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Backstage Experts

Why You Should Play to the Camera in Auditions

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Why You Should Play to the Camera in Auditions

After years of auditioning actors, one common trait I find among all of them is that performers forget about the camera when they're auditioning. Actors tend to focus more on remembering dialogue, being funny, or trying to stand out. They focus on the casting director or clients in the room rather than the camera/audience.

The most important part to any audition is the camera. It captures the story/concept that the actor is responsible for executing or portraying for us the audience.

The camera tells the audience what the story is. It guides us along a path of discovery whether it’s a film, TV, or commercial project.

What happens on set? Everything revolves around what? The camera. Actors, lights, crew, props. Everything centers around one thing: The camera.

That means every thing you do in your audition should be for one person only: The audience or camera. The best actors know to always make the camera your friend.

When you play to camera it gives us, the audience, a clear precise understanding of the story, just like on set. After all, it is the performer's job to deliver the clients concept in an easy readable manner.

How do you apply this technique?

1. Square off to camera, not the room, casting, or clients.

2. Place eye lines around camera, not into camera unless that’s the concept.

3. Place the reader next to camera.

This is very important especially in your film and tv auditions when you are being put on tape.

Most theatrical offices are small and cramped and the audition actually takes place in their office, not a real studio so the placement of camera is most likely in a strange location or odd angle.

It’s imperative that the performer understands this process as the director and producers will be watching your audition back later on tape or via an online posting.

Make sure that all your actions and motivations and execution of client concept can be read or seen by camera. Remember some performances are into camera, but most are from a voyeuristic view.

Whatever you believe as the performer we, as the audience, will believe.

Whatever you do the camera will believe you 100 percent. If you are nervous, the camera will read you are nervous. If you are confident and engaged, we will read that too.

If you say you are going to fail, you’re going fail. If you say your going to be successful, you’re going to be successful. Now go out there stay camera-aware.

Remember the worst they can say is, no. You’re an actor. Rejection is in your DNA and it’s the one guarantee in Hollywood that you will always hear. Break a leg.

Robert Jr began his career casting feature films primarily for Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, and Ron Howard, but after crossing paths with Steve Jobs,Robert Jr began extensively casting Apple’s high profile World Wide product launches including the first iMac, iBook, Power Mac G4, Mac OS X, and iPod campaigns and has gone on to cast 1000’s of commercials, film, and TV projects. His casting company Digital Dogs Casting is best known for their unique, award-winning campaigns and a flair for blending improv and witty dialogue with performance-driven spots.

Robert Jr recently released, "The Concept of Acting" an audiobook that delves into the complexities of performing for Film, TV, and commericals and is based on his award winning acting theory, TheConceptOfActing.com.

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