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Taped Audition Instructions
Technology has revolutionized the audition process. Actors can now save time and travel expenses by submitting high quality taped auditions. Most roles are cast directly from high quality taped auditions that follow these guidelines from the Casting Directors in our region. That said, every audition has its own instructions that come from the studio or network. Be sure to READ your ENTIRE audition invitation for instructions. This is a chance for you to show the person hiring you that you can take direction once you get on set.

1. WORD PERFECT: You should be word perfect, especially if the director is also the writer. If you drop or change a word and you taped an excellent audition, in which you were fully present and your acting was outstanding, go ahead and send that audition. If you were honest in the moment, you will be forgiven and the viewers will be caught up with your acting brilliance –not the fact that you dropped a word.

2. PROPS & WARDROBE: Read your audition notice for instructions. If it says no props, don’t use props. If your audition involves your character on the phone, it’s okay to use a cell phone to show that you are talking on the phone, but don’t make your audition about the prop. The use has to be so seamless that we never know it is even in the scene. Wear clothing that suggests your role and compliments your skin tone and body shape. Solid colors are best. Avoid wearing patterns, logos or costumes. BDUs or lab coats are acceptable for military or medical roles. Make sure that your clothing and hair color do not blend in with your audition backdrop.

3. LIGHTS, BACKGROUND & SOUND: Your lighting must be good enough to see your eye color and skin tone. There should be no shadows on your face or behind you. Use two incandescent lights (bulbs with filaments). One as a key light, set off the side of the camera and pointed at your face, and one as a fill light, set to the opposite side of the camera a little farther away and pointed at your side. Film your audition in front of a well-lit, solid, light colored background. Do not film outdoors. Be careful to not over-light so you don’t become washed-out. Nothing should compete with your performance. This includes scary wall paper, cracks in the ceiling or walls behind you, door frames, windows, appliances, phones, other people, AC fans, traffic, pets, etc. We don’t want producers or directors checking out the contents of your house while they should be paying attention to your performance.

4. READER: Always have an ACTOR read with you in the same room. Your reader is part of the audition. The better an actor they are, the better your audition will be. Your reader should never outshine you as an actor though. They should stand equal distance from the camera as you are, so their voice doesn’t overpower yours. Using multiple readers for an audition is not recommended. Taped auditions without a reader, with lines dubbed in, or with a reader recorded through a phone or Skype call may not be accepted by some of our CDs.

5. CAMERA & MODE:  Invest in a good camera that allows you to get the best picture quality (preferably 720p HD) and upload your audition in high definition. Some CDs view auditions on large monitors between 21-27 inches to make casting decisions. Make sure your video does not look pixelated when viewed on a large monitor. Avoid using cell phone cameras, web cams or computer cameras to tape your auditions. You don’t have the same control with them as you do with a camera that is designed for videotaping that sits on a tripod. If you must use an iPhone or tablet, place it sideways on the longest side for a 16:9 ratio on a stable surface at eye level.

6. FRAMING: Your camera should be at nose level, not below you, not above you. Frame from your shoulders to the top of your head and keep your face the focal point of your taped audition. Avoid excess space between the top of your head and top of frame. Your eye line should be slightly off camera. CDs prefer to see your entire face, not a profile shot. Maintain eye contact with your reader, rather than looking directly into the camera. If your audition is for a “News Reporter” it’s okay to look directly into the camera. If you are talking to more than one character in the scene, make sure your eyes appear to move between each character. Be still in your auditions. Most of the time there is no need for wild hand gestures and lots of movement. Unnecessary movements pull the viewer out of the scene and away from your performance. You should stand for most auditions to keep your energy up, unless your scene indicates you are sitting.

7. SLATE: If there are no slate instructions in your audition invitation, slate at the END of your audition by saying your name and height in a full body shot. Do not pan up and down. Do not include side profile views. A slate is where you stand, look directly at the camera and announce your name and height, your talent agency, and the role you are auditioning for. You may be asked to add something else such as a profile shot, or the city you live in. Every audition has its own instructions for slating that come from the studio or network. Read your audition invitation and slate according to instructions. Let your audition play out in its entirety. Leave the camera on a few seconds after you deliver the last line so we can see your reactions to the scene, particularly if your reader has additional lines after your last line. If you go from the performance straight into the slate, pause a few seconds between the audition and the slate to allow some separation.

