5 Tips for Making the Perfect Self-Tape Audition

Every actor must master their auditioning skills to be successful in the business. A strong audition tape can often make or break your career. 

Earlier (before the pandemic had hit us), these auditions would mostly take place in person, against the backdrop of casting agents and screenwriters. However, during the pandemic, production houses resorted to at-home auditions to get the work going. It meant that actors had to send in a self-taped audition. 

Now, since you can record self-tapes at your convenience and as often as possible, casting directors expect nothing less than your best work. This audition should be of the highest quality, as it will accurately show the range you can offer. You can also enroll in the best acting classes in Los Angeles to learn some amazing tips and tricks for nailing a self-taped audition!

Below are the top five tips for making the perfect self-tape audition, as told by acting coaches and experts in the industry!

1. Shoot horizontally: Surely, vertical portraits are ideal for Instagram, however, it is recommended to shoot your audition tape in a horizontal format. If the casting director has requested a full-body slate, ensure you place your camera far enough so that you entirely fit in the frame. 

2. Stay in frame: Frame yourself chest up and do not cut off the top of your head. Make sure not to leave too much empty space above you; shoot a medium close-up. Do not move around too much or step out of focus and/or out of frame. 

Place the camera at eye level and ask the reader to stand to the right or left of the camera to set your eye line. Do not look into the camera except when you slate. 

3. Keep your background clear: Always film in front of a blank background — a white, blue, grey, or another neutral color plain wall works best. The background should not be cluttered, and there should be no furniture or object behind you. The frame should look professional and clean, focusing on you, not your surroundings. 

Please note that if there is no blank wall available, you can get a backdrop kit which is easy to store. Consider your complexion, hair, and the color of your clothes when choosing the backdrop color, as it should put all the attention on you. 

You can also shoot your audition at a self-tape studio near you. 

4. Know your lines: You must fully memorize your lines before you film your self-taped audition; fumbling and forgetful actors rarely make it in the industry. Record another take if you miss a line or a word of the monologue. However, some productions often allow actors to paraphrase the lines or change the sentence midway, so feel free to improvise if you absolutely need to!

In case of a last-minute audition, keep your script in hand and hold it as still as possible. The rustling sounds or the paper showing in the frame can look unprofessional and distracting. 

5. Practice: Self-taping is not as easy as it looks; it requires a lot of skill and practice. If you are filming by yourself, getting the frame right can be difficult while ensuring that the acting is perfect. Therefore, you should spend time practicing your audition setup and change the background, lighting, and equipment as necessary before filming the final cut.

About ‘About the Work Actors Studio’ 

At About The Work Actors Studio, we believe actors must feel safe to perform their best. We reward you for the risks you take and help you master your craft. We push you beyond your comfort zones to level yourself up. Our students choose us because we help bring out the best in them, time and time again. For more information, call 323-741-0155 or write to studio@about-the-work.com.