How To Set Up A Simple Home Self-Tape Studio

Our interactive online course is going extraordinarily well. There has been an abundance of creativity, passion and learning going on.

There has also been a tremendous amount of sharing when it comes to the technical side of self-taping – cameras, tripods, lighting, editing equipment and compression techniques have all been discussed and procedures refined.

One of the participants – James Chalmers – has very kindly shared his incredibly effective yet inexpensive set-up for his home self-tape studio. If you ever need to self-tape then this is five and a half minutes of essential viewing:

Here are links to a couple of pieces of kit he mentioned: Lapel Mic and the Gorilla Tripod.

Thank you so much for making this guide James!

Apps for learning lines

We’ve come across a few apps that could help you learn lines, and as you all know we’re freaks for that. Anything that better prepares an actor for our auditions is worth a look.

We haven’t used any but would be really keen to hear from any of you that have and what you think of them. The only ones we could find are for iPhones and iPads so if you know of any that work on Android and Blackberry phones let us know about those too.

We have no affiliation with any of these products so you can be honest about how well they work, how useful they are, and if the price is right.

Click on the images to be taken to the websites.


Leaving it all in the room

Here’s a great video of someone really going for it in an audition.

You’d think that being the star of a hit US tv show, the recipient of multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and featuring in stand out roles in a plethora of high profile movies would dull the ardour to pull out the stops for a new role, but here’s Rose Byrne auditioning for the role of Jacqui Q in GET HIM TO THE GREEK:

Yes, there would have been a nice pay packet associated with the role, and yes it was a high profile film with guaranteed global distrbution – but this is the level of commitment that any actor needs to show when entering the audition room.

And Rose Byrne – if you are reading – we love you.

New Year’s Resolution – Don’t Break The Chain

If you are a regular visitor to this website you’ll know that we are always suggesting that you learn lines every day so that you can really impress us during an audition by being off book. If it’s not already part of your daily routine here is a story that we found that might help your motivation. It is advice Jerry Seinfeld gave to budding coming Brad Isaac:

Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. At the time, I was hanging around clubs doing open mic nights and trying to learn the ropes. One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime…

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

It works because it isn’t the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. You may have heard “inch by inch anything’s a cinch.” Inch by inch does work if you can move an inch every day.

Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will make you an expert in a short time. Small improvements accumulate into large improvements rapidly because daily action provides “compounding interest.”

Skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next.

I’ve often said I’d rather have someone who will take action—even if small—every day as opposed to someone who swings hard once or twice a week. Seinfeld understands that daily action yields greater benefits than sitting down and trying to knock out 1000 jokes in one day.

Think for a moment about what action would make the most profound impact on your life if you worked it every day. That is the action I recommend you put on your Seinfeld calendar. Start today and earn your big red X. And from here on out…

Don’t break the chain!

Here is a link to a FREE online Chain Calender so there are no excuses to not start RIGHT NOW. But we still suggest you get a real calender, hang it on a wall, and start making those big red satisfying crosses every day. You can always find scenes by clicking on Audition Material and we’ll keep posting new scripts every few days.

We look forward to seeing you OFF BOOK at your next audition.