Recorded auditions? This seems kind of awful.

My older kid was interested in theatre and ended up attending UCLA TFT – I’m sure the in-person audition and interview is what made the difference in being offered a spot. Now this year my second child is applying to theatre programs in California, and all the auditions are supposed to be recorded.

If that’s not bad enough, they don’t provide any details about what they want – you might guess, with no information given, they want something like a self-tape audition (for TV or film), with upper torso and face, right? So my daughter recorded them that way.

Then – not in the instructions, but in an interview with someone from one of the theatre programs she’s applying to – she saw someone in one of these programs saying they want to see the applicant’s “whole body.”

OK, well that makes sense in a way, although why isn’t it in the instructions? And then, should the kids shoot it horizontal like a normal audition tape, in which case she looks especially tiny on the screen? Or do you shoot it vertical, and look like someone who doesn’t know how to shoot video?

So many questions and so little information on the websites. The stress level is through the roof. This is bad. I don’t want my kid’s chances decreased by something silly like ambiguity about what they want. If she does a standard self-tape, someone could say, “Oh she didn’t read that obscure interview where so-and-so said we want to see whole body.” Or, she could follow what she learned in the obscure interview, shoot a vertical whole body audition, and they’ll say, “Doesn’t this kid know how to do a basic self-tape? And vertical? Please.” There’s no winning. Stressful. Any advice welcome in this bizarre audition-less year.

I understand your frustration. I think I’d just have her call the dept and ask. It is weird that they didn’t provide instructions, after all, I guess people (like you) who are familiar with self taping auditions already are probably in the minority. Maybe they don’t care how it’s done (unlike self taped auditions for film/TV where you have to follow instructions precisely) as long as they can see and hear…maybe they are trying to keep it as simple and easy as possible. But I realize that by NOT providing details it’s not simple or easy! But I really think that they wouldn’t ding you for little details like that like they might in film/TV casting.

I can’t get over my self-tape training to always shoot horizontal on a phone, so I would have a hard time doing it vertically if I didn’t have instructions!

@theatermajormama The prescreen should not add stress to an already stressful process. D submitted 7 prescreens (class of ‘23) and if memory serves me correctly, only two (CMU and Elon) required a full-body. We tried to meet the prescreen expectation, but got nothing below the hem of a shortish dress. She passed both prescreens so did it really matter? With the exception of the kind-of full body ones, D recorded all her prescreens chest up with a horizontal iPhone. She prepared her material thoroughly and felt like if she was the one they wanted to see more of, an overlooked taping expectation was not going to sink her chances.