Acting In the Digital Age – Call 1
Hello! What you need to know right now is that this call is being recorded. This call is recorded. So, if you’re on video, please remember this call is recorded, and it will be posted and shared with the other people. So, if you want to do – um – you definitely want to remember that, don’t go into the bathroom, don’t go naked, anything like that.
So! Welcome! This call is really, I’ve been looking forward to it, because now I get to see some faces with what I’ve been reading on the blog. And, I want to open the floor, because the format of this call is questions and answers, and anything that I can help you with, with the program so far. And after that, I have the bonus section, which is our on camera audition of the week. So this is Roz, I’m here, and I’m available to answer your questions and let’s see if anybody has a question!
Let me see, how would you ask a question. I think you can just talk. I’ve unmuted you. Hello!
So the format of this call is question and answer. How ‘bout this: why don’t you tell me what it was like to go through the commitment section, those of you who’ve had a chance to go through it, and make a public commitment. What was that experience like for you? You guys can just go ahead and talk, if you are so inclined.
SPEAKER 1: I’m sorry, I just walked in. Can you hear me?
Roz: Yeah! Oh, is that Dee? Hi Dee.
SPEAKER 1: Hey.
Roz: So we’re just getting the conversation started with this open question of, “If you’ve had a chance to make your public commitment, what was that like for you? What was that experience like for you?”
SPEAKER 1: For myself, I’m still working on my public commitment, and I think that today I realized a lot of what my public commitment needs to be, because it has to do with fear.
SPEAKER 1: It does.
Roz: And so how does that fear show up for you?
SPEAKER 1: Um, that fear for me shows up in, in – I guess it affects my confidence. It paralyzes me, I guess I could say. That fear sometimes paralyzes me. And that commitment I’m making is to overcome my fear and to press forward, no matter how I feel, because I know I love this work, and I love this art. And I love being this creative person. And so I am making a commitment. I am committed to push past my fear, and to take on the challenge of getting my art out to the world.
Roz: Well, it sounds like you just made it, Dee!
SPEAKER 1: I, yeah! I need to write that down!
Roz: Yeah, that’s it! This call is being recorded! So you have now made a commitment. The idea is that … Dee, that’s so great! I stand with you and for you.
SPEAKER 1: Thank you!
Roz: You can’t see me, but I’m doing my little—
SPEAKER 1: I see you!
Roz: Okay, good. That’s fantastic! All right, so the idea of making the public commitment is that it does hold you accountable. Right? We’re building our strength in our little private area. To get bolder and bolder in sort of our actions as creative people, and sharing them out there in the world. So, Dee, I congratulate you.
SPEAKER 1: I’m sorry, I updated my computer today, with that Lion or whatever that was, and it’s now just coming on, so I’m going to switch on to that.
Roz: Okay, sure. All right, so anybody else wanna share about any questions, about their commitment they made or what that was like for them?
SPEAKER 2: Hey, Roz! This is Darnelle.
Roz: Darnelle, hi!
SPEAKER 2: How are you?
Roz: Good! Good!
SPEAKER 2: Um, well, I haven’t really gotten started, but what my question is – I kind of feel like I’m, um, in a place where I’m kind of working for [muffled], kind of doing everything else [muffled]. I have a lot of nice ideas, and things I wanna create, but I’m just, like, so drained. I need some energy, or just some classical way to carve out what or figure out what I need in order to do that, like what equipment I need, what kind of space I need to make it happen.
Roz: Great. So, that’s a great question! Darnelle is asking – um, let me translate a little bit, I’m just gonna mute everybody while I talk, and then I’ll unmute you, okay? Okay, so: Darnelle is asking about how do I carve out the time and space to get started, and that’s where her challenge is. So, my suggestion is to take the first however long you take, because I really want you to feel like you can move at your own pace, that you use those worksheets in the set up week video – and the worksheets that are under there – that you can use the worksheets, Darnelle, to look at how you’re already spending your time. And just fill in where your commitments already are. And once you can see it – and you can even spend a whole week just tracking the spending of your time in a specific way, right? From the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep. And then you’ll have an overview of what’s happening with your time now. And you look at both how you’re spending your time now, and compare some of those activities to what you want to be doing, which is you want to have at least 30 to 45 minutes maybe twice a week, where you can just work on sides. Just to work on sides, right? Work on an audition side, just to get yourself going creatively. And then maybe, so, what is the time you’re looking for: you’re looking for let’s say, two 30 minute blocks of time. Um, once you can see it, then you can start to trade out some things. Whether it’s about getting up a little earlier, or whether it’s about cutting out an activity… And some people need to – when I first moved to New York, I know I had to rearrange my life, because I took a waitressing job from 6pm to 6am, which left me too tired to show up during the day. So staying up all night and showing up as an artist during the day did not work together. So that job didn’t work for me, so I ended up having to make a big change there. So that’s one of the first things you want to do.
