The key to getting on a reality show is making a great audition video. Most reality shows are cast online by way of video submissions and applications. If you want the casting director to take notice then you need to wow them with your tape.
You need to plan it out before you tape it, think about where you see yourself fitting in the show. This is reality TV and reality TV is all about personalities and how they mix.
Tips for taping your video audition:
Before you start:
- First and foremost make sure that you have a quality video by using proper lighting. This may take a few experiments to get it right but generally you want to avoid bright light sources, windows or anything that will cast a shadow or act as a distraction.
- Pick a good location with minimal interference from around. Do not shoot a video in a mirror, the bathroom or any place that will take away from you.
- Make sure there is no outside noise, TV’s on in the room or radio playing.
- Make sure the camera is steady. Avoid holding it yourself. You may need a friend to help you by holding the camera as you talk.
- Always film it horizontally. Just because you can easily flip your iPad to watch vertical videos does not mean that casting directors will adjust their screens as well. This is for TV so keep it formatted for TV.
- Decide which personality you are. Are you the hot mom? The sexy co-ed? the dingy bimbo? The villain or the hero? Know what you are going for and keep it up through the entire video. Don’t switch it up. Do not start off with an attitude then lose it. Casting directors want consistency. Even if you think you would be great as this or that, pick just one. Remember, this is reality TV, they are not looking for actors. They want real people who do not look like they are acting. You never want to say “I can play this, that, or whatever you want me to”. Best bet is to just be yourself.
Now for your audition video:
- Start off strong. Casting directors look through thousands of videos so the first few seconds need to impress or they will just move on to the next one without watching it through. This is not the time to save the best for last!
- Introduce yourself and give examples of why you are great for the show. Show producers are looking for interesting people and you need to show them how interesting you are with examples of what you have done.
- This is from the CBS “Survivor” page:
Don’t just say you’re a great athlete, for example, but give some examples of awards you’ve won or other achievements.
- Don’t say “Ummm” or “like”. Pauses are natural when we are speaking, we need a second to think of a response sometimes and many of us use the words, “Ummm”, “like” or “uhh” for those pauses. But this is a video that you should have already planned out. Saying “Ummm” is really annoying and will take away from the video’s pace.
- If you have some very special skills that most people do not, take a few seconds to showoff but refrain from doing dumb stunts that anyone can do.
- Don’t use costumes or props to make things more interesting. You are supposed to be the point of interest in your video audition.
- Be assertive and make your case. Be memorable.
- Keep it short. In the show submission instructions it should tell you how long the video should be. Stick to that time and do not go over.
- Try not to edit your video. Most casting directors want to see unedited footage. NEVER use effects or any kinds of transitions.
- Follow the submission directions to the letter. Most reality tv video auditions will ask for a link to your video. Not the actual video as an attachment. Most videos are too large to be handled as attachments.
- Make sure that you use the video hosting service that they request. Do not make it difficult for them to see the video by posting to a different service.
- Do not use private Youtube video links. So many people do not even realize that the video is available for them to see only BECAUSE they are logged in and stay logged in. Double check your settings to make sure the video is public. If unsure, email it to a friend and have them try it.
Want more audition tips?