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How to Prepare an Audition Video

Creating an audition video is an integral part of being a performer. Musicians in particular need to understand how to create an effective video representation that displays their talents and abilities to advantage. However, many artists find that making an audition video is a daunting and frustrating task. Knowing that it can mean the difference between earning that coveted place or relegating your name to the rejected file, trepidation can often make this duty feel like an overwhelming prospect.

However, you don’t have to approach making your audition video with dread. By concentrating on the preparation, you can ensure that your video will stand out and show the best that you have to offer. This tips and tricks are specifically designed for helping musicians develop an impressive audition video that will make a lasting, positive impression. Whether you are making audition video for a producer, casting director, or approval committee, these guidelines can help ensure that your audition represents your best.

Know the Requirements

It’s imperative that your audition meet the specific requirements outlined for submission. Although your performance at a certain event might be outstanding, if you send in something that doesn’t conform to the exact instructions, most likely, no one will even bother watching it. Some considerations include:

  • Time length—keep your video under the required time allotment
  • Content/Genre—many auditions request certain passages, make sure you include them
  • Lighting/Background—some audition tapes require that you perform on a stage, or ask that the background and lighting be a certain style. It’s a good idea to go with a very simple background, if possible.
  • Submission Format—many audition videos are digital, but some still want a physical copy for reference
  • Contact Information—often auditions require attaching your personal information to the video

Practice, and More Practice

Once you know what type of requirements your audition video needs to meet, you should practice the music you’ll be performing as far in advance as possible. Don’t wait until a few days before filming to become familiar with the pieces you’ll be playing. An audition video conveys all sorts of subtle clues to the viewers, and if you haven’t prepared properly, it will be evident. Showing that you’ve taken the audition seriously goes a long way towards creating a positive impact.

Obviously, if you can choose the compositions that will be included (and many auditions have a combination of requirements, allowing you to choose at least one personal selection), you’ll want to pick music that you can perform flawlessly. Also, use a piece from your repertoire that provides a glimpse of your personality. For example, if you love performing a certain style of music, that kind of pick will allow you to show your passion and enthusiasm—two important factors for success.

Get Familiar with the Setting

If your audition video requires that you perform on a stage, or in some other specific location, try to arrange to practice at least once exactly that way. Being comfortable with your surroundings has an amazing influence on how well you’ll be able to play, and can therefore impact your total overall performance.

If the audition video requires that you actually perform in front of an audience, get some of your friends and family to watch you practice. This kind of preparation will help boost your confidence during the recording.

More Than One Option

When making audition video, splicing or editing your video is often prohibited. Many casting directors and acceptance boards want to view an actual audition, but are willing to accept video format to allow the maximum amount of musicians to apply. However, that means that you won’t be able to play the pieces and then select the best renditions and merge them together, you’ll have to perform the entire audition without a break. Therefore, you should arrange to record three or four options so that you can select the best total performance.

Focus on the Sound

Because you’re making audition video that showcases your talent as a musician, it’s a good idea to focus on the sound quality of your recording. For example, do a few tests to ensure that the volume equipment is working properly and that your music is coming through without interruption. In fact, if you’re allowed to conduct your audition in a sound booth, arranging for the rental and hours necessary is absolutely worth the expense.

Don’t forget to place a title slide on the video. Use one of the many free movie editors available to perform this task and include your name, audition number (if available), phone number, email, and whatever other information required.

Making audition video that will create a memorable, favorable impression doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right preparation, you can make something that will help further your success.

Violin being played