We all know the world has gone digital, there’s no getting around it. No matter how much we might like to escape the clutches of the Zuckerbergs of modern life, we seem to be firmly in their grasp.
But hey, as we say in improv, “Yes, and…!” If it is our fate to be fully digitized and forever staring into our smart phones like infants fascinated by a set of shiny, shiny keys, we actors might as well use it to our advantage, no?
To that end, ignore your weird uncle’s forwarded conspiracy emails for once, and do something for yourself and your acting career instead! Here are a few must-have apps that can help you maximize your time, stay organized, and run your lines.
1. Rehearsal Pro is perhaps the best-known of the apps designed for actors, allowing you to watch your script scroll past like a teleprompter, or record your lines and play them back. You also can set it to “blackout mode” which tests how close you are to being off-book. Rehearsal Pro is compatible with scripts of all sizes, from short audition scripts to full-length pieces. Sadly for Android users, this one is only available for iPhone and iPad. And with a $19.99 price tag one has to wonder what kind of “starving artists” can really afford it. Still, it is consistently reviewed in a positive light, and remains a valuable tool.
2. We Rehearse applies the crowd-sourcing solution to running lines by providing instant access to a rehearsal partner through video chat. When you add yourself to the We Rehearse database, you can select a reader from their list of those available, and start running lines immediately! Plus, you can pay it forward by making yourself available as a reader for other actors. Runs on the Chrome browser and the only drawback is that it isn’t yet available as a stand-alone app. Still, an extremely useful tool. Free.
3. Tableread is another Apple-only app for now (the website says “coming soon” to the Google Play Store) that allows actors to read as well as listen to film scripts, teleplays and other scripts that have been formatted for the program. Just import a professionally formatted PDF to Tableread and it automatically converts it, making it available for you to listen to in a few moments. Featuring nearly 50 unique character voices, Tableread also can add a soundtrack to help put you in the scene. Free.
4. MyLines is an app that is available on both iPhone and Android platforms, and with a price tag of only $1.99 it is a bargain tool for learning lines that nonetheless comes with a tremendous array of features. Once you are signed in you can import scripts from your computer to the MyLines website, where they will then be converted and made available for you to access when you are on the go, using your phone. Also features a “blackout” function that helps you test yourself, and allows you to record lines. Automatically stops when it comes time for you to say your line, then you just hit play again for it to continue with the other characters’ lines. A great deal at $1.99.
5. AuditionCal is a time-management tool that lets you organize all your auditions, industry contacts, and events in one easy-to-use location. You’ve got sections for Networking, Workshops, and Agent and Manager meetings, plus it comes with a searchable database and email export function. It also allows you to seamlessly upload photos as well as streamline social media app postings, and the calendar view lays everything out for you in an easy-to-grasp format that is clean and clear. Apple product only, $.99.
6. Slatable takes the hassle and stress out of self-taping auditions and streamlines the process for actors who are too busy–what with the acting and all–to deal with learning to use professional video editing tools. The app, currently only available in the Apple Store, automates fade-in/fade-out, adds professional-looking title cards and provides smooth scene transitions. What’s more, you can record the other lines in your scene for playback while you are recording your take. Editing is made super easy, allowing you to record multiple takes and arrange them in any order you want, as well as cutting parts you don’t want to keep. It also allows you to export to files of industry standards after you are done recording. Free with a watermark, remove the watermark for $1.99, well worth the price for professional-looking, self-tape auditions.
7. Storyist is an amazing new full-featured text editor for the writer/actor on the go. Providing you with a screenplay template, the app (Apple Store only) takes your words and formats them automatically to work in both Final Draft and Fountain script formats. It also allows you several options to store your work in the cloud, including iCloud and Dropbox sync, as well as providing you with an index card format. This program may be one of the best text editors for mobile out there right now. At $14.99 it’s a bit on the pricey side, but with so many features and such connectivity, plus the ability to produce submission-ready screenplays using just your thumbs, it really is worth it.
8. Shakespeare Pro may be my new favorite app. This app, available in the Google Play Store as well as the Apple Store, the app contains all 41 of the Bard of Avon’s attributed plays, 154 sonnets, 6 poems, as well as a few “doubtful” pieces. The app puts all of his works in a tight little app that only takes up 40Mb or so of storage on Android phones. With a full integrated glossary, and the ability to do “relaxed” searches for words that are close to what you are looking for, you’ve never had so much information on Shakespeare available in such an easy-to-access format. Also contains detailed descriptions of every character in every play, and allows you to highlight a specific character’s lines in case you’re working a piece for an audition or a play. Free, also comes in a Pro version for $9.99.