I know that in some places, it seems that in person auditions are the new NEW normal, but I wanted to share the biggest things you need in a Zoom audition for those schools that perhaps might keep a remote audition process due to travel purposes, safety, etc.
Zoom auditions are weird, don't get me wrong. It's like relearning how to audition all over again, and just like with normal theatre auditions, the more you do them, the better you get. So here are my tips for nailing your next drama school Zoom audition.
1. Computer, not phone!
If this is a live audition, not a prerecorded tape or prescreening and it is truly happening via ZOOM, I highly suggest you use your computer instead of your phone. The interface on your computer is much easier to navigate, it's a wider camera, and in general, computers are known to be the favorite among drama school auditors. If this is not available to you, of course, no worries. But if you have the choice, go with the bigger screen.
2. Techie Time
You're gonna have to play techie for a little bit. This means adjusting the height of your computer, finding good lighting, and trying to film in front of a background that is as distraction free as possible. (I don't have a blank wall in my house, lol, but it was a clean and simple background that didn't cause any distractions. Some people I saw were auditioning in dance studios, some were in their bedrooms. Whatever makes you feel prepared.)
3. Test Run
You are gonna wanna do multiple test runs. Call a friend or family member, and ask them how you look on the other side of the call. Try during different times of the day to adjust lighting, and ask if them if they can hear and see you clearly!
4. X Marks the Spot
Cheeky tip: use a slipper or a book to make a mark for yourself so you know exactly where to stand for the correct lighting/height. If you step away from the camera to grab a snack or run to the bathroom really quickly before it's your time, you will be thanking your past self for that marker reminder.
The most important thing with a Zoom audition is to do as many mock auditions as you can - with someone else, or even by yourself! I personally did them all by myself, on my own time in my own space. I got to practice introducing my pieces, adjusting the height of my computer between a standing monologue and a sitting monologue, and knew exactly what angle my computer screen needed to be at in order to have the camera looking straight at me, not tilting down or up. I felt so comfortable with all technical aspects that when the actual audition day came, I could focus on connecting with my pieces, my auditors, and my body.
Have some snacks ready, some friends you can call when you are on your break waiting to go on, and maybe a yoga mat nearby where you can stretch and mediate your way through your big day! It's all about making things as comfy and as easy for you as possible.