Often times in the audition process (for TV/Film and sometimes Theater), casting will ask for a self tape audition. This is a video recording of the actor reading sides, provided by casting for the show they are working on. In this self tape, you will often have a reader (who is off camera) read the scene with you, and record your best take at this audition. What is so great about self tapes, is that you can watch and re record your audition 700 times until you are confident with it, whereas in the  audition room, you only get the 1 take.

Tips and tricks of the trade:

    1. I can't say it enough, nothing looks more tacky and unprofessional then an actor sending in a video that they had time to prepare for with sides in hand.
  2. Have a blank/solid background
    1. When I get self tapes submitted and I can see people's' living rooms or house, all I can focus on is "oh that's a nice couch" or "how can they afford to live there!"
    2. I alway advise to film against a wall or hang a blank sheet up
  3. Shoot Horizontally 
    1. If you're shooting on your Iphone, make sure it isn't vertical. This ain't no insta story, this is your one chance at this job opportunity. Put in the effort
    2. Don't cut off the top of your head, frame it nicely.
  4. Lighting 
    1.  If you are going to continue this profession for a long time, I would invest in some basic lighting equipment. (my recommendation) these ring lights are perfect and used by so many Youtubers, they light your face, highlight your eyes and make your video look that much better!
  5. Sound Quality 
    1. Make sure you sound clear and that you are speaking loud enough
      1. Often times actor's will rush and casting won't even look at your video because they had to spend the first 15 seconds figuring out the volume.
  6. Slate
    1. Slate before you read your sides (unless otherwise instructed)
      1. Most of the time your slate should be a seperate take than the actual reading of sides.
      2. Casting usually gives instructions on what to say, but generally you say your name, location, age/height and your representation if you have any. 

My rrecommendations

  • Lucas Van Engen  is a very talented actor who has mastered the art of the self tape. Lucas has been in the business for awhile now and has learned a thing or two about taping! He charges $40 to shoot your audition, coach you and will edit your video. (What a deal!)
  • Sky Town Entertainment is another great company I have sent clients to before, great prices and a good solid team who knows what casting is looking for!