How To Create A Good Self Tape Audition

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Been asked to send a Self-audition tape but stuck on how to create one? Well here is 10 Tips on how to create the best possible self audition tape!

With the technology of 2020 it is now as easy as ever for directors to find the right people for the roles required without having to hold auditions in traditional fashion. It is now often asked of talents to send a self-audition tape, which allows them to showcase who they are without having to travel and meet with people, which is perfect during the covid-19 era! If you haven't ever had to send one before, it may seem an odd and awkward thing to do at first, however do not fear! As with these 10 simple steps, it will help you nail you selfie styled audition and hopefully land you some acting & modelling jobs! Check out the 8 steps to a killer self audition tape by Acting In London

1. Quality of your self-taped audition

The first thing you should remember with self-taped auditions is that the casting director and the team will not expect to see film quality that resembles a high budget Hollywood movie.

CDs fully appreciate that you are doing it yourself with your own equipment, for instance a cheap video recorder, a DSLR camera or your mobile phone. Try and make your self-tape as professional as you can but don’t worry about the tape appearing off center for instance.

As long as the quality of your self-tape is decent enough where they can see you and your expressions, casting directors will be more interested in your audition rather than criticizing your production skills. Just make sure that you can be seen and that you can be heard: these are the things that matter when auditioning.

Alternatively, you can always spend a little extra and use self-tape audition services for actors that are becoming very common these days.

2. The importance of lighting

Obviously, the light where you are taking the self tape audition won’t be of professional quality, but it is somewhat important. Lighting can make or break your look and the casting director has to be able to see you clearly.

There are a few easy things you can do to ensure a good light for your self-tapes. Definitely choose a room that’s well lit and always make sure that there are no light sources behind you. Don’t stand in front of a window when you are self-taping your audition, as being in front of a light will make you appear dark and the casting director will find it hard to see you.

Always do a test run first and then play it back. If you see that you are dark in the pictures then find another area where the light may be better for filming. It is a matter of trial and error but it has to be spot on, otherwise you won’t be seen properly and that could potentially get your self-tape “thrown into a bin” even if your acting is good.

3. Choose your background carefully

When recording a self-tape audition, the background is also very important. An ideal background is usually a blank one. Doors have always been a popular background, but if that’s not an option for you then just try and find a background where not much is going on (no patterns, nothing to distract the CD from you and your face) and with the least amount of things behind you.

The less distractions are in the background the better, and that will make your audition more pleasing to the casting director and the rest of the team watching you.

The easiest way you can do this if you’re recording a self-tape at home is to grab a single-color blanket, or sheets, and throw them on the wall behind you. Pick colors that favor your face and make you stand out. Grey often works well. And, if you can spend a little extra, you can grab a green screen backdrop or something like that on Amazon; they’re usually cheap.

4. Clothing choice for self-tapes

Choosing clothes for your self-tape audition can also be an important consideration, and you really want to be wearing a solid color. Clothing that’s free from very bright and busy patterns works best for self-taped auditions. Keep your clothing as simple as you can and try to avoid too many accessories or jewelry.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that the camera does tend to add extra weight to your body. So ideally you don’t want to be wearing clothes that aren’t too tight or clothes that appear too big on you. Wear what you’re comfortable with and just try and be yourself. Simplicity will work best here, unless you’re aiming at specific character choice.

5. Apply make up

If you want to show off your features then applying makeup will do this perfectly. The camera can make people looked a little washed out so makeup will work really well to prevent this.

Apply your make-up many times and check how you look after each application to see what looks best for you when you’re on camera. This may also boost your confidence. Just remember to keep your make-up to a minimal and do only the most essential things.

6. Show off your personality

If you already have auditioning instructions for your self-tape, then you know what you have to say or do specifically. If you do have instructions then just follow them, but if there are no specified instructions then just carry on how you would for a regular audition.

Remember to slate first. You should state your name, and then go on to say the name of the character you are auditioning for. Your slate should be friendly and it should also show you are confident at your audition; do not be robotic. This is your first chance to show that you are a professional and that you have a personality.

First impressions can be ruined by appearing too monotone, and a little personality goes a long way not only for self-taped auditions but in the acting business in general. It’s vague to say “don’t be boring,” but most of us usually know what that means.

7. Stop filming when the time is right

This is easier said than done, but you have to know when enough is enough and when it’s time to press that stop button for good. It is very easy to film one take and then watch it, then decide something isn’t right and so you carry out another take and watch it and then decide something else is wrong.

Doing this over and over can end up driving you crazy and even though you definitely should try plenty of takes to get that best shot, remember that you do have to stop at some point.