When first entering the world of auditioning, you don’t necessarily need a full frame camera, studio lights, or a microphone to tape your auditions. I have seen casting directors use cell phones to tape auditions and I personally use my iPhone 11 Pro, a cell phone mount adapter, and a tripod to record my self-tapes. I am able to record auditions and slate with little to no help depending on what the scene calls for and audition from any location as long as I have these three (3) items. If you do not want to commit to a full setup, invest in a phone with exceptional camera quality. The image quality and sound produced by the phone are sharp enough to meet the needs of self-taping and I do not run into problems when uploading or submitting my auditions.
That said, for a more advanced home setup, I do recommend investing in a quality camera, microphone, studio light, and tripod. Below I have included the equipment I use in my at home studio with brief descriptions about each item.
Please note, the links below are affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission if you purchase an item through my referral link at no cost to you.
Canon EOS R Mirrorless Full Frame Camera
This entry-level mirrorless camera is a great choice for beginners thanks to its comfortable, lightweight design and intuitive menu system. I combine this camera body with the Canon EF 24-105mm lens for my Youtube setup.
Manfrotto 055 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod
This 3-section tripod is a great combination of sturdy and light. Its telescoping legs are compact, lightweight, but heavy-duty enough to support my Canon camera and lens. It is easy to assemble and allows you to quickly adjust the height to your desired level, making it easy to record auditions yourself.
Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head
This ball head mount allows you to attach your camera or cell phone to your tripod and conveniently tilt the angle of your device. I recommend positioning your camera or cell phone horizontally when recording your auditions as casting directors typically do not accept vertical footage.
Cell Phone Tripod Mount Adapter
This mount adapter connects your cell phone to your tripod and is useful for recording self-tapes. It helps stabilize your phone and can be rotated horizontally or vertically. I use this mount adapter with <a href="https://amzn.to/32JZvEB">this ball head</a> and connect it to my tripod. I recommend shooting your self-tapes horizontally as casting directors typically do not accept vertical footage.
Aputure Amaran AL-F7 On-Camera LED Light
This is my favorite light of all time. It's as bright as any studio light I would need at home. It has a convenient dial to control the brightness and warmth of the light. It also has an analog display at the back which shows the exact setting and battery life of the device which is great for times you need to pick up where you left off, are creating multiple videos you want to look similar or simply like that specific temperature of light because you don't need to guess what your settings were. The convenient carrying case comes with a ball head so you can position the light horizontally or vertically. It also includes a short cable to power the device but if you really want to maximize the greatness of this studio light, I recommend buying a battery pack which attaches to the back so that your light can be attached to a tripod and moved freely.
Rode NTG4+ Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone
This external microphone is the one I use for all of my videos. It delivers crisp sound and is a solid directional microphone. A great feature is that when it is plugged into your camera, the microphone is powered by the camera so you do not need to charge it separately.
Amazon Basics Portable Sheet Music Stand
This music stand is featured in my How to Set Up for a Zoom Audition - How to Be Ready for Zoom Casting video on Youtube. I attached 12in x 54in sponge neoprene to the surface of the music stand to be able to set my laptop on it without fear of it slipping off the stand. It has been a very helpful, cheap, hands-free solution for Zoom auditions.