Back to the Basics: THE SLATE
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Now, I know what you are thinking… but no, I am not talking about what Anne smashed over Gilbert’s head in Anne of Green Gables. When you are submitting a self-tape audition, you will most likely come across that 5 letter word. A slate is, in very simple terms, your introduction.
First impressions are everything! When you slate to a camera, you aren’t merely rattling off random facts about yourself to an inanimate object; that would just be weird. In fact, you are actually giving important information to the casting director who is watching your audition.
In your slate you may be asked to share several facts about yourself including your name, age, height, favorite color, etc.. "Favorite color? Are they trying to decide if I will be willing to wear the color pallet they want the lead character to wear?” No, no, silly. What a casting director is really looking for in your slate is your personality. They want to get to know you a little bit before they see you as the character for which you are auditioning.
A slate is something that needs to be memorized and practiced, just like lines for the actual audition. Along with memorization, there are several tips that will be incredibly helpful to you in your adventure into the world of slates.
1. Show us those pearly whites!There is nothing that exudes confidence more than a bright smile. Always begin your slate smiling, smile throughout your slate, and end with a smile.
2. Direct eye contact! Make sure that you are looking directly at the camera lens. The camera is the proxy for the casting director. Don’t break eye contact until whoever is taping calls “cut”
3. Speak Clearly! Make sure that when you speak, everyone can understand you.
4. Mannequin Challenge! A lot of times, when nerves take over, people begin to bounce, sway, or even mess with their clothing. These are all normal nervous behaviorisms, but you want to say “sayonara” to those boogie moves while you are slating. Make sure that you have your feel planted and you are standing tall and emoting confidence!
5. Personality! Let the casting director get a glimpse of your personality when you are giving your slate. You can always find clever ways of sprinkling a little flavor on your slate. One of the main things you can do is work on how you say your slate. Your tone is one thing that can be played with in order to reflect your personality. Be genuine. Be you. Be confident! Have fun!