How to Build Your Empire: Self-Taping an Audition – The Highs and Lows


Candy WashingtonWe all know how fast-paced the entertainment industry can be, so when you finally get the sides to an audition for a network pilot, you’re on it. Only problem is, you are based in New York and they are casting out of LA, you need to get them the audition ASAP and its too late to book a time at a production company or book a slot with my acting coach.

So, what did I do? I asked every friend I could think of to help me self-tape, even my neighbor whom I casually wave ‘hi’ to on the weekends. As amazing as my friends are, for some reason, no one could help. From dinners, to doing research for law school, to drinking at the office (don’t ask), to band practice, everyone was booked.

Being a crafty actress, I sent a text to my big sister, who lives in Atlanta, and asked if she would Skype and read my lines with me while I recorded the audition. Ta-da, she was free and happy to help. So we banged out the audition and it is now safely in the hands of the LA casting director.

The con of self-taping is, obviously, not being in the room. There is something to be said for feeling chemistry with casting. The casting directors can also give you on-the-spot feedback and notes if you need to go in a different direction with the audition.

The pro of self-taping is that you can get the nerves out before being seen and can do multiple takes if need be, since you are doing it on your time.

Things to consider when self-taping: have an appropriate background, correct lighting, audio (they can hear both you and the reader), make sure you are in frame, and that it is properly labeled with your name, role, project, and contact info.

The moral of this story? When all else fails you can always rely on your family… and modern technology. And at the end of the day, all that matters is that you are getting seen and you are doing great work, in the room or not.

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