is quiet and make sure sound is not echoey.
- Invest into a LAV mic if you have the means.
- $35 or the one from phone https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07RYWVLMN/ref=sspa_mw_detail_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1
WRAP UP/ CHALLENGE
- Challenging you all to film a self tape video using all of the tips and tricks we just shared!
- Pick a scene of your choice and perform it. Be sure to include a slate and a full body shot as well.
- Upload it to our master upload link and we will review them and send over some feedback to you!
- We are going to feature our top three submissions in next week’s video session!
- Hope you are all staying safe and sane at this time and talk to you all next week! 🙂
Check out the Nutanix commercial that’s featuring multiple talents from our agency! Hazel Ahn, George Wang, Vin D, Johanna J and Scott Shimano.
Congratulation Johanna for booking the Gucci 2018 Year of the Dog campaign!