Last week, I was called to audition for a commercial promoting WJXT Channel 4 News (“THE Local Station”). The audition was scheduled on the same day as my brother-in-law’s high school graduation in the Florida Panhandle…a six hour drive. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I asked my agent if I could be seen earlier or if I could submit a videotaped audition.
The client wanted to try different combinations of actors, so neither of these options would afford that; however, in order to have any chance of being considered, I planned to submit my recorded performance burned to a DVD. I have “self-taped” auditions before, but only at the request of the director.
Fortunately, the other actors with whom I was scheduled to audition, Nick DeCastro and Ava Gardner, agreed to meet me Sunday evening to help. We discovered this was beneficial to them as well, as they have not performed together before. Maybe this “rehearsal” will give them a leg up during their actual audition.
This was also the first time I used a “wide angle” lens adapter on my camera. I chose to use it hoping to place the camera closer to the subjects, so the audio would be picked up better without the need for external or wireless microphones. As you can see by the screen capture, the lens distorts images close-up. Tip: ALWAYS practice with your equipment before using fora professional audition or shoot!
I immediately went home to capture the video, edit out the coverage between takes (I just left the camera running steadily while recording, instead of pausing after each take), and burn the footage to DVD. On Wednesday evening, I dropped off the DVD and a couple headshots, and Thursday morning, headed out of town.
On Thursday evening, I got a call from my agent about an audition on Friday. I guess I picked a bad weekend to be out of town…but then again, it’s not every day when a family member graduates high school! I confirmed I would be available for the shoot dates, and asked that my headshot and online demo video be submitted for this project, a promotion for the Poker Rooms in our area.
Unfortunately, but understandably, since I could not be present at the auditions, I was not cast for either shoot. However, as one door closes, another one opens; I was recently contacted by the casting director for an independent film, and I received an email from my agent for another potential opportunity. Not too bad for what is considered to be a slow time in this industry!Scott J. Smith