See, what happened was… we needed tape.
So, within 24 hours of registering Kenzen at ActorsAccess, he got a request for a self tape audition. These are kind of a thing now, with technology being so fantastic that you no longer have to pollute the environment to do an audition when you can do it various other ways: Skype & self taping, etc. It’s great for actors that don’t reside in Hollywood too, saves them time & money.
So, of course we had never self-taped & of course our first opportunity had to have FIVE scenes. And my camera tripod was at the office, I had to improvise. I needed a way to steadily hold the camera at face height. We used an iPhone (it’s actually the most convenient tool for the job), green screen my son used for video game streaming) a laundry basket, a lamp, a monopod (that’s basically a stick) and… Duct tape. Photo doesn’t show the role of the laundry basket.. But what we did was put the ‘pod into the handle of the basket then used duct tape to keep it from tilting crooked on us (which it still did every 10 minutes or so). Then, we duct taped my iPhone to the top of the monopod. Of course it kept slipping too, leaning backwards etc. It also left a sticky film on my iPhone. I learned to use more duct tape, rolled up sticky side in, to act as a non sticky buffer between iPhone and tape. This was a nightmare, but Kenzen laughed a lot as I kept fighting with it 😝
You can see from the photo that we also had to duct tape the green screen to the wall. We couldn’t find the actual frame work at the time, but self taping had to be done, so we made do. The screen kept falling down as well 😠 we got through the first scene after what ended up taking much longer than it should have due to us having so many maintenance issues with our set up.
We taped scene 1 that night, at the end we were frustrated & ready to tell Hollywood to go to hell. Well, at least I was. Kenzen was still hanging in there. We went to bed (he prefers to do his focusing in the evening) & vowed to not do scene 2 until we had all our gear!
Next day, my husband brought home my tripod to replace the monopod & laundry basket. He also went to Best Buy & got us an actual iPhone holder thing to attach to the top of the ‘pod. That was heaven by itself, but where he really earned his keep was finding the framework for the green screen. Here’s our new, permanent set up in Kenzen’s “studio” (our spare bedroom):
So, the above set up was perfect for scenes 2-5. No issues at all. We will probably leave it this way. This blog title promises the blooper reel so, because I can’t share the script (you’re never allowed to share your self tapes) I can at least show you how he handled his goof ups 😝
Kenzen is great about self taping, and he will do his scenes over and over until he thinks it’s the best he can do. He knows he will get better with each audition and that we need to send up the “tape” even if it’s not perfect because there are too many variables to be able to define “perfect”. You could totally screw up an audition and get chosen, just because the director saw something about you that a) fit the character personality, b) had the right official characteristics, and/or c) the screws ups could be worked through. He knows that if there’s anything about him that is right for the role, he will be chosen and if he isn’t chosen, it’s really got nothing to do with him & everything to do with the role itself. That’s a powerful thing to understand from the very beginning of a career in show business. I’m glad he gets it, really gets it.
Next blog: his first in person audition and how mom may have blown that one.