Audition Self Tapes – What To Do (and not to do)

Audition Self Tapes – What To Do (and not to do)

what not to do self tape copy

Being able to self tape is hugely important for an actor. You can use self tapes to help you find representation (more on that HERE) and, of course, to be seen by casting directors when you cannot attend the audition in person. Here at LA Headshots and Reels and with our partner Silverlake Self-Tapes we offer video audition services but also know that many actors choose to do their own thing. So, below is some advice for you, whether you’re doing your tapes at home or doing your audition at a professional self-tape studio.

Technical Stuff

Invest in decent audio, video, and lights.
A video camera on a tripod is preferred but if all you have is you iPhone that’s actually not that bad… Just make sure it’s held still and you are properly lit. Taping in front of windows can work or you can invest in LED’s. Harsh shadows and overexposure are distracting and will ruin your performance. Even more so is audio… Certainly turn the tv off but also be aware that there’s no hum from fans or the fridge and no street noise. A directional mic or LAV mic is great at blocking out unwanted noise.

You backdrop should be clean and simple.
Keep it simple. Most casting rooms you go to have a simple colored wall, curtain, or paper backdrop. Anything that clutters the frame could be an unwanted distraction.

Shoot each scene separately.
Unless instructed otherwise it is always best to do each scene one at a time. This is hugely to your benefit as a performer, as it allows you to focus on each scene and then pick out the very best take. It also gives you a breather between scenes to refocus yourself, change wardrobe if need be, and even your setup.

WeTransfer, Dropbox, Vimeo…
So many ways to submit. Discuss with your agent what works best for them. Avoid publishing on YouTube or Vimeo as a public link… Productions like to keep their unreleased projects under wraps and your audition could spoil things for them if leaked.

Performance advice from Melissa at Silverlakes Self-Tapes

Breathe.
Believe it or not you look more beautiful and believable on camera when you are relaxed and breathing.

Have fun.
Auditioning shouldn’t feel like a task. Think of it as an opportunity to act or a chance to have a fun workout.

Own the role.
Actors often make the mistake of asking what Casting Directors are looking for. As soon as you do this, you’ve lost the role. Bring your own choices to the table and show them who the character is!

Hope that helps. Good luck with your next audition and feel free to contact us with any questions or to book a self tape audition. We now offer discounted rates on video auditions complete with a reader, coaching, and video editing.

Oops I almost forgot…

What not to do.