So I’m going to unmute you guys, and see how does that resonate with you, Darnelle?
SPEAKER 2: It sounds good. I think it will help to see exactly, y’know, what I’m doing. Because sometimes I’m like “Oh, maybe now I should be writing, no, maybe now I should be this, or maybe I should do laundry or whatever,” so maybe if I just see exactly what I’ve done, I can go back and figure out when I can plug that in.
Roz: Okay. And you wanna make a commitment to us that that’s what you’re gonna do this week?
SPEAKER 2: Um, yeah! I need suggestions, then… I can try to do something.
Roz: Yeah! Just try that. Just start there, with the set up video. Baby steps. Okay?
SPEAKER 2: Okay, so just tracking my time this week, and that’s my thing for this week.
Roz: And watch the set up video. If you have time also for that, I would watch that set up video, because we also have the list of equipment needed.
SPEAKER 2: Okay. All right, I’ll do that. Thank you.
Roz: You’re welcome! Anybody else have a question or, we’re talking about what it was like to work on the first week of the work, in terms of making the commitment publically, what that was like for you and what you got out of that exercise, and any questions that you had about it.
SPEAKER 3: Can you hear me?
SPEAKER 3: Hi, it’s Lisa. How are you?
Roz: Lisa, hi! How are you?
SPEAKER 3: Hi, good. I set up my little space for my camera, and I got a little wall behind, it’s very modest. But y’know what, I’ve been a theater actress and everyone has told me I’m just too big, I had this realization that if I start taping myself and practice my craft on film, seeing myself and just watching myself, that I might be able to, y’know, work in another medium that I really wanna work in.
SPEAKER 3: So that’s… I’m excited! I have to say though, I haven’t got my camera yet. I’m resisting buying the damn camera!
Roz: You want to start with – here, I’m gonna mute other people, well, maybe I should ask everybody to mute themselves. Mute yourself! And then just Lisa and I will talk until you want to talk. Thank you! Okay, so Lisa: here’s something that helps, I think, with the making the choice of the camera. Is that, you can always change later. Right? You can go cheap and then if you want to get fancy later, you can always do that. So it’s not the last camera you’re gonna buy. And just know that there’s always something greater that’s gonna come out next week. And so we’re just going to accept that, right? [laughs] It’s like buying a car.
SPEAKER 3: If I start with that video camera, that option you gave, do I need a tripod for that?
Roz: Yes! What I like about that camera is there is a built in thread on the bottom, so you can attach it to a tripod. Really easy. So that camera is gonna be easy for you.
SPEAKER 3: I’m gonna do it. I had the revelation that practice will change everything if I just give myself a little chance if I get the damn camera. I’m gonna get the damn camera.
Roz: So Lisa! Yay! Lisa’s ready to go. Lisa, I want to see a picture of your workspace, of your studio. So take a little picture and I’ll share mine for sure, but I love to see people’s little set ups. Because this is your starting place! We’ve gotta see how you’re starting out. So post that on the blog. Great job, Lisa. Yay! Okay, thank you. Oh, here’s John! If anybody wants to talk just unmute yourself.
SPEAKER 4: I have a question.
Roz: Oh, sure, who’s that?
SPEAKER 4: Robin Michelle.
Roz: Hi Robin Michelle! Hi!
SPEAKER 4: Hi! So I had a question in regards to this video, because I’m more or less always, I keep myself portable. Like right now, I’m visiting my family in Kentucky, and I’m over at my brother’s house. And I’m bouncing between my brother and my mother’s house, my brother and my parents’ house. ‘Cause you were talking about showing your studio, and stuff like that, I always make sure that I have laptop that I’m talking to you on, my tablet with an HD camera, and my phone, which has an HD camera as well, and I always make sure I have a good backdrop. But looking at this picture, this is actually a pretty good [unintelligible] So do you have suggestions for someone who’s on the move?
