In today’s computer age every actor needs a reel. This includes teenage actors. Before you get stressed out, it’s not that hard. Most teenage actors haven’t been in the business long enough to have great footage. If you do, that’s great! You should make sure you market it in the best way possible! If you don’t, that’s okay as well. Casting directors and agents know you are building your career, but they still want to be able to see what you are all about. If you don’t have a reel, don’t have footage, and don’t have a budget, here’s what you do: Do your research on YouTube before you start and see what other people do for their reels. Then, choose one of many great teenage monologues that are available and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If you have actor friends, that’s even better. Choose a scene that shows off your abilities and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Make sure your performance is ready and polished before you tape it, or it will not be worth your time. This is a competitive business and you need to put your best foot forward.
Keep in mind that you need a piece that you can easily shoot. It can be set in your house or outdoors, whatever the scene calls for. Try to find locations that don’t require special lighting. You should have at least three pieces. Then you can literally shoot it with your iPhone and edit in iMovie. Remember, it’s about your acting, not the crazy camera work. iPhones are great for shooting because they have a good lens and the sound quality is pretty decent. Create a title card with your name and contact information and place it at both the beginning and end of the reel. If you plan to upload it to YouTube, as many actors do, consider what information you want “out there.” You might choose to use only an email address. Always show the best work first. Once you get more professional footage, put it at the beginning of your reel. Your reel is a work in progress. Have fun making it!