8. IMPORTING YOUR AUDITION: Avoid using the black fade in and out feature, adding headshots or title cards. You should never see black on your tapes at the beginning of your auditions. For the best quality, use H.264 as the standard video compression type, compressing in high quality, at an export size of 1280 x 720. That will result in approximately a 60 MB file for each half minute of tape. Files must be 100 MB or less, therefore you will have to adjust the compression quality and export size if you are taping a scene over one minute. Acceptable file formats are QuickTime (.mov), MPEG-4 (.mp4), or Windows Media Video (.wmv) files.

9. NAMING YOUR AUDITION: Unless otherwise specified, the name of the audition file should read: ROLE_FirstName_LastName_SOL.extension. The file extension must be .mov, .mp4 or .wmv.  If you are asked to audition for multiple roles, or takes, you must submit individual files for each role or take. Name each file accordingly. See examples below.

  • ROLE_FirstName_LastName_SOL.mov
  • Take 1: ROLE_FirstName_LastName_SOL_tk1.mov
  • Take 2: ROLE_FirstName_LastName_SOL_tk2.mov

10.  HOW TO SEND YOUR AUDITION: Actors will send most auditions through Eco Cast. Sometimes it will be necessary to send a downloadable link to your audition using Dropbox, Google Drive, Hightail, or WeTransfer. All of these large file transfer services are FREE and easy to use. Send the link to: info@soltalent.com. Do not send your audition as an email attachment. The email could go to our spam folder, or be rejected due to file size limits. Never upload any auditions to public websites like Vimeo or YouTube –even if you set the video to private viewing. A few years ago, some actors were blacklisted by studios when viewers on a popular show’s message board connected story points that had not yet aired by watching auditions posted on YouTube. Don’t let that happen to you.

Taped Audition Videographers
Some videographers offer a discount if you mention you found them on the Sol website.

Georgia Videographers
Drama Inc. (Atlanta) • Website: www.dramainc.net
Get Scene Studios (Atlanta) • Website: www.getscenestudios.com
Get Taped  (Atlanta) • Website: www.get-taped.com
Jackie Goldston Photography (North Atlanta) • Website: www.jackiegoldstonphotography.com
Iconic Invision (Smyrna) • Website: www.iconicinvision.com
The Bungalow Productions (Atlanta) • Website: www.thebungalowproductions.com
Your Act Studios (Atlanta) • Website: www.youract.tv
APhotograhy (Savannah) • Website: www.a-photography.biz
First City Films (Savannah) • Website: www.firstcityfilms.com

South Carolina Videographers
Michael Givens (Charleston) • Email: mgainstitute@gmail.com
Rodney Lee Rogers (Charleston) • Website: www.rodneyleerogers.com
Craig Trow (Charleston) • Website: www.craigtrow.com

North Carolina Videographers
Actor’s Arsenal (Wilmington) • Website: www.actorsarsenal.com
Auditions-R-Us (Wilmington) • Website: www.micheleseidman.com
C&J Casting (Charlotte) • Website: www.cjcasting.com

New York Videographers
Reel Services (New York City) • Website: www.reelservicesny.com
SkyTown Entertainment Video (SoHo) • Website: www.skytownentertainment.com
Tape Oasis (Brooklyn) • Website: www.tapeoasis.com

California Videographers
Intrepid Tapes (Hollywood) • Website: www.intrepidtapes.com
Picture Up Auditions (Studio City) • Website: www.pictureupauditions.com
Quick Nickel (North Hollywood) • Website: www.quicknickel.com

Headshot Guidelines
Your headshot is your biggest sales tool. It should be a photo of your HEAD, not 3/4 of your body. CDs are looking at your eyes. A theatrical headshot is used for television and film work. The look can be dramatic, intriguing or sly. A commercial headshot is used for commercials or print and work. The look can be happy and smiling, showing teeth or not.

