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Toronto Acting Audition – Toronto Talent Agency – Tip Tuesday – Slate/Self-Introduction for Acting Auditions

For Tip Tuesday, we are sharing how to introduce yourself in an audition. The industry term for this portion of the audition is ‘slating’.

1. Pay Attention to the Slate Instructions

For most auditions, you will be given slate instrusctions. In the case of  an in-person audition, the casting director will talk to you before the audition begins to tell you what information to slate with. Follow their lead. 

If you are doing a self-tape audition (recording yourself at home), instructions for your slate will be in the email about the audition. 

2. Provide All the Information That You Are Asked For

Once you know the instructions, say the required information in your slate. Typically, casting directors ask for your name and height, in which case you would say, for example- ‘Hi, my name is John Doe, I am 6 foot 3’).

Casting for independent or student films tend to ask for your name and representation. For example, ‘Hi, my name is John Doe and I am with MAX agency.’ or, if you do not have an agent, ‘Hi, my name is John Doe and I am self-represented.’

In some cases, you may be asked more specific questions such as speak a different language, where do you live, and so on. 


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
Toronto Acting Agency – Toronto Talent Agency – Slate tips for auditions

3. What To Do If They Do Not Ask For Anything

Typically, you will given instructions. In rare occasions, however, you may not be told what to say in your slate. In this case, there is no rule. 

Go for what you prefer. You may say your name and the role that you are auditioning for, for example, ‘Hi, my name is John Doe and I am reading for the role of Alex.’ Other options are your name and representation, or your name, height, role and representation. ‘Hi, my name is John Doe, I am 6 foot 3, I’m reading for the role of Alex, and I’m represented by MAX Agency.’

4. Film the Required Camera Shots 

Especially when doing a self-tape audition, your slate instructions may include “full body shot”, or “profile shot”. If none of that is mentioned, you do not have to worry about filming different shots. 

“Profile” means that you need to turn to the right and left so they can see shots of what you look like from both sides. 

“Full body” means that they want to have a shot where they can see you from head to toe. Shoot the full body shot only for the slate, once you are doing the acting performance, you need to be close to the camera so that your facial expressions can be seen properly.

Ideally, have someone film  you, initially zoomed out to get your full body, and then zooming in so that you can be seen down to about 6-7 inches below your shoulders. This is when you will give your slate, pause, and start your peformance. 

Extra Tips

  • If you are asked to do a ‘tail slate’ for your self-tape audition, the casting director wants you to do your slate at the end of the video instead. Start your audition tape with the performance, and then give the information that they asked ofr at the end.
  • Keep small talk to a minimum. Follow the lead of the casting director- if they are chatty, you can chat with them but if they are very formal, be very formal. Usually, less small talk is better as castings are probably in a hurry, small talk may make you seem nervous, and small talk may throw you off and make you lose your character. 

The best way to make casting directors like you is to follow their instructions and their lead. Say a quick hello, do a  good job, and leave. 

MAX Agency is a successful Toronto modeling agency representing menwomen and children. MAX provides talent for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries as well as appearance in trade shows, promotions and special events.

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The Key Terms You Need to Know As an Actor or Model

Max Agency is a successful model and talent management agency in Toronto. Max places it’s talent with a wide spectrum of companies such as Nike, Coca Cola, Sony, McDonald’s , Hugo Boss,  and L’Oreal  just to name a few.

With so many talent auditioning and being booked daily, we wanted to share some definitions of the jargon that gets used on a daily basis within the agency.

These terms are extremely valuable to understand for every working actor and model in the business.

Self Tape or EcoCast

A self tape audition (frequently referred to as an EcoCast as well) is essentially a video audition. This is not done in person but rather the talent films their audition from home on a camera or phone to be submitted electronically. The self tape audition is growing in popularity so chances are you will have to do one at some point. For tips on how to create the best self tape, check out Max’s Top 5 Tips!

Slate

In almost every audition scenario, you will be asked to slate. What this means is to introduce yourself, which agency represents you and often times your role. This is the first impression you make on the casting directors so you must always be clear and professional. You may often times be asked to show your profiles or your hands during this time as well. Simply follow direction while staying calm and confident.

SOC Roles

SOC stands for Silent-On-Camera. What this means is that you are auditioning for a role that has no lines. You will simply be using your facial expressions or physical actions for the role. This is very common in commercials especially. Even though you do not have lines for an SOC role, still make sure to practice your facial reactions before the audition!

PP Roles

PP stands for Principal Performer. What this means is that you are the star. You will be the main performer in the centre of the commercial and have a lot of screen time. Often times this performer will be the ones with important lines or the one demonstrating the product/service.

Callback or Recall

A callback audition is a second audition for the same role or project you previously auditioned for. What this means is that the casting director/clients liked you and want to see you again before they make the final decision. It is like making it on to the next round. Perhaps you did a self tape the first time and now they want to see you in person, or vice versa? Either way, it is a very good sign to get a callback, however there’s still a chance you won’t be booked.

Holds

If your agent calls to put you “on hold”, this is a very good thing, however it does not mean you are booked quite yet. Being put on hold means the clients like you and might want to book you but are not 100% sure yet. It might mean they are still deciding between you and someone else for the role or perhaps you are the backup incase their first choice is unavailable. This also means you must keep the shoot dates open and available for them in the case that you are booked. They will either release you from the hold or book you once a decision is made.

Release

When you are released from a hold, it means the producers have decided to go in another direction and do not wish to hire you. You are free once again on the hold dates to do as you’d like. While this is disappointing, you should still be proud to have been put on hold in the first place because that means they did like you and you were close to booking the part.

Booking

Getting a booking means you are getting hired for the part. You may have been put on hold first or they may have booked you right away. This means you were available for the necessary shoot dates and they liked you the most. From here you will attend any fittings required and then the actual shoot! Your agent will be in touch will all the details on location, wardrobe, makeup, etc.

Buyout

A buyout is a flat payment made to you for a job (commercial/photoshoot/etc.) instead of getting paid residuals every time they use the work. In other words, you are only paid once up front for your work which they are free to use for a certain length of time. This payment is normally quite high for a short amount of work since they are able to use the commercial or stills as many times as they want within the time frame they paid for.

We hope these definitions helped any new actors who may have been confused when hearing these terms.

If there are any other words or acronyms that confuse you, let us know and we’ll be more than happy to explain!

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