Why Video Samples (Not Just Reels) Get Auditions


  • Are you stuck trying to figure out the perfect Reel?
  • Is your footage from last decade, or does it look like bad video tape conversions?  
  • Are you not getting the footage from that free student film that you did (just to get footage)?
  • Do you have too many clips and not know how to maximize them?
  • Are you frustrated because you don’t have film work to attract film work, or the film roles you want?  

Okay gang, here are some steps to clean up your online video samples of your acting…


First, stop trying to make something perfect out of imperfect situations.


The footage is not going to get any better the more special effects that you put on it.  Switching it to black & white or sepia tone doesn’t suddenly make it an amazing acting clip.  Be honest with the quality of the footage or your acting work within the footage samples, and scrap the weak stuff (especially if it outdates you).  Bad samples can actually hurt you more if they show weak acting or unprofessional production work.  (Remember, folks only click on your reel or website once, and for 30-45 seconds unless they see something they love.)


“But, Heidi, if I take out the outdated or weaker acting clips then I won’t have anything in my Reel!!!


I know, I know.  And this is why I have a creative solution just for you!  But to grasp it fully you will have to start thinking outside of the box that a Reel is the answer to you getting hired for more film work.


Make some great sample clips of your acting in “audition” format.


You don’t have to go and produce a film or web series or short film to get good sample video work on your site.  (Sure, that’s amazing and do it if you can or are inspired to do it!  I totally love entrepreneurial actors!)

But, here’s a shortcut.

Put some sample “audition” scenes from a class or a self-tape setup on your website or private YouTube/Vimeo channel.  Ideally, the sample videos are film or TV scenes that you taped in a class (without a teacher’s commentary on the tape) or that you have made on your own but look good (read my blog on how to self-tape).  Pick scenes that you are AMAZING—put your best foot forward. Then, film you “auditioning” in front of a neutral wall or studio setting. Load this video onto your website or YouTube/Vimeo channel. (See my tips on how to put your acting clips online.)

Don’t worry that this is not an on-set professional clip. Why? Because if there is NO clip, or an outdated 5-year-old clip, then there is nothing that is current and compelling to inspire auditioning you.

A sample scene at its bare minimum will convince them that you can ACT. That you can carry a scene for 2-3 minutes. You need to give them reasons to bring you in. Give them some clips that will inspire them.


Tell casting folks how to cast you. Sell them on your specificity!


How you label the clips will make the difference if someone actually clicks on it.

Label the video samples to guide the visitor to the type of video sample that he/she is particularly looking to cast.

Example, label a 2-minute video: “sample scene from indie drama film” or “sample scene from romantic comedy”.

Or, you can get more specific. Here is another labelling example: “Drama – heartbroken lover” or “Comedy – quirky best friend”.

If I want a funny gal, I will click on the comedic sample.

If I want to see the darker side of an actor, I will click on the dramatic sample.

TELL US HOW TO CAST YOU. Guide us to the appropriate clips for the types of roles we are seeking to cast.


Be creative and dare to dream up your ideal roles!


Have tons of fun playing your dream roles and creating samples of your ideal auditions.  This will surely attract others to you!

There is no limit to what you can play, unless you say there is. So now you just have to “show” others what you can do.


Attract the dream roles to you by SHOWING everyone how you can DO the dream roles.

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