  • Wear clothes that compliment your skin tone and eyes.
  • Solid colored shirts work best. Avoid turtlenecks, logos, stripes, or busy print patterns.
  • Please no jewelry, hats, or hair accessories. Nothing should compete with your eyes.
  • If you wear glasses and do not have contacts, you must wear your glasses in the headshot.
  • Headshots must be in color and free of shadows on your face or neck.
  • Avoid cropping too tight on the shoulders or cutting off the top of your head.
  • Portrait (vertical) orientation is preferred over landscape (horizontal) orientation.
  • Avoid lots of artistic space on the side of the photo.
  • Choose an interesting well lit background, not just a solid wall.
  • Background can be indoors or outdoors, but nothing too busy.
  • Avoid a dark background that swallows your hair color or competes with your skin tone.

Headshot Photographers

Georgia Photographers
APhotograhy (Savannah) • Website: www.a-photography.biz
First City Films (Savannah) • Website: www.firstcityfilms.com
Jackie Goldston Photography (North Atlanta) • Website: www.jackiegoldstonphotography.com
Jillian Walzer Photography (Atlanta) • Website: www.jillianwalzerphotography.com

South Carolina Photographers
David Despeaux Photography (Charleston) • Website: www.daviddespeaux.com
Josh Norris Photography (Greenville) • Website: www.joshnorrisphotography.com
Kristin Burke Photography (Charleston) • Website: www.kristinburkephotography.com
Robbin Knight Photography (Charleston) • Website: www.rkdp.com
Snapps Photography (Charleston) • Website: www.snappsphoto.com

North Carolina Photographers
Benjamin Segal (Charlotte) • Website: www.benjaminsegal.com
Flaming Chicken Studio (Charlotte) • Website: www.flamingchickenstudio.com
Josh Norris Photography (Asheville) • Website: www.joshnorrisphotography.com
Patricia Roseman Photography (Wilmington) • Website: www.patriciaroseman.com

California Photographers
Kelsey Edwards Photography (Los Angeles) • Website: www.kelseyedwardsphoto.com
Kenneth Dolin Photography (Los Angeles) • Website: www.kennethdolin.com
Marta Elena Fotografia (Los Angeles) • Website: www.martaelena.com
Paul Smith Photography (Los Angeles) • Website: www.paulsmithphotography.com
Rob Mainord Photography (Santa Monica) • Website: www.robmainordphotography.com

Headshot Printing
These companies offer mass production of head shots. You should order at least 100 copies and send 10 to the office with your resume neatly stapled to the back. Keep the rest with you when you go on auditions, callbacks, or run into Spielberg at your local Starbucks. Headshots can be reproduced on photograph or lithograph paper. Sol recommends you order your headshots in a matte finish, instead of gloss. A matte finish makes your headshot easier to look at. Headshots with borders are most common, however headshots without borders (called “full bleed”) are acceptable.

Isgo Photo (Los Angeles) • Website: www.isgophoto.com
Photoscan (Orlando) • Website: www.photoscanonline.com
Reproductions (NY & LA) • Website: www.reproductions.com
The On Line Photo Shop (Los Angeles) • Website: www.theonlinephotoshop.com
The Pixel Pusher (Atlanta) • Website: www.thepixelpusher.biz

Demo Reels
Craig Trow • Website: www.craigtrow.com
Iconic Invision • Website: www.iconicinvision.com
Quick Nickel • Website: www.quicknickel.com
Reel Services • Website: www.reelservicesny.com
SkyTown Entertainment Video • Website: www.skytownentertainment.com
The Actor Connection • Website: www.theactorconnection.com

Classes and Coaching
Here’s a list of recognized coaches and studios that offer acting classes and private coaching.

