Get to Know Zoom
Zoom auditions offer the acting world a lifeline during this ongoing, global pandemic
(By Jim Webb)
(Photo: Glen Carrie | Unsplash)
You ever get a song stuck in your head that you just can’t stop singing. The song is so catchy that, even when you try to forget the song, it keeps popping back into your head, like an annoying fly on a hot, summer day that just won’t leave you alone.
The song that keeps popping into my head today is an old song from the movie, The King and I. It’s called “Getting to know You”. And it goes a little something like this. And a one, and a two…
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you,
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me,
Getting to know you, putting it my way,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.
Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy,
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say,
Haven’t you noticed,
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new,
Things I’m learning about you,
Day by day!
If you’re an actor, there’s a similar tune you should be humming right now. It’s called “Getting to know Zoom”. And you’d better get to know all about Zoom!
Covid-19 Has Changed Everything
The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the overall entertainment industry and, more specifically, the world of acting.
Gone are the days of large auditions, featuring scores of hungry actors piled into a sweaty audition waiting room, seeking opportunity. It’s just not safe anymore.
The acting world is going virtual. Get used to limited sets. Get used to more self-tape auditions. And get used to Zoom.
Basic Background on Zoom
Since Wikipedia can do a better job of explaining the general mission of Zoom better than I can, I’ll give let them explain:
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom) is an American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations.
Zoom’s business strategy focuses on providing an easier to use product than competitors, as well as cost savings, which include minimizing computational costs at the infrastructure level and having a high degree of employee efficiency.
But the main thing you need to know about Zoom, as an actor, is just that: you need to know about Zoom. Because casting directors have turned rapidly to the platform to audition and to cast actors. The sooner you get up to speed, the better.
How Zoom Affects the Actor’s Life
(Photo: Gabriel Benois/Unsplash)
There are many pros and cons to using Zoom. Here are a few:
*Ease-of-use, once you get the hang of it
*It’s free to use, at least for most actors. You don’t, yet, have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee, like you do for submission sites like Actors Access.
*Ability to audition with multiple people, including casting directors, decision-makers, readers and other actors, all at the same time.
*Protection from the spread of Covid-19, because you can audition from the safety of your home.
*Potentially long wait times to enter a meeting, in part because some actors are still learning how to use Zoom to do auditions. Expect long delays.
*Internet connectivity can become an issue, of you have a poor internet connection.
*Lighting, framing and sound can easily become a big problem if not done properly.
*If you’re using a device, the app may not work properly if it’s not up-to-date. So, be sure to check for updates.
Zoom has also been criticized for:
*Lack of transparency
*Poor encryption practices
Pro Tip: Always check to make sure you have the latest Zoom updates before beginning a Zoom audition.
Zoom auditions offer the acting world a lifeline during this ongoing, global pandemic – a safe, socially-distanced, high-tech option for conducting auditions. And casting directors have, and will continue, to flock to it.
So, get to know Zoom. Get to know all about Zoom.
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