“When a director holds an audition, they are asking a question—can anyone fulfill what I need?”
What is self-tape strategy? Is there such a thing? Can you actually have a strategy for your self tape? The answer is YES.
Let me paint a picture for you: What if you knew exactly what to do, step-by-step, when you picked up a script so you could get your self tape prepped & ready, shot and submitted within 20 minutes? That would feel pretty damn good, wouldn’t it?
Many people focus on trying to stand out. But what happens if you stand out so much you miss the Storymark? What is the Storymark? The Storymark is the thing that needs to be nailed by this character to exist within the storyline or else they would’ve been cut from the story. They would’ve been redlined from the script. When the director is holding an audition, what they’re doing is asking a question: can anybody fulfill what I need for this role to fit the world I’ve created so I can have a desired effect on my audience? But if you don’t know the exact question they’re asking, how can you fulfill the answer?
When you submit your self tape, what you’re basically saying is “here’s my answer, here’s how I can fulfill your world.” So everything must fit together like puzzle pieces to fulfill that Storymark. If we make an outlandish choice just for the sake of standing out, we risk missing Storymark all together and that’s a problem. Therefore, it’s imperative we think like the person hiring us, the creative helm of the project, which is the director.
Understanding your Storymark is imperative if you are trying to make a good impression in your audition. As we know, the Storymark pertains to fulfilling exactly what the character was put in the story to accomplish.
Once we understand what the director is looking for and can ensure we are doing exactly that, we can lean into our unique brand of reaction so our talent, confidence, and charisma can shine, ultimately leading to more booked roles.
Let me share something mind-blowing with you. The way we communicate is based on three things: body language, tone of voice, and the actual text or words spoken. How this is broken down is the key to your success.
You see, over half of how we communicate as humans happens through the physical. In fact, 55% of how we communicate is through what we see: body language, gesture, posture, etc.
Next up is the tone of voice which clocks in at 36% of how we communicate.
What is left? A mere 9% which is the actual words spoken. The actual text on the page. Crazy, right?
This means everyone is given the 9% (the script) and 91% is up to you to create. This is how we lean into something I like to call our Brand of Emotional Truth and our Brand of Reaction.
Leaning in to what makes us stand out will ensure you are remembered when you leave the room because you exuded authenticity. This is the time and space to push out of your comfort zone so you can truly uncover your authentic Brand of Reaction.
Diving deep into who this character is by understanding how this character fits into the story allows you to reverse engineer your audition. Also, having a clear process for any given amount of time prepares you for any situation. No more analysis paralysis, just action. And authentic action at that!
Putting all the pieces together of your process will instill the confidence and preparation needed to book any role. This type of clarity with process from this macro perspective sets you up perfectly because you will be ready to play and explore knowing the exact story boundaries and marks you need to hit to ensure you will catch the eye of the director.
Learning to think differently in this way will allow for strategic preparation you can count
on; it will become your process.
My mentor once told me: “The results you are getting are perfect for the work you are currently doing.” So, if you don’t like the current results, you need to do something new. You need to think differently.
This is how I created the Macro Method, which is the basis for my next book. My last book, Acting With Energy: Creating Brilliance Take After Take is available on Amazon and all major platforms.
~Murisa Harba (Artistic Director of ABOUT THE WORK)