Roz: Yes! The only thing I would add to that… first: you’re great. Because you will have to take yourself to a hotel room when you’re on the road, all the time you have to take these opportunities that come your way. There are these tripods that fold up to really short, so that if you needed to use a tripod, there are travel size tripods that you could unfold – next time I’m going to pull my equipment out, so you guys can see these things, I have one of those too – so a lightweight tripod I would add, and a light. And that’s it. So for a light, if you were gonna buy a light, there’s that light from Monoprice that just goes on top of the camera, but depending what kind of camera you have, let’s say you don’t have that, then I’d just get a clamp light from the hardware store, you know? Oh, look at Dee, has a tripod! She’s holding up one of those little portable tripods. Aw, suki suki now! Those things work well! Yes, very good. Thank you Dee.
So yeah, a portable tripod. Just type the kind you got into the chat.
And then, if you don’t get a light, you sit by a window. You know?
SPEAKER 4: You said a light from mono somewhere?
Roz: Monoprice. I’m going to write that down. It’s an online place, and I think it should be on the download. It’s on the download suggested stuff. They have a video light that’s like $25.
Oh! Daniel McCormack raised his hand. Hi Daniel!
SPEAKER 5: Hi. I’m like Robin, I use a lot of mobile tech. I use an iPad, I’m using an iPad right now, and I have a mobile phone with the camera. You can utilize that, right?
Roz: You can utilize that, people have made home movies on iPhones, so yes.
SPEAKER 5: That’s what I figured, okay, great. And talking about a light, I have a couple lights in my studio, so, I suppose they’d be good.
Roz: Oh, yeah.
SPEAKER 5: Okay! This is all new to me, so.
Roz: You’re doing great! Do you have a way to attach your phone to the tripod?
SPEAKER 5: That I don’t have… I guess I could create something. Yeah. I could do something like that.
Roz: Okay, ‘cause are you an iPhone or Android?
SPEAKER 5: iPhone.
Roz: Okay. I have a couple – I’m going to show you my thing that I’ve got. Okay! Here it is. This thing from Amazon, it’s like this tiny little – it’s called a Glif – and you stick your iPhone in. I’ll show you.
SPEAKER 5: Right, right, right, right. Okay, yeah.
Roz: And it has a little thread for a tripod. And this is sorta how I started with it, so you can do a horizontal shot.
SPEAKER 5: Okay. I did a short film just recently and they did it pretty much entirely on one of these little things. And I was pretty much amazed that they could do that.
Roz: It’s really – you guys, at the end of the day, it’s the acting and the story that matter, so as long as we can see you and hear you, that the work is going, there are gigs that can be gotten using these things. So I don’t want you to overthink the camera. Sometimes, people get inspired and they want to have a really fancy camera and I’m all for that too, but I’m saying, you don’t have to. But I would say that it’s much easier to work with a video camera where you can flip it around and see yourself. So when you use an iPhone, it’s much better if you have a friend. If you don’t have a friend, you have to set up the shot using like a piece of tape for where you’re standing, because you’re going to have to go around back and front and back and front and back. But it sounds good!
SPEAKER 5: Well thank you! That was my big question.
Roz: Oh, well it’s awesome! Thank you for raising your hand and for sharing your thoughts. Okay, anyone else want to share about how their first week is going and making the commitment, and getting their studio set up. I want to see a picture of all the studio set ups. This is your starting place, so it’s fun to see how you started out.
SPEAKER 6: Hi Roz, can you hear me?
Roz: Yeah! Who’s that?
SPEAKER 6: This is Betsy Aaron. We haven’t met before, so it’s nice to meet you.
Roz: Oh wait, I’ve gotta find your face. Is your face on here? Are you on video?
SPEAKER 6: Yes, I am. I see me!
Roz: Okay, well go ahead and ask me a question, I wish I could see you.
SPEAKER 6: ‘Kay. Well I was actually, gonna try to show something… Anyway, so. I have this little camera, it’s like a flip camera? It’s called The Small Wonder by RCA… So that you can see yourself.
Roz: Oh, cool! Oh there you are! I see you. Hi Betsy!
SPEAKER 6: Hi! So yeah, so it’s pretty cool, you can flip the screen up and see yourself. I got this a few years ago and haven’t used it much, but it was really inexpensive, and it’s like one of those flip cameras. But this is by RCA, so I’m gonna check this out and hopefully it’ll work. And um, exercise doing the declaration… it was a – well, one, I feel, empowering. And I also felt daunted. But I felt like, “Well, I’m not really doing this yet!” So I’m a little, I feel like I set a tall order for myself, which is good but like I said, I feel daunted.
Roz: Well, I think that if we don’t set tall expectations then when will we? But you can get at that expectation in tiny little baby steps. Right? You just showed me your camera, so that’s a big – you know – you’re just doing baby steps to get at that tall expectation.
