Jumping through hoops ....

  • Wayne Newport

    Actor

    Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how job adverts are demanding more and more from applicants?

    I appreciate that everyone wants the very best person for the job - but let's be realistic. I've seen loads of jobs posted where an applicant needs to supply their CV, headshot and showreel, as well as recording a voice-over or self-tape. For this, the job will pay you £70 or less and you'll be expected to attend an audition and, assuming you get the role, get yourself to the job and provide your own refreshments.

    Does anyone respond to these type of adverts or do you just ignore them? Or, has the industry changed and I'm just being unrealistic?

    • 4th Jan 2021
    • 1630
    • 30
  • Nicola Howard

    Actor

    Hi Wayne

    It's not just you! I have been finding jobs ask you to provide a selftape on application alot now. I've done a number of these and find they often don't even get watched! I just don't have time to do this most days, especially if no one even looks at them!

    I would rather they shortlisted first..

    Nicola

    • 15th Sep 2020
    • 1
  • David Vale

    Actor

    Generally I ignore them. I did apply to a £150 job but said my minimum was £250. They then readvertised at £350 and gave me the job! Odd.

    I think that requiring a selftape with the initial application represents a huge waste of effort. I did complete one a couple of months ago (Spotlight, not Mandy) for a five minute monologue but was obviously not going to learn it - used autocue software to read it. I got the job and asked the director about the response. He received about 80 selftapes and said he watched them all.

    • 16th Sep 2020
    • 2
  • Stu Jackson

    Actor

    I'm a great fan of self tapes. It gives us the chance to do multiple takes to audition, we don't need to trek to a casting studio, and of course with the Covid situation it helps keep us safer!

    The hoops being asked to jump through for roles increasing however is a direct result of the industry being over-saturated. I'm old enough to remember the days when being an Equity member was a prerequisite to go for a professional production, and one had to prove they were professional through qualification or experience to be a member. I'm no fan of closed shop unions (now illegal in the UK), but in the unique case of Equity, they acted as a de facto regulating body. Now any amateur can claim to be an actor, and it's destroying the industry in my view. :-(

    • 29th Sep 2020
    • 3
  • Nicola Howard

    Actor

    Hi Stu

    I’m a fan of self-tapes too. But should you have to do a self-tape just to apply for the job? Yesterday I spent some time doing an elaborate self-tape for a job on here, in between working and ferrying my kids around. When I went to apply with my finished tape the job had been taken down and I could no longer apply!! What a waste of my time! Obviously like you say, the industry is so saturated that they had already received more than enough tapes from applicants who have more time on their hands than I do.

    It makes me so sad.

    • 29th Sep 2020
    • 4
  • Stu Jackson

    Actor

    I completely agree Nicola. I understand that within minutes a CD can be overwhelmed with responses, which makes it much more of a lottery (whether we happen to be available there and then to self tape) than one would hope for.

    Under normal times, I would like to think that a self tape is a useful tool to short list people you might bring into a casting studio. They still need to see how you are in eprson, whether you can take direction, how you look under their lighting, etc etc etc. With Covid however, I think a self tape is a good way to cast. If needs be, maybe backed up with a zoom call?

    • 29th Sep 2020
    • 5
  • Mike Capozzola

    Actor

    Wayne. I write them off as clowns. Utter unrealistic on their end.

    • 30th Sep 2020
    • 6
  • Mike Capozzola

    Actor

    AND speaking of hoops: While our self-tapes can simply be streamed, our reels must be downloaded at the other end to be seen on MANDY. This extra step is a nuisance for the casting person who often gets a few hundred applications for just one role.

    • 30th Sep 2020
    • 7
  • Mike Capozzola

    Actor

    AND speaking of hoops: While our self-tapes can simply be streamed, our reels must be downloaded at the other end to be seen on MANDY. This extra step is a nuisance for the casting person who often gets a few hundred applications for just one role.

    • 30th Sep 2020
    • 8
  • Kerri Hedley-Cheney

    Actor

    What I am seeing a lot of is requests that are so specific - 25 year old woman with 4 year old son. Woman must be able to hula hoop and be registered disabled with scars. No acting experience necessary. I mean honesty, these are appearing more and more - on spotlight too!

