Self tapes and Zoom auditions: How COVID-19 is impacting Hollywood

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we interact with people. Zoom, Facebook Live and Youtube have replaced business meetings, classrooms and even trips to unknown destinations.

COVID-19 has also impacted Hollywood.

Crystal Gix, of Los Angeles, has been acting all her life. But now, instead of auditioning in front of casting directors and producers, Crystal does it from the comfort of her own home.

"My last physical audition was the day of the shutdown and that was it," she said. "Everything has been via computer or my phone"

There are two ways for actors to showcase their craft: 1) A live virtual audition or 2) a taped scene.

"Self tapes, you have full control," Gix said. "You have control of your lightning, your sound."

And if you don't like it, you can do it over, which isn't the case during an in-person audition.

"If I mess up, I have to go home," Gix said.

Demos can be taped using a cell phone or a digital camera. Live Zoom auditions are usually done with a computer.

"I do my own little engineering," Gix said. "You have to have a ring light."

Brooke Trantor has been doing her best to adjust to the changes during this pandemic, but she misses the connection and energy that comes with live, in-person screen tests.

"I’m proud of our resilience in our community to be able to work and figure it out," Trantor said. "But it’s just not the same."

Gix agrees.

"I like the self tapes but I think getting in front of casting directors and producers, you don’t get a chance to be in front of them and actually get chummy with them the way that you need to," she said.

However, both believe virtual auditioning is here to stay.

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