What I am about to tell you in this post is all you need to know to self-tape audition without a reader. I have used it and millions of other actors use it.
Like any other actor, I used to live alone in a rented apartment and it is hard to self-tape auditions when you are alone. You can’t rely on your friends every time you had to make a self-tape because it’s almost every day. So I had to find ways.
This is when I found the three best ways to self tape audition without a reader. You can either record your lines on some device, ask your Facebook or Instagram friends to help you out via video call, or use dedicated reader software.
Also Read: How To Make A Portfolio For Acting?
Read this post to know what these three methods are and then choose the one that suits you the best.
Three Best Ways To Self Tape Audition Without A Reader
If you put your mind, you will find there are several ways to tape an audition without a reader but in my experience, I realized that if you have a set system, it is quick and easy to make an audition alone.
Let me tell I have used several ways but I kept coming to these three methods because they are a little reliable and gives you the best results.
Let’s look at them:
1. Record Lines As other Character
This is my go-to method when I am making a self-tape audition.
What I usually do is use my phone’s voice recorder and record the dialogues of the other character.
And when I am shooting, I just play the recording in the background.
But there is a catch here, you can’t just simply record dialogues one by one.
You will have to leave out empty spaces for your character’s dialogues.
It is the hardest thing to do while using this method.
If you make the empty or silence too long or too short you might have to adjust your speech accordingly and doing that will ruin your performance.
I know this is a huge drawback of this method.
But you work around it if you put in a little extra effort.
What you should do is take a timer and record the entire piece while timing it.
Now play the recording and note the time of each line your character speaks.
Now record the piece again but this time doing speak your lines just let the recorder run for the duration of that line.
This way you will be able to leave out the perfect silent spaces in the recording.
Don’t worry, the recording doesn’t have to be perfect because the focus is more on your performance than what is running in the background.
When you start using this method, it will be time-consuming but you get hang of it.
But I advise you to practice the scene as many times as possible before you record the piece for the self-tap.
In order to make this system more reliable and quick, make sure you use a good quality microphone that you can connect with your phone or laptop.
I advise you to go with asdf.
You can also use a dedicated recorder like asdf.
A good quality recorder will save you a lot of time when recording because it is much quicker to use a recorder than a phone.
Though this method is good there are some major drawbacks of it that you should know:
- It doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvisation because of the fixed duration to finish your lines.
- You are listening to your co-actors rather than seeing them. This takes away the reactions that you usually have when you see your co-actor.
- If the sound quality of the recorder is not good, it will ruin your self-tape. I advise you to use a combination of a good speaker to play the recording and a quality mic to record it on the camera you are using for shooting the audition.
2. Get An Online Friend
The many issues we are facing here is that we don’t have a reader physically but their internet allows you to bring someone virtually.
We all have friends on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Why not post it on these platforms and ask for help.
See if anyone is online and ask them to read for you in the background.
You can even join Facebook groups online.
There are plenty of actor groups on Facebook you can join them. They are easy to join.
You can interact with other actors.
Each actor has similar issues, so they will understand and will be happy to help you out.
I have personally used actor groups to discuss my issues and even received help on several occasions while preparing for my roles.
A couple of times I have randomly posted on these groups and many offered to help as readers while shooting the self tape auditions.
Even the WhatsApp group is really useful.
You might be part of a WhatsApp group that sends you casting notifications. There you will find a lot of actors like you probably preparing for the same audition.
Just get in touch with them
How do you get into these kinds of groups?
Well, on Facebook it is pretty easy just to send the request to join.
Some may require you to fill out some questionnaires but mostly they will accept you provided your Facebook account is genuine.
And as for Whatsapp groups, you should as you casting agents and directors if they have any such group.
Usually, they have one so that they can send upcoming casting updates.
3. Use a reader software
This method is for those who have a busy schedule and want something that is easy to use and quick.
But mind you it is more of a professional solution, so you will have to pay some fee too.
However, if you can afford it it is probably the best way to self tape audition without a reader.
I have personally tried many but let me give you the only app that is probably does everything for you is Slatable.
This is probably the only one-of-a-kind software available for actors who want to self tape without readers.
The software is available for only iPhones which I think is a major drawback.
But I personally feel, if you are an actor you must own an iPhone because it is probably the best smartphone for shooting self tapes.
If you don’t have one, get one. It is highly recommended.
Coming back to Slatable, it is specifically designed for making self tapes.
You can record dialogues of other characters separately and then bring them together while shooting the audition.
The app is all you need while shooting the audition.
It is all in one sitting for making self tape auditions.
If you go for paid versions like Slate Pro you will be able to access a lot more features.
I personally use the 1st method most of the time to self tape audition without a reader. Especially when I practice. But when I have to send tapes for auditions I like using Slatble as it makes the work easier and you can totally focus on your acting.
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