SPEAKER 6: Okay, yeah. I’m- I like to take big chunks and do everything at once, so having the class kind of walk me through the steps makes a lot of sense, so thank you.
Roz: Thank you, and I really encourage you to stay aware of that, because one of the ways that we can, um, get overwhelmed is by trying to do everything at once. And then you fail so you give up and take years to try again.
SPEAKER 6: Right. So, so this is a great road map.
Roz: Yay! I’m so glad I’m seeing you, it’s really great to meet you.
SPEAKER 6: Same here.
Roz: Yay. I was loving those declarations by the way. I think I got a chance to comment on most of that, but they were so powerful, you guys. Really empowering language you used and the, just the strength you feel coming through them. It was like a force of nature, was really good. Um, anybody else want to comment on what the first two weeks, their set up is like, any questions about setting up?
SPEAKER 7: This is Mary.
Roz: Mary! Hi Mary.
SPEAKER 7: Um, I wanted to just say that working on the commitment and reading other people’s commitments, I found extremely inspiring. And I also found that writing my own sort of seemed to release some sort of energy in a way that was sort of like, I felt like I was waving the flag at the universe, saying, “Okay! I’m stepping up to the plate here!” Which is something that I’ve always struggled with. Like if I walk out of an audition and I know I haven’t done well, I just think, “Aw, crap.” I just sold myself out. And, um, to have it concrete, like I copied it out and now I’ve got it in my wallet, and it just seemed to – it sounds crazy – but it just seemed to have made a difference. So thank you for that.
Roz: Thank you! No, thank you for sharing the power of that. That is really good. I love the idea of printing it up and carrying it in your wallet. Because that way you accidentally see it all the time. And you know how it’s like when you have had an audition, and then like a month later you run into those sides? Anybody had that experience? And then you’re like, “Ah shit. Oh yeah, I didn’t get that one.” Right? So it’s nice when- so for me, I always get rid of my sides. So after that won’t happen. But it’s nice to run into something that’s actually encouraging. That’s like, “Oh yeah! I’m on my journey, yeah. Cool!” So let’s see, any other—I wonder if I could do this. Natalie, what was your week like? I can see your face, so I might as well talk to you.
SPEAKER 8: Okay, fine! I wanted to offer one suggestion too, but I haven’t yet written my commitments yet, which I will do this week, I was working last week. The one thing – maybe you already mentioned this, but – somebody mentioned when you’re kind of traveling, you’re on the go, and you don’t have—
Roz: Ah, shoot. Sorry! We lost you for a moment, say that again.
SPEAKER 8: And I don’t have all my equipment or I maybe want a little bit better production value, I use the SAG offices. Because SAG Miami, I’m in Miami right now, if you’re SAG, SAG Miami have it all set up, they walk you to a room, kind of like a home studio. With the lighting, beautiful light, really nice light. They have a professional camera there, they have the back drop, then they actually export to the computer right there, and I’m able to just bring my USB drive. They have an editing software that takes five minutes, and I can send it from there. So for the people who are traveling – let’s say you go back from LA to New York to LA, I’m in Miami, I think Atlanta might have SAG offices that actually have it – it’s really nice and the production value is decent.
Roz: Wow. What a great tip, I’ve never heard it before and I love it. Fantastic tip. Thank you so much for sharing that. I do know they just redid the offices so they probably have it.
SPEAKER 8: And New York should probably have a nice new lab, so I’m sure New York and LA probably have a lot, nicer stuff.
Roz: Yeah! So we’ve gotta take advantage of that, guys, that’s why we pay all those dues.
SPEAKER 8: Exactly! And, yeah. I just wanna pass the information on, because it’s like those little gems that nobody tells you, so.
Roz: Yeah. Thank you so much for that! That was really, really, really super helpful. So, at the end of this call, I’m going to – about 2:45 – I’ll start the audition of the week segment. And that’s where, um, I’m going to take a set of sides and someone’s audition, and we’ll go over the sides and we’ll watch what they put on camera. So if any of you have auditions during the week or anything you put on camera that you want to use in this segment for the call, just send it to me and I’ll be happy to, we’ll just need the sides, and the tape, and we can review it. And it’ll be fun and a chance to learn from each other, and a chance to take in some sides as well. We’re looking at current auditions, which is really fun. Today, I think we have – the new pilot is called Ballers. We have a scene from Ballers.
