In Auditioning, Self-Tape, Technique

Oh how things are changing, huh? Lately, so much is being cast off of tape. Which is great I think. We don’t always have a choice, but let’s suppose you do. Which is better – to go into the room to read with casting, or to put your audition on tape? Let’s look at a couple of things.


You might want to consider putting yourself on tape, if:

  • You have nerves! Okay we all do, but if you feel like they get in the way of your best performance more often than not, then why not eliminate that factor, and throw it down on tape? There are ways to remedy those nerves when you do go into the Casting office. We have an entire 6-week, on-camera workshop that addresses this and much more, but for now, take a little pressure off!


  • Your best ‘performance’ isn’t generally on Take 1. Casting may not always have the time to let you do multiple takes. They always, of course, are on your side and pulling for you to do your best. But isn’t it nice to put down tons of takes until you feel you’re truly magnificent? Yeeeees…


  • You feel that expert lighting will be a huge plus to you. Not every tape room in town will have great lighting (Although I insist we have gorgeous lighting in ours!) but it’s probably generally better than you’d get in the Casting office. Let’s put it this way – you can control where you go to tape, but you can’t control someone else’s office.


  • You love the idea of putting down two different versions of the character, and then choosing which to send to casting. Sometimes, until you actually watch a tape back, it’s hard to tell which version of the character is spot on. I’ve seen people choose to send multiple versions of the character, and I’ve seen actors completely change their minds about a take after seeing playback.


All these things just put you in a little more control over what’s seen. However, there are also great reasons to go into the room to read. You might consider this if:

  • You give “really good room.” Meaning, people have told you something like, “Ya know, to meet you, is to love you.” It’s always nice to connect face to face with Casting. They get to know a little bit about you, and vice versa. They might discover something about you and your personality that might translate into a job down the road. It happens.


  • You’ve never met anyone in the Casting office. Granted, you may go in to read for the Casting Associate, but don’t forget that today’s Associate is tomorrow’s Casting Director. It’s always nice to meet and make new friends. Be kind to all!


  • You work really well under pressure and love the adrenaline of going in the room!


Auditioning should actually be FUN. It should not be a dreaded burden. Whether it’s on tape or in the room you should feel like you OWNED IT!! I wish you much success!

Recent Posts