Some of the terms in auditioning sound a lot scarier than they are. They sound very foreign if you are new to the business. You may have heard the term “slate your name” and been a bit panicked inside because you have no idea what it means. Well, you can relax. Slating is a piece of cake! Slating is a term used in on camera auditions. It simply means to state (or slate) your name for the camera so that the people reviewing the tape will know when a new audition is beginning and quickly identify the actor who is about to audition. If you are doing a film audition, this is the only time you look directly into the camera. If you are performing a scene, you will ignore the camera and pretend it is not in the room. There is usually a “mark,” an X or line made with tape where the casting director asks you to stand. You take your mark and wait for instruction to “slate your name.” You then look directly into the camera and clearly slate your name.
This is not a time to be overtly dramatic, but it is a first impression, so you want to appear open, friendly and confident. You do not want to linger on the slate or make it last too long. It should be simple and to the point. You may simply say your name: “John Doe” and then move into your scene. You can also say, “I’m John Doe,” or “Hi, I’m John Doe.” Anything more than that is inappropriate. You will book the job on the merit of your audition, not your slate. Think of it as a quick introduction to the audition and then move into the work. Once you have slated, your audition has begun so don’t take a lot of prep time before moving into the scene. You should do your prep work before entering the room. Break a leg!