Georgia Classes
Celebrity Actors Studio (Atlanta) • Website: www.celebrityactorsstudio.com
Creative Studios of Atlanta (Atlanta) • Website: www.creativestudiosofatlanta.com
Your Act Acting Studio (Atlanta) • Website: www.youract.tv

South Carolina Classes
Rodney Lee Rogers (Charleston) • Website: www.rodneyleerogers.com
Theatre Charleston (Charleston) • Website: www.theatrecharleston.com
Theatre 99 Improv Classes (Charleston) • Website: www.theatre99.com

North Carolina Classes
Actor’s Arsenal (Wilmington) • Website: www.actorsarsenal.com
C&J Audition Workshops (Charlotte) • Website: www.cjcasting.com
Film Actors Studio (Charlotte) • Website: www.filmactorsstudio.net

Florida Classes
Blue Dog Acting (Ft. Lauderdale) • Website: www.bluedogacting.com
Lori Wyman Casting (Miami Beach) • Website: www.theorganicactor.com
The A.C.T.I.N.G. Coach (Jacksonville) • Website: www.the-actingcoach.com

New York Classes
Bova Workshop “Eric Morris System” (New York) • Website: www.bovaactorsworkshop.com
John Pallotta Studio (New York) • Website: www.nycactingclasses.com
Lee Strasberg Institute (New York) • Website: www.methodactingstrasberg.com

California Classes
John Rosenfeld Studios (Los Angeles) • Website: www.johnrosenfeld.com
Kirk Baltz (Los Angeles) • Website: www.actorsintensive.com
Lesly Kahn (Hollywood) • Website: www.leslykahn.com

Resumé Billing
Please follow these guidelines when creating your acting resumé. List the project name, the type of role, and the director or production company. Do not include extra work. If you do not have room to list all your film, TV and theatre credits, it’s fine to include “partial list” in parentheses after the heading. Bring the full list with you to an audition, and be prepared to show it to the CD if asked. Thanks to Double 19 Productions and Talent Management for defining film, TV and theatre billing.

1. HEADING: Center your name at the top of your resumé. Include union affiliations under your name. List your height, weight, hair and eye color on the left. List your agency’s name, agency phone number, agency email and website on the right. Do not include your personal contact information. Example below:

ACTOR NAME
Union Affiliation

Height:                                                                                                                           Sol Talent
Weight:                                                                                                             Tel. 843.882.7560
Hair:                                                                                                                 info@soltalent.com
Eyes:                                                                                                               www.soltalent.com

2. FILM BILLING: A “Lead” is a principal role in the film. In most scenes, on-screen credit is often in the credits that start the film, as well as in the complete end credits. A “Supporting” is principal role in the film in one or more scenes, but not a lead character, although important to the storyline. A “Featured” is a principal role in the film with one or more lines, but easily cut from the final version of the film. Unfortunately, many extras use the term “featured” to describe their extra work and that means Casting Directors are less convinced that a job listed as “featured” actually was a featured principal role. An “Extra” is a non-speaking role in the film with no on-screen credit. Extra work should not be listed on your resumé.

3. TELEVISION BILLING: A “Series Regular” is a contract role with exclusivity to the series, network, and production company for a term of a year or more; paid for a predetermined number of episodes produced, on contract for all episodes, even those in which the character doesn’t appear. A “Recurring” character returns over multiple episodes, either on standing contract or contracted periodically, based on negotiations and number of appearances. A “Guest Star” is a one-episode guest whose character’s storyline is central to that episode, works at a weekly rate and is typically under contract for the week, even if only shooting a day or two. A “Co-star” is a one-episode guest whose character’s storyline may or may not be central to that episode and has anywhere from one line to multiple scenes. A “Contract Role” is a soap opera term for a daytime series regular or recurring character. An “Under 5” is a term for a character who has between one and five lines. An “Extra” is a non-speaking role with no on-screen credit. Extra work should not be listed on your resumé.

4. THEATRE BILLING: Billing is pretty much non-existent for theatre credits on a resumé. Most theatre credits include the character name, as role size is generally known. If, however, the production is of an original work or relatively new play, it is fine to include a parenthetical notation of “Lead” or “Supporting” after the character name.

5. COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL VIDEO BILLING: A “Principal” can be speaking or non-speaking. If you have a separate commercial resume, you are not required to list all your commercial credits. Make the parenthetical notation “full list available on request” and be prepared to show it to the CD if asked.

6. TRAINING: List the name of school or studio, type of class, and the instructor’s name and city.

7. SKILLS: List things you can actually do and be prepared to demonstrate your skill to a CD during an audition or callback. Include athletic, performance and language skills.

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