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course title badgeSelf-tapes

Actors Toolkit Mastery

What Are Self-tapes?

Self-tapes are a way for actors to audition remotely for a role without physically being present at the casting office. In a self-tape audition, you record yourself performing the audition scenes on camera and then submit the video via email to your agent or casting director for review. With self-tapes, you can control the lighting, the sound, the angle, and the timing of your audition. You can also edit and review your video before submitting it.

The Rise of Self-tapes

Self-tapes have taken over the industry in recent years due to advances in technology and the convenience they offer both actors and casting directors. Not only do they allow actors to audition for roles that may be outside of their geographical area and to have more control over their audition performance, but they also give casting directors the flexibility to review auditions on their own time and to consider a wider pool of talent for a role. According to a survey by Backstage, 87% of actors prefer self-tapes over in-person auditions. Some of the most successful actors today, such as Zendaya and Tom Holland, landed their breakthrough roles through self-tapes.

The Basics of Self-tapes

A good self-tape audition requires a few things. You need a camera that has a good picture and sound. Use your phone, tablet, or digital camera for this. You also need a bright and quiet place to record your video. Natural light from a window or a softbox lighting setup will do the trick. The background should be plain and not too colorful. You should use a blanket, a curtain, or a sheet for this. Another thing you need is to follow the instructions from the casting director. They will tell you what scenes to act out, how to make your video, and when to send it.


Self-tapes are a useful tool for actors and casting directors alike and have become an important part of the audition process in the acting industry. In the next lesson, we'll be teaching you how you can create your own self-tape setup. This step is important for many reasons, as it not only opens the door for submitting auditions, but also enables you to practice acting in the comfort of your own home.