So I’m just letting you guys think of your questions, or anything you wanted to bring up. Hmm. Why don’t I ask another question? What about, what are you sort of looking forward to in terms of creating during our time together? What is sort of most interesting to you, in terms of: we’re going to be writing, taking our on headshots, we have a headshot challenge, of course making videos and audios. What are you sort of looking forward to, and what have you tried before and what do you want to create in our time together?
Hey Dee! So test your audio, Dee. Let me see. You can also call in on the phone. We’ll wait for you, or someone else can talk while we wait.
SPEAKER 9: I had something, I don’t know if you can hear me. I don’t know how to raise my hand, sorry. So I sent it in the chat, but Let It Cast is nothing but video auditions, and they send me things all the time, and I thought that that could – I’ve sent stuff but I don’t know how I feel about it, but I’d really like to use this class to use it before I send it class. Like there’s an audition for a Bob Marley musical, but they’re auditioning via video, so I would really like to use this class to be able to get some feedback.
Roz: That’s really good. Now when you have a theater audition, but it’s on video, we actually shoot it slightly differently. I think it would be fun to see how people, also how other artists are doing their submissions, because we never get to see how other people do their self-submissions. So you don’t really know—you know what a casting director’s self-submission looks like, but what does it look like when people are, we get asked so often now to self-tape. What does it look like when people are making their own tapes. So you’re gonna get to find that out. So let me just offer for you that when you’re auditioning for a theater piece that you’re gonna use a much wider shot, you’re gonna back up and, because you want that sense of most of the shots that we do for film and television are gonna be tight, right? Are gonna be a medium, medium close or medium close up. And for theater, we need more information. Right? So we can back the camera up so that we can see the top of your head and if you can get it wide enough that we can see all of you, that would be awesome. But sometimes that’s hard to do, especially on these little cameras. So at least half of you, so it’s gonna be a lot more space on the sides of the shot, and you can give yourself more room to walk around, and to block, etc. So you have a little more freedom in that audition scenario.
Craig says that if you click the participant tab at the bottom of the screen, that’s how you can raise your hand. Good to know! I don’t think I have that on my screen. Okay. Um, Dee Spenser raised her hand! Yes!
SPEAKER 10: I was trying to say that the list of equipment that you sent was really great, because one of the things I didn’t have – aside from all this other equipment and technology that I did have – was the iPhone holder. This was the one that was actually on the list and it came today. I think it was only $12.25? This is so awesome, so perfect, it’s on the tripod so you can see it right there. It’s perfect. I have a home studio, I don’t know if you can see, but I’m actually working on a separate area that I’m going to have for my video. I’ll send a picture of that later. It’s been interesting thinking about how I’m going to set this up as a totally separate space from what I’m doing in here. I’m excited to take on the challenge of this work.
Roz: Oh good!
SPEAKER 10: Oh, and the light kit, that’s what was good also! I did get the light kit also. It was $49, I think?
Roz: Yeah. You’re good to go, girl!
SPEAKER 10: Let me tell you – and I’m not rich – I have like a vision board of things I want to get, and if it’s cheap or it’s big or something, I put aside that money, and so when I saw the things you put on the list, they were very economical for what I needed to get at the time, so it really came in handy. So I pressed that button and checked another thing off the list.
Roz: Yay! Oh, and let me introduce Craig. Craig, undo your video so I can actually introduce you. He – where are you – Craig, say ‘hi.’ Let me unmute you. Unmute yourself.
Craig: Hello. Hi. What’s up.
Speaker 11: Hi. I wasn’t able to respond, I didn’t get the email to sign up, so I’ve been sitting here waiting since 1:30. I didn’t get the email, I didn’t get the invite, log-in, anything. Just sent a text to your twitter account, that’s why I’m logging in so late. Because I didn’t receive anything.
Roz: That is terrible, and I’m so sorry. Let me see, something may have happened, it either accidentally went into your trash, spam, whatever, but you’ve got it now, you got it from rozactingcoach?
SPEAKER 11: Yeah, I got it from your twitter account.
Roz: What we’re gonna do is we’ll put you on that, um, we’ll re-add you to the list, and make sure that you double opt in so it doesn’t go to your spam. And that’ll make sure you get everything. And I found something cool guys! I’m just gonna open Safari… for a second, and… No, I think I did it on Firefox. Open Firefox. And, just a second, I’m gonna show you how you guys – when you get an email from us – how you can see all the other ones we’ve sent you.