    • 30th Sep 2020
    • 9
  • Mike Capozzola

    Actor

    “Mr. Capozzola, the role of 'veteran detective' calls for a six-foot American actor, early 50's, with a New York accent, salt & pepper hair and a comedy background who is ALSO gender fluid. Do you in fact identify as gender fluid?”

    "I do NOW!"

    • 30th Sep 2020
    • 10
  • Rosanne Priest

    Actor

    I completely agree. To be clear, I've absolutely no objection to doing self-tapes, but I dislike doing them at the first round of application, and I think it would be beneficial to all concerned if the function to ask for them at the application stage was removed from the site - it only results in wasted time on everybody's part. I'm more than happy to spend time doing a self tape on request, when I'm actually suitable for the role and in with a chance, but I resent spending time filming them when they are never even watched.

    The other thing I find incredibly frustrating, is when employers request things that the casting platform doesn't actually allow. For example, please apply with a full length photo/family photo/selfie/range of facial expressions/picture of your dog... etc... or whatever the request may be, but you can only select one, professionally taken headshot to apply, and you're not even allowed to upload some of the other things I've seen requested.

    • 4th Oct 2020
    • 11
  • Stu Jackson

    Actor

    Roseanne - the way around this s that I have found is to put a photo ‘montage’ scene at the end of the self tape. I agree it’s frustrating not to be able to attach more than one photo though!

    • 4th Oct 2020
    • 12
  • Emmy McMorrow

    Actor

    OMG - THIS! I just wrote to mandy about it.

    The self tape function may help new actors (and by that read: not always, but often people not trained, not serious, just giving-it-a go) but it also means one does loads of lost hours & work by companies who dont even watch them as you they can see from your headshot they dont have the look you want!?!?!

    This is Mandy's fault for introducing this function.

    There is no need.

    Do the work in shortlisting your actors THEN ask for self tapes.

    You do realise we can see when youve not viewed our tapes as it still remains green?

    GRRRRr! ha ha x

    • 17th Dec 2020
    • 13
  • Rosanne Priest

    Actor

    I'm glad it's not just me, Emmy.

    At this point, I won't do self-tapes on application (with very rare exceptions).

    One round of casting is the least casting directors can do, to be honest.

    Sometimes I think those asking for a self tape at the first round are just on a power trip. Or they're so inexperienced they don't know any better. Either way, I don't really want to work for a company so willing to waste so many people's time.

    • 17th Dec 2020
    • 14
  • Emmy McMorrow

    Actor

    Totally true Girl! xxx

    • 17th Dec 2020
    • 15
  • Kerri Hedley-Cheney

    Actor

    Often, when I see a casting on here that requires a self tape as an initial selection process, I just roll my eyes and scroll past! Self taping requires a time consuming set up. Make up on, tripod set up,, fully charged phone, sometimes a reader (or recording the other part on another device), ring light, then usually several takes until you are happy with it...all for it to not even be viewed! A testimonial type self tape requires the same level of faff too - we are not machines, nor are we always in a position to be able to self tape immediately! If an email comes in with a suitable role I am often not even at home, let alone in a position to whip out a tripod, get the lighting and conditions right and bash out a tape of any quality at all!

    • 18th Dec 2020
    • 16
  • Andrew Gruffudd

    Actor

    Could be worse.

    I mean, with a self-tape requirement you can put one together with a bit of diligence. It's a pain in the vernacular, to be sure, to be asked to provide mother's maiden name, bank details and the make of your bathroom accoutrements, but you measure it against how much you want the role and whether the pay-off is worth the game, at the end of the day.

    But what twists my lemon is when people advertise in a slap-dash manner and thus waste everyone's time, including their own. I just saw an advertisement for a job whose deadline was yesterday, and it was posted with just a quarter of an hour remaining of the day. I would have told them my time machine is in a garage which was demolished three years hence, but they wouldn't get the joke. Slightly less offensive is the advertisement I saw for actors to play a specific role and, once opened up, you find out they want a specific type of actor which doesn't mesh with your profile. It may be a minor inconvenience singly, but even a drip of water can wear a hole in a rock if it's brung its chums...

    • 31st Dec 2020
    • 17
  • Andrew Gruffudd

    Actor

    And to Mr Copozzola's point, I'm not gay but £300 is £300...

    • 1st Jan 2021
    • 18
  • Stu Jackson

    Actor

    I hate to point this out, but gender does not bear any relation to sexuality.

    Like, at all.

    • 1st Jan 2021
    • 19