Even before Covid-19 caused us to hide inside our homes for an indeterminable amount of time, I was coaching actors via Zoom. I was even creating self-tapes for actors from these sessions by recording their end of the video chat. I coached actors in LA, outside of LA, in their trailers, even in their hotel rooms on location. Time and again, I’ve seen the benefits of online coaching for actors. Not only do I believe this form of coaching is good, I believe it may be better than coaching an actor in person. Here’s why.
- Time is money and a commute is a time-sucker. A lot of auditions come up last minute and trying to fit in a drive across town with a day and a half’s notice is no easy feat.
- Seeing you on my computer screen on camera makes it easier for me to see what the camera sees. Most of your auditions, even if you go in person, are filmed anyway and reviewed sometimes several times in the decision-making process. How your audition comes across on camera is everything.
- I can record your end of the video chat so you can review your performance, even if you don’t need to create a self-tape. You can review the entire session if you want so you can listen to the coach’s feedback again and again and remember the adjustments and notes from the coaching session.
- It’s good to start getting comfortable coaching online, just in case you need to do it because you’re out of town, or, I don’t know, a pandemic keeps you from leaving your home for awhile but you still want to submit an audition or work on your craft.
- Sometimes actors need help with wardrobe, and when you’re coaching from home, you have direct access to your closet to show your coach all of your options. (This recently happened – I was coaching an actress and recording a self-tape and made her run upstairs and change her outfit to something more appropriate for the character!)
I’ve found online coaching to be very beneficial to actors. It also makes it easier for me to see the subtleties in their performance that I might otherwise miss in an in-person coaching. With the growing amount of self-tape auditions, partly because of Eco-Cast, versus in-the-room auditions (even before Covid-19), it’s been convenient for a lot of my clients to coach from home. Self-tapes can be a hassle if you don’t live with another actor or willing participant. There are places you can go that will provide a reader and put you one tape for a fee. With online coaching, you get the self-tape, the reader, as well as coaching from a professional acting coach, without having to leave home.
The film and television industry has come to a dramatic pause, so auditions are few and far between at most. This is a good time for actors to practice auditioning and nailing self-tapes. It’s also a good time to do monologue work since they seem to be back in fashion. This might be a good opportunity to get used to online coaching and see the benefits for yourself.
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