So I’ve just entered my first competition via video entry – woo hoo! Well, two actually.
I’ve entered competitions in the past where you apply online, and automatically get entry, so entering a video online was a whole new experience for me. I don’t yet know whether I’ve got through to either competition’s live final, but I wanted to write my thoughts while it’s still fresh for me.
Here are my little hints and tips to make video entry (hopefully!) more successful and stress free.
Do Your Research
So this one might seem obvious, but it can be easy just to skim the entry packs. Make sure you know what video length you need to enter, what type of costume you are allowed to wear, what moves you are allowed to do, and how to enter. Oh, and the deadline date is super important to!
Sometimes you need to email the competition organisers before you can enter, so make sure you do that ahead of time – also ask any questions early too. Usually competitions do have great FAQ sections, so most of the info you need is already online.
Plan In Advance
When it comes to training, creating, filming and analysing our routines, we are all different when it comes to what works for us.
I always allow myself the whole week before the deadline to film, and the week before that to work on those little finishing touches. I start to think about what I want to put in my routine months earlier.
Make sure you know what info you need to enter, and how to do it. If you need to send in a biography, or any pictures, make sure you have those ready in advance. If you need to upload to YouTube, but you’ve never done it before, make sure you learn how to do it – you can YouTube it 😀
Some application forms are super easy and others are far too complicated, so take the stress out and get ready to fill the form in, in advance.
Film, Film, Film
Okay, so I guess I should have said rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, but I hope that one is obvious! What might not be obvious is that you should film multiple times.
I break my routines down into sections and practice those. When I feel ready to put it all together, I film it on the first run through. I do this for two reasons:
1. If it goes wrong (which it usually does for me the first time), filming makes you carry on to the end of the song, and you might find little tiny changes that you love.
2. It gives you an idea of what the audience will see – it gives you time to make any adjustments while you are still learning your routine.
Honestly, I do hate watching myself back, especially in these earlier versions, but it’s so important to watch yourself and figure out what works and what needs to change. It also gets your body used to performing such a long routine.
While You’re Filming…
It can be hard to recreate the atmosphere of performing onstage, while you are performing in a potentially empty studio. You can always invite a few people to come and watch you – I know I always perform better under pressure.
Make sure you try to recreate your routine as you would if you were onstage – make sure you have your costume on, make up and hair done, and ‘set the stage’ as close as you can to the real thing. Try not to film while there are people (or noises) in the background, as this can be distracting.
I film every routine that I do in costume – I can only do about 5 in a session, so it’s not as much as it may seem. You may find that your first run through was the best. I also sit and watch them back (and recover!) before I film again, so I know what to improve on.
The main things that you want to think about are:
Camera Angles – have you presented your moves to the audience / camera to show them off properly? This is especially important in flexible / extended moves.
Finishing Your Lines – are your legs straight, fully extended and toes pointed? If you’re using bent legs at all, make sure they are obviously bent, still with pointy toes.
Fill The Gaps – make sure that everything has a purpose. If you are waiting for the chorus to kick in, make sure you fill the time.
Be Critical – have you put in moves that you know you can do? Do you look like you’re struggling? It’s better to do moves that you easily can, rather than to put hard moves in that you struggle with.
Sort Yourself Out Early
To keep stress free, leave yourself at least one day – yes, one whole day, to send in your application. Make sure you have watched your routine back and are happy with it, and know that it works.
Of course, if you’re ahead of the game and can send it in weeks earlier, then it makes everything a whole lot easier!
Once you’ve sent your entry in, relax. You have done the hard part, and all you need to do now is chill. There’s no point in worrying or thinking about it. For the competitions that I have entered, I have no idea whether 10 people enter, or 1000 people enter.
All I know is that I wanted to enter last year but ran out of time, so I’m super proud of myself for getting my butt in gear and entering 😀
Have you ever entered a competition through video entry? How did you find it? 😀
**EDIT: I managed to get through to both competitions! Ahhhhhhhh!**