Audition Tips for How To Use a Teleprompter

I had a very interesting experience today and I wanted to share it with you. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Teleprompters but, basically, what happens when you’re reading from a teleprompter is you look, actually, it looks like you’re looking into the lens of the camera, but you’re actually seeing the words right in front of you. So the great part is, you don’t have to memorize the lines.

You have to be very familiar with them but you don’t have to memorize them. So I always loved getting jobs where there are Teleprompters.

Now, for this I’m not wearing any glasses, so if I’m doing a job where I’m using a teleprompter, unless they want glasses, typically I’ll wear contact lenses. So when I’m wearing my contact lenses, I can’t see things close-up. So I had this audition today for a teleprompter job.

And as I’m driving out, I was thinking I just wore my contacts and I was like, you know, maybe I should brought glasses, maybe I should bring my contact case, and I thought, I’m already halfway there, I’m just going to keep going.

So I get out there and I assumed that I would be reading off the teleprompter for the audition. Well, that wasn’t the case. They just wanted me to hold the sides, the words to the script, in my hand. Well, that made it very difficult because I’m trying to hold it far enough away that I could see the words, ’cause once again, when I wear contacts it’s hard to see things up close.

The wind up was I read it, I didn’t feel great about it and I asked the director there if i could try it again, and this time I took out one of my contacts, ’cause I can generally read if I only have one contact in. And then I went out and read it again, and, of course, I didn’t have any solution, I didn’t have anything with me, so I just had to throw the contact away.

So anyhow, even if you are getting a phone call to audition for a teleprompter job, bring contacts out with you. Maybe you can find out ahead of time if you’re going to be reading off of the teleprompter so then you can run out and pop them in, and that way you don’t have to throw your contacts away.

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  • Great topic. I am a glasses-for-reading guy. Sometimes for teleprompter reads, I have to squint my eyes a little, and of course it looks like it in the final cut. That drives me crazy because “men of a certain age” usually need some type of corrective lens for reading and/or driving. Fortunately I only need them for reading. Teleprompter distance is always an issue for me. My eyes are fairly expressive and a big part of my commercial spokesperson presentations, but NOT when I have to squint in order to focus to a teleprompter I can’t read. Ugh.