So what you do when you get that mail chimp email, I’ve just gotta find one… Here we go. And… I just have to find one from us. Okay, here’s one. You know that little link that says view in your browser? Let me now share my screen—
Share screen. When you get that little email, you’ll see up in the corner it’ll say, view in browser. And then if you do that, then you get this button like Subscribe and Past Issues. So I click that, and it shows all the emails we’ve sent out from this to the list. You guys are all on the AIDA – Acting in the Digital Age list. And then you see there’s 1: the content video, and then that comes up and you can always go back. So you can see the Past Issues and also Subscribe. Which you guys already have, because when you opt into the email. But I thought that was really useful.
So Shai, let me know if you have any questions once you get a chance to go to the site.
SPEAKER 11: I have all the information, like the schedule, the program, what we’re supposed to prepare, the question and answer schedule. But I was wondering why I didn’t receive it. I received the other things at the beginning, it’s just this invite I didn’t receive, I have no idea why.
Roz: Aw, man. I’m so sorry about that, it’s so weird. I hate when that happens. It’s gotta be the digital gremlins got us. But we are gonna rectify that. And whenever you have a question or you think you might be not receiving something, or just anything, just please reach out to us. I’m so glad you reached out to us on twitter. Because now we’re able to get you caught up and get you going. Thank you! That is our Shai. We’ve been following each other for years, it’s great to finally—
SPEAKER 11: Yeah!
Roz: Okay! Oh, it’s 2:43. I guess I could start the next section unless there’s a question, before I move on.
SPEAKER 12: Yes, Roz, I have a question.
Roz: Oh sure! Who’s that?
SPEAKER 12: Lisa.
Roz: Oh, Lisa again! Hi! What’s your question?
SPEAKER 11: Hey, that reminds me. For, um, posting to the blog, I never got an email, I ended up just taking a picture and popping it in. Like how do we post on the blog all the time?
Roz: I’m so glad you asked that, Lisa. Okay, are you still watching my – can you still see my screen? All right, actually, I’m gonna repost this, because you’re not the only person who has asked this question. Just so you know, you’re not alone in this question. It’s just an email address you send things to. It was in the first email, the second email I sent you. But I’m just gonna put it in the chat right now so you can have it again, and then I’ll post it again so you guys can have access to that. So here it is:
You just send it like a regular email. And if you want to send a picture, you just put the picture in the body of the email. And what you, whatever it detects in the email is going to be posted. So you have to remember it’s gonna go public, right on to post. So make sure it’s all fit for public consumption. [laughs] So just copy and paste that. And what I would suggest is just add that to your address book. That’s what I do. I add it as an address in my phone, it says Acting in the Digital Age Blog, and then you just create an email on your phone or from your computer, and you’ll always have that address and it’ll go straight onto the blog.
SPEAKER 12: Perfect. Thank you.
Roz: I’m so glad you asked that, thanks, Lisa.
Okay! So I’m gonna jump into the audition of the week. Okay, here we go. So there is the screen…
Okay. So you should be able to see the audition of the week. Okay, so here are the sides from Ballers. And it is a pilot, I believe it’s an HBO pilot. Actually, I forgot. I should’ve found that out better. Let me see if I can make Lisa’s smaller… Okay. There you go. So we have this scene, it says [47:51] Ballers, sides for Kara, and this is from episode 103.
[Refer to scene]
From the breakdown, we find out Kara is one of the character’s mothers and Ricky is a football player. So here’s the second scene:
[Refer to scene]
All right, so that’s our scene. Needless to say, yeah, it’s HBO. Um, so, my friend Vanessa shot this herself, and she used just her little bitty Sony Cybershot camera, and it shoots in 720p. And this is from a point and shoot. So she’s the mother of the football player’s teammate.
[Vanessa’s audition tape]
Okay. So that was her audition that she put on camera. So let’s go over some of the stuff she did. So any questions just right off the bat?
Okay, so let’s. So what she did – she ran both the scenes together, which she just chose to do, you know how they do it in auditions a lot of times when you have two scenes and they just run them both together. So that was a choice she made. That I think is fine. Um, it’s interesting, because for the call back she decided not to. And in deciding not to for the call back, she discovered, that was the first time she actually noticed they were in two different locations. Right? Which is kind of interesting, it goes from the estate to the yacht, so that from one scene to the next she’s won him over.
Now these sides came with no script. So one of the things we had to do was download all the sides from the other characters just so that we could piece together more of the story. So that’s one of the things we can do to find out more of the story when they’re being incredibly secretive. So we just got all the sides from all the characters, but these sides had no page numbers on them. So we couldn’t exactly tell where they fit in with the other sides, you couldn’t piece together a whole script. But we did the best we could. But it’s interesting because you see he doesn’t, he’s saying ‘no’ in the first scene, and then in the second scene, they’re immediate sex, right?
