Tips for Self-Tape Auditions

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Who knew that nailing an audition could actually happen at home. Knowing how to successfully self-tape an audition matters much more today, and every rising star should be prepared to knock-em-dead with a polished videotape. Most phones and mobile devices are outfitted with stellar high fidelity specs that add instant professional polish to videos. Casting Directors are trending towards asking for self-taped auditions before having actors audition in person, and this method will likely become a more permanent fixture of the casting process in the future.

The tips and tricks below will help any actor put their best foot forward and submit a self-taped audition that stands out!

Make Sure What You Wear is Intentional Keep in mind that just because you are making a recording at home doesn’t mean that you should record your video in your pajamas. If any wardrobe guidelines are in the self-taping instructions, don’t cut corners–be sure to follow them completely. Take it a step further by thinking about what your character would wear and then make it true to you.

Always make sure to err on the side of caution when it comes to hair and makeup choices, but if your character has obvious style points that you can bring to the forefront by wearing a tie, suit, slicking back your hair, wearing glasses, or adopting any other small details, feel free to incorporate it into your look. Staying away from patterns is recommended, and choosing bright colors that pop will make you stand out.

Record More Than One Take One and done is not a recommended route for self-taping auditions, and if time is on your side, utilize it. Mastering the balance between staying loose while staying in the frame may take some practice, so make sure to watch each take critically and submit your best one. It can take a few minutes to really warm-up and get into the character, so going through your lines right before taping will also help you to film solid takes. It’s an absolute must to memorize all lines. If you forget a line or have to look at your script, re-film the entire segment. Thorough preparation will help you to avoid snafus when you are ready to film. Staying loose and making sure that the correct emotional tones come across clearly are some of the most important parts of your video.

Put on Your Production Hat Make sure to flex your production skills in order to fine-tune your taping. This means that lighting should be planned in advance, the background for your set and where you will film in your house should be determined, and final decisions on hair and makeup need to be completed. Problems are often not caught until you film.

The room may come across darker than you thought, or you might have to change up the background, so giving yourself plenty of time to work out the kinks is advisable. You may have to move some furniture around, and if you find yourself taping often, purchasing a ring light or more general lighting for your environment is an investment in your future.

Follow Through Until the End Finally, be sure to submit your video on time and in the final format that is requested. Give yourself plenty of time to work through any potential issues you may encounter when sending or uploading content. Make sure to always have a backup plan, and once you receive the assignment, find out if there are any alternatives such as uploading to an online cloud storage platform and sharing the link if the file is too large. Your contact information should be included with your submission, and make sure to write a short professional email if you are sending your submission through that medium.

Based on your interest in this article, we think you should check out these programs ATC has build for students just like you:

Self-Tape Success (In-Person)

January 23rd

In-Person Workshop | Sunday 2:00-6:00pm | Ages: Open To All | $300/family (1 student + 1 parent/guardian)


Do you stress out every time your child has an audition? Hate having to be the reader? ATC is here to help you create a home self-tape set up that works for you and your family. We’ll teach you how to stage, light, and shoot professional quality self-tapes from home so that auditions can be fun once again.

Breaking Into the Business

January 16th

In-Person Workshop | Sunday 2:00-6:00pm | Ages: Open To All | $175 ($75/per additional person)

Instructors: Carole Dibo & Christina Ramirez, Siobhan Reddy-Best (Casting Agent, @10mgmt ), & Kaitlyn Shaw (Casting Director, CSA)


Whether you've got a kid whose dream is to act, have taken a break from the business, or have always harbored a curiosity for what it's like to be a working actor -- this seminar is for you. Join ATC's founder/executive director Carole Dibo and her team who will walk you through the A to Z's of Breaking into the Business. The last hour of the workshop features an exclusive panel of working industry guests (agents, casting directors, and more) so you can get your questions answered first hand. This workshop is not to be missed.

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