Top 5 Self Tape Tips (with Leslie Zaslower from Buchwald) — MN Acting Studio






1. You must have a quality home set-up. That includes a tripod and flattering lighting. For once you get to control the environment and how you look in all auditions, be inspired by that. Invest in your future. 

2. We have all adjusted to what is acceptable and successful for a self tape. Prior to the pandemic, a virtual reader was often distracting from a performance. Now it’s the norm and the decision makers have fully adjusted. Trust in that.

Your job is to not only deliver the best quality tape, but more importantly a stellar and stand out performance. That fact remains the same and always will.

Put in the work! This includes reading the script (if available) before every first round audition (don’t wait for the callback). Find your way to allow natural conversations to occur within the scripted dialogue and hold your choices, no matter who your reader is. And to that point, find the best reader for you. That reader might not be in your house or within your bubble. It could be a friend across the country or a coach on the other side of the world. Distance no longer matters, take advantage of that. 

3. Dress as if you are walking into a casting office. Wear shoes, don’t wear PJ bottoms and bring forth your best self. 

4. This experience is not unique to you. No actors/performers are auditioning in casting offices for film and TV. That means, the playing field is wider and level. So, don’t feel defeated if you never had the chance to read for a Casting Director in LA because you live in another region. Now everyone is in the same darn boat. But, also be realistic that you need to exude accessible/enjoyable confidence if you want the team to trust that you can handle a leading role on their project.

5. Reminder: self tapes work and have for a few decades now. The new world of virtual chemistry reads and live video conference tests are working! People are successfully booking this way and they are now on set. This includes new faces/discoveries and seasoned/established actors.  In film and TV we are one of the few industries safely back to work. So, get busy and be excited. 

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