So then for her callback, she played the first scene a little bit more professional and less sexy, and then really turned it on for the second scene, as if she were really showing him her designs for her color wheel, from that first line. So that choice really dramatically changed how she handled the material. She started out kinda professional and teased him, and then in the second scene – three participants raised their hand, let me see…
Sure! Let’s hear from Dee first. So what’s your question, Dee?
SPEAKER 1: Um, I had a question about, I noticed she didn’t have sides in her hands. And is that something that you suggest, when we’re recording ourselves, memorizing and then recording it? Or does it make a difference whether we’re holding the sides or not holding the sides? Because I think when you did the other seminar, when you did the video before, someone was holding the sides. So what’s your suggestion on doing that as you practice and prepare at home.
Roz: That’s a great question, Dee. And what I’m going to say is that it depends on the material and, um, how much time you have. Now she was letter perfect with the lines, so, when you’re putting yourself on tape, you have an at home advantage. So you can do fifty thousand takes. It could be your artistic workout for that week, or one of them at least. So, um, if you’re – especially for television – you have to be letter perfect with the words. And if it’s short like this, I think it’s fine, one of the reasons we have the sides in our hands is so that the scene doesn’t fall apart if we go up and you haven’t had the scene for that long.
Now if she’s coming into the room, she’s definitely going to bring the sides into the room with her. So I think it’s sort of a player’s choice, taking it home. You can always bring the side out anyway. Right? So we don’t have to see them, even if you do have them. So that’s my answer, it depends, and I would say it’s a player’s choice. But for television especially, you want to be letter perfect with those words. And I would bring them into the room if I were auditioning in person. Let me hear Lisa’s question.
SPEAKER 2: Uh, I think that was from the last time!
Roz: Oh, sorry! Hee hee! Lower hand. And okay, so maybe that’s it for the questions!
SPEAKER 3: I had a question, I raised my hand!
Roz: Okay! Go ahead, Robin Michelle.
SPEAKER 3: Thank you, sorry. Um, I really liked how she used the grapes as a prop to push her sensuality as an older woman. Is that something you suggest to do normally, because I hear other acting coaches say that you don’t want to use a prop in your audition scene, but, I mean, she’s a professional, so. But, you know, as are we! You know what I’m saying.
Roz: I say, use whatever makes it better. Whatever makes it better. And if it’s a small thing, absolutely. Just last week, I had an audition for a Steve McQueen project, and I needed a gun, so I used my – I have a battery that’s about this size, but it’s like a really big, gun moment, so I used a nice heavy battery, you know? And I used that. I just feel really fake without it. So you’re gonna use whatever it takes that makes the work better. The only thing you don’t bring is a weapon, a real weapon, or even a fake weapon. Don’t even bring a fake weapon. But if you need a weapon, use something that makes you feel like you have a weapon. You know what I mean? And, um, the only other thing is don’t be naked, don’t show your nipples or triangle. Other than that, it’s acting. So anything goes. And it’s different from, when you’re trying to get the job, it’s actually a little different from when you say a general meeting or a casting director workshop. You see, when you’re trying to get the job everybody in the room knows the story and they have that story in their head. So they understand what you’re doing. But when you bring a property to a general audition, people don’t know what the hell is going on in the scene, so they just get weirded out. So we usually avoid it in general, but if you need it in a real audition, absolutely bring it. Nothing bigger than what you would naturally carry in your handbag. It has to be something natural – it kinda has to be, like, let’s make a deal, it has to be a natural object. Like so, I wouldn’t bring like a wine glass, but I might bring a bottle of water, ‘cause that’s a natural object. A wine glass is weird. Right? So I would make the bottle of water work like the wine glass. That’s what I think. I hope that answers your question.
SPEAKER 3: Definitely, thank you.
Roz: Yeah. It’s competitive out there, do whatever it takes to be good, bottom line. You know? And sometimes it’s hard to really ground yourself. When there’s a moment in a scene that has to happen, right, such as a kiss or whatever, right, she’s like, “Come here,” and it’s supposed to be a moment there, it made her feel more like that moment was happening when she had that grape in her hand. Right? She can relate to the grape in a similar way, and notice how she was using her eyeball to land on the person she’s talking to. So that that lets the camera in. So she wasn’t talking to the grape. You know? So it’s used really, really, I thought, intelligently.
