Self Tape

5 Key Ingredients For A Successful Self Tape Audition

Whether you’re going to a studio that can produce your self-tape or you plan on doing the tape yourself, there are certain key things you should be thinking of:

#1  Be prepared. If you’ve been given the script days in advance or at least a day in advance, please read the material, study it, and prepare. There is nothing that reads more unprofessional than an actor who is not prepared. It’s a waste of your time, a  waste of time for the person reading with you, and does not leave a good impression amongst casting directors. The idea is not to try and book THIS job, but instead, leave an impression that will keep you in the room for the rest of your life for ALL JOBS, or at least the ones you’re right for.

#2  Show up for yourself at least 15 minutes early. If you do this, you will not be stressed out, you will have a moment in which to breathe and really get into the zone. This same rule applies across the board, even in life. Show up for yourself!

#3  Rehearsal is homework. Keep it this way, this way you don’t spend time trying to figure out how you’re going to execute the scene during your self-tape session. Come prepared and ready to play. Use the time you’ve booked or set aside to try different options that will bring you closer to the success of the scene or scenes.

#4  Be OFF-BOOK! Actors who have properly prepared and have made a choice, walk into the room with little or no doubt, confident (not Ego & Pride) and leave strong impressions with casting directors. This is the same energy you should walk in with when you do your self-tape at a studio or on your own.  Your the casting director for the next few minutes to however much time you spend on the self-tape. So just like them, root for yourself and expect the very best!

#5  TRUST. The most important ingredient for a successful self-tape. Trust that you have what it takes. That it’s in your DNA. That it lives in your spirit. This way, if you’ve prepared and you TRUST, nothing but the very best will show up.

As a side note, when you do your Slate*, make sure to take full control of this moment. Don’t shy away. It’s the one line that isn’t in the script and, it belongs to YOU. It’s truly your moment to shine and show “Who” and “What You Are!”.

*Slate: When you state your name at an audition. For some auditions, this can sometimes be followed by stating the following items: Character Name, Height, Agency, Location of where an actor resides and/or does an actor have a valid Passport. Any other items depending on the project can be added to this list. This is usually stated very clearly in the breakdown or by the casting director in the room.


Register for a Self Tape session at the Victor Cruz Acting Studio.

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Self-Tape At Home vs. Self-Tape at VCAS

Self Tape At Home

If you think I’m going to sit here and bash you for being free and independent, that is not what’s going to happen. I encourage my students, friends and family to be free, independent and the very best within themselves. To go somewhere and have a self-tape done by someone outside of your home costs money, and sometimes, we don’t have it. I’ve been there. So let me show you how to do it on your own:

Step 1: If you have a smartphone with a camera, you’re all set.

Step 2: Find a plain white, gray or blue wall in your home. if you only have orange or fuchsia in your home, that’ll do too.

Step 3: Find someone who can read with you behind that smartphone.

Step 4: The best time to do a self-tape is during the day. You can use the natural light pouring in the window to illuminate your face. Make sure that the window is facing you and not behind you. With a string light behind you, it will create a silhouette and casting directors will not be able to see your face. (If daylight isn’t available to you. Then lamps and room lighting will do the lighting).

Step 5: Read through the scene a few times with the person reading. This way you create a nice flow. Sometimes your reader will be reading for multiple characters, and it’s a good idea for them to be very familiar, this way nothing affects the speed of the scene. Some scenes are for comedies, and require for the rhythm to move fairly quickly. Timing is everything.

Step 6: Hit record, slate if required and begin the scene. Do as many takes as you need, till you feel comfortable.

Step 7: After that, once you’ve decided which take you will submit to casting directors. You can use an app like WeTransfer to send your file. Make sure that your file is not more than 500 MB (Industry standard).

self tape victor cruz studio blog

Self Tape at Victor Cruz Studio

If you decide that you want to do your self-tape at the Victor Cruz Acting Studio, the following will be included:

  • 3 Point Lighting Setup
  • Gray Background
  • Professional Video and Sound Equipment
  • A Coach to encourage and bring out the very best in YOU.
  • MP4 File created of your audition (No more than 500MB) with titles, transitions and scene numbers.
  • All Self-Tapes are emailed via WeTransfer within 1 – 2 hours from actual self-tape.

And that’s it. You’re off and in the mix and have given yourself a chance to be seen by the best.

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For more on Self-Tape and how to book a session click here.

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