The self tape
It is no longer a requirement to be in the city, the state, or even the country of your audition anymore. In fact, I've done numerous worldwide searches for roles, receiving tapes from every possible destination on the globe. While actors will still fly out for tests, and possibly a few months during our beloved pilot season, it is now the norm that for every role, self tapes will be involved. Casting does watch them. Our job, as casting directors, is to know actors. Meet new actors & facilitate the process by bringing
in the best possible people. Watching self tapes has become an enormous part of the job. What makes a good self tape? A few factors Clarity: We want to see your acting skills & choices. It's almost impossible to see when we are looking up your nose or lose your face for a large portion of the scene. Audio clarity is key too. Ideally, we want to see & hear you. Now, I am not a huge believer in spending a ton of money on a fancy self tape. An iPhone and a friend is sometimes the best solution. However, watch the tape back! Can we see you? Can we hear you? Good! The reader: This is a tricky one in self tapes. Due to time and financial restrictions actors tend to use whomever is available (spouse, friend), and on a few occasions will pre record the other lines & act opposite themselves. A bad reader is ill-advised and distracting on a self tape. Again, we want to know YOU. So yes, while this kind friend is doing you a favor, don't be afraid to throw out a few notes. You are the focus of the scene. A good reader will give you a little but let you shine. Camera: As in all auditions, be aware of the camera. It's how we see you! Keep motions contained and purposeful and try not to wander Slate: Name & height are so important. Often, during a pilot we are bombarded with self tapes and need an immediate way to know who you are. Producer's will want to know your height since you're not in the room Other factors to keep in mind: Can you do the job if it's a local hire & you'll need to fly out tomorrow? Since casting watches these, be sure you're available and ready for the job. Notes - the goal is to get a note, and retape. This is good, casting & producers have seen and like you. Can you re-tape?? (Another reason not to spend a fortune) you may end up taping a few times. Auditions are a great thing! A self tape request is not less than the in person real thing. Put your strongest foot forward!