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Self-Tapes for an Audition: Here’s 4 Tips for Practicing

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Many times, casting directors will ask for a self-tapes for an audition from actors when posting available roles.  A prerecorded audition allows the CD to quickly go through potential candidates and watch and rewatch submissions as needed.  Self-tapes are becoming more and more popular as technology has become an integral piece of the audition process and practicing before finalizing a self-taped audition is key to getting follow-up call.

Here’s the first tip for creating a self-taped audition

First and foremost, it’s important to find adequate time to do some practicing before you turn on the camera.  One of the best ways to do so is to perform your lines in front of a mirror.  This allows you to see what the CD will see without the added pressure of creating footage.  Recite your monologue in front of the mirror as many times as you’d like before taking the process to the next level, tweaking anything that needs to be along the way.

Practicing for an self-taped audition

Here’s the second tip for creating a self-taped audition

You might also want to have a friend watch you while you’re practicing.  This should be someone that is going to give you genuine, unfiltered feedback that will help you to improve along the way.  At the same time, you’ll want to select someone who doesn’t make you feel too anxious, which could compromise your performance.  You can ask a trusted your friend or family member to tape you on their phone after a few tries, so you can get some guided feedback while reviewing the recording.

Here’s the third tip for creating a self-taped audition

When you’re ready, get the camera set up and recite your lines while it’s rolling.  Then, play back the footage taken while practicing as often as you’d like and see what you think.  You can record your self-taped audition as many times as is necessary to feel like you’ve really nailed it.  Allowing others to also view the tape once you feel it’s ready to submit can allow you to get additional, last minute insight into your strengths and opportunities for improvement. 

Practicing for an self-taped audition

Here’s the fourth tip for creating a self-taped audition

When you play back your self-taped audition tape and/or are receiving feedback from others, make sure you jot down some notes regarding areas that may require additional focus.  This will help you hone your skills with continued practicing so you can offer the best submission possible.  Remember, the notes are only for you and are meant to help you grow through the process.  They’re not meant to be an unhealthy critique of your acting abilities. 

Reviewing your self-tape before submitting a final version to the casting director is a vital piece of the audition process.  Even if you’re scheduled for an in-person audition, you can be practicing these steps ahead of time to better prepare for the actual event.  Watching yourself perform give you a solid understanding of where you should focus your energy on improving your craft, so that once you’re in front of the project’s decision-maker, you’ll have a great shot at getting booked.

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