And Vanessa didn’t mind me sharing that with you, she felt really good about that audition. And she taped it all by herself! I even took pictures of her doing the set up for you guys to see. Putting her little camera on the tripod and setting it all up. So she got all that done, and she was rehearsing it with recording the other person’s lines on the iPad. But then I read with her. But if you had no choice whatsoever, if you were really desperate, you can always record – read the other person’s lines and record them. Now hopefully you’ve got a friend or somebody to read with you. But it’s better to have that than to just skip the line and just say all your lines. Don’t do that. You need the best part of the acting, the listening and reacting. And you’re gonna need that.
Okay, so anything else about our on camera audition of the week?
All right, let me tell you guys what you have to look forward to, which I’m posting tomorrow! Tomorrow on the blog I will be posting the key questions. So, I‘ll give you a hint. The key questions are the foundation of our work together. So we have to spend a week working on the key question, and on the tech side we’re going to work on twitter. So some of you are gonna be twitter savvy, but some of you who aren’t are going to start with that. And I’ll show you how to join, and how to share some – how to find some really cool content to share from your own self. So that’s what the next week is going to be about, we’re gonna post that tomorrow. And that will sort of be our, that’ll be us working through the preparation section of our little game plan here. That’ll be us working through our little preparation segment. So, and then, we’re going to do our first long form written piece, which should be fun.
So I’m really looking forward to all the wonderful things you guys are gonna come up with. I found what you did so far totally inspirational. I absolutely, 100% want to see a picture of your set up! If you are not, last but not least, if you are not either in an acting class or putting yourself on camera, you don’t currently have a practice of putting yourself on camera twice a week, I want you to start that practice. Because the craft part of the work has to stay in shape. So if you’re not already doing that, and if you need sides, I’ll be happy to send you some general sides. Or I’ll post them on the blog. So that you guys can always, just to keep yourself ready, always wanna have, you know, four or five pages that you’re putting, that you’re working on, breaking down, and setting up, and putting on camera as if you have an audition. If you don’t really have an audition, then that’s what you need to do this week. So that is the arty farty part of the work. That’s the craft part of the work that has to keep going. So if you’re not in a class, do that. And it’s fun – I know Lisa said that she’s a theater actress – and one thing that theater actors can do that’s fun is take those old monologues that you used to do, you know the last play you were in monologue, turn that into a cinematic moment. Put that on film as if that was in a movie. And see how that resonates. Because that’s a great exercise. Is to take a monologue that you normally do on stage, even a Shakespeare monologue. Oh my God, I do this all the time, it’s so much fun… and set up a close up shot, and deliver it as if it’s a movie version of that play. That will give you a chance to get a nice little workout, you know the character, you know the given circumstances, you know the lines: why not do that as an exercise? It’s so much fun. So that’s something for stage actors to do in terms of adjusting themselves for the camera. Take something that you already know, that you know well, the last play you did, some moments in the scene and put it on camera.
So, I hope someone will send me an audition of the week, I’m gonna open the phone line so we can all hear each other before I close out the call, I just want us all to hear each other before we say goodbye! Unless there are any other questions?
SPEAKER 4: Um, I have a comment!
SPEAKER 4: One of the things that was very helpful in the commitments that we had to post on the blog, was it gave me a chance to write, to feel what it’s like to blog. And it wasn’t complicated. It felt freeing, it felt empowering, that I could put my thoughts out into the universe and read it. And when I, I came to a realization as I was writing, I just discovered about myself from the way it made me feel about different things, the questions that you asked, as well as how I can change my mindset. And it just became something freeing for me. It was a very good energy, because it was like, “Wow! I don’t have to wait for someone to give it to me, I can give it to myself, that power.”
Roz: That’s the happy dance! Go Tanya, go Tanya! Yay! Okay! That’s a wonderful note to end our call on! You guys feel free to email me any questions, post them to the blog if you have any questions, post your pictures of your set up, Lisa, anyone else who wants to do it, I’m going to do mine too! Daniel, we want to see yours. I want to see how a man does it! Let’s get a show of male energy around here! You guys, I am so thrilled. I can’t wait for you to dive into next week’s material, to dive into all the key questions, one of the easiest key questions is: what name are you going to use? I don’t know if you all have already purchased your domain, but you need to figure that out. What name are you gonna use for your internet presence. That’s the first question you can start thinking about that one if you don’t have it, if you haven’t purchased it, and what’s that’s going to be.
All right you guys! I look forward to hearing from you! This is so much fun, I could hug you all! Bye!