It seems like every day a new tablet hits the market, with each new device boasting bigger and better bells and whistles. This is great news for tablet enthusiasts. But for those of us who are slaves to our smartphones or who cling to our trusty laptops or desktops, all the tablet fanfare may leave us wondering why we'd need a tablet.
The answer to that question depends on your individual lifestyle and preferences, but we can tell you that tablets can be very useful tools in an actor's arsenal. If you're on the fence about investing in a tablet, or have one but haven't explored what it can do, here are five things actors can do with a tablet.
1. Save money. In general, tablets are less expensive than laptops and desktops. Yet with each passing month, tablet technology is growing, and the gap between what you can efficiently do on a tablet and what you can do on a computer is growing slimmer. Plus, you will be synching your tablet with your computer, so you can easily port over files like scripts, headshots, resumes, and demo reels to have them at your disposal on your tablet.
2. Learn your lines. Tablets essentially were invented to be e-readers, and certainly take up less space in your bag than a book—or the dog-eared pages of a script! There are some great mobile apps out there like Rehearsal 2 [link to: ] that are designed to help actors with studying and memorizing scripts that you can download to your tablet. But even without an app, the built-in reader function on a tablet will allow you to pull up your script for perusing, or for having handy during rehearsals or read-throughs.
3. Check casting notices. A tablet is great for keeping up on the latest casting information while you're on the go. You won't have to lug your laptop to sets or auditions, and you'll be able to scroll through listings more easily than you would on the tiny screen of a smartphone. Bookmark Backstage.com on your tablet's browser and you'll be all set, on set!
4. Submit headshots and resumes. The entertainment industry's embrace of technology has revolutionized the casting process. Emailing headshots and resumes, or submitting through casting services and through Backstage.com is now the norm, as is doing so on the go. Yes, you can submit for a role on a smartphone or a laptop, but the tablet is like the best of both worlds. You can easily make changes to headshots (with photo-editing apps like Snapseed and Photoshop) and resumes—things you'd normally want to do on a computer—to satisfy the submission criteria for a particular casting notice, and you can submit them via your browser or mobile app when you're practically anywhere.
5. Show off your demo reel. Tablet screens are constantly lauded for their high-definition screen resolution, which makes for a great mobile video-viewing experience. You can watch video on your smartphone, yes, but the tablet's larger 7-10 inch screen (screen size and resolution depend on the type of tablet) makes it easier to watch. Having a tablet in your backpack will allow you the convenience of being able to show off your demo anywhere—at an audition, for an agent, a casting director or even friends and family. There are also tablet apps that allow you to edit video, like mVideoCut (Android) and ProCutX (iOS).