Theatre Thoughts: Harness the Power of YouTube

Theatre Thoughts: Harness the Power of YouTube

With this highly connected, technology-forward world we live in, it’s almost laughable not to use simple video recording as a tool for your theatrical productions. YouTube is probably the most common video-sharing website going right now; it’s free to use and easy as pie to upload videos. Here are three useful ways to use video and YouTube in your theatrical pursuits!

1.  As a demo reel.

What better way to show off your acting work to potential casting directors than by having a reel easily available? Simply get footage of your best acting work, or even just film yourself performing some great pieces on your own; edit them together (most computers come with video editing equipment already installed such as iMovie) and upload it. Voila! Now get your name and face out there!

This is also useful for stage combatants and dancers/choreographers, for showing off their body of work. For example, here is the choreography reel of Cameron Carver, who’s choreographed productions at OKTC and is currently working on Shrek The Musical at the Grand Theatre:

You can see lots of my past work on my Multimedia page — be sure to add your reel to your blog or website! (You do have one, don’t you?!)

2.  As a rehearsal tool.

This is particularly useful for practicing dance or combat choreography, difficult transitions, or simply as a way of seeing your personal tics while you perform. It’s a great resource when you learn a piece and then two weeks later need to go back and figure out what comes after the box step! I’ve been filming all the choreography from The Wedding Singer so my actors are able to look back at it and practice at home.

On YouTube, you can mark videos as Public, Unlisted or Private, so you can keep your work visible to only those who need to see it (and also keeps your work from being stolen!).

Here’s an example of rehearsal footage of the Hermia & Helena fight from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This video was super useful for Kat and myself to remember our work, and I can now use this footage as part of my demo reel as well!

3.  As an advertisement.

There’s a reason why people buy things and go to see movies — because of the trailers and commercials for the product! So why not create a video advertising your show? You could show a sneak peek clip from the show, interview the actors or crew, give reasons why people should come see your production… you are only limited by your imagination!

(A word of caution though – be sure you have permission of the artist if you are using music in your promo video. You don’t want to get in trouble for copyright infringement!)

Check out this awesome promo video that was created for OKTC’s recent production of The Zombies Comedies:

Do you use video in your rehearsal process? How do you use it? Share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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