Self Tape request petition

Private User

Anyone agree?

Think Mandy should implement a rule about advertisers not requesting a self-tape on the advert before any shortlisting is done. It is a current and growing trend. While I appreciate it's easier for an employer; it also causes a lot of time wasting. An actors "look" is often the first thing an employer will look at. That's why we all have headshots. If we don't have the right "look" an application is often not looked at, at all. For an actor self-taping takes time and effort - research, learning lines; investigating the script, character analysis etc. This is no problem when an actor knows they have the look an employer is considering and has as good a chance as anyone else but......if we don't have the right "look" in the first place it simply wastes our time.

Tried to send this direct to Mandy - but system only allows 300 characters.

Editorial Comment Hi Aurea,

Thanks for posting. Currently we have a marked increase in the number of jobs requesting self-tapes where they are being used to compensate for the lack of in-person auditions, due to the ongoing situation surrounding Covid-19. It seems likely that this number will go down over the coming months as restrictions are lifted. While we understand this can be frustrating, we do make efforts to mitigate the difficulties they pose. We impose a 2 minute limit on the length of any self-tapes requested, to ensure that what is being requested from actors is not gratuitous in length, and negotiate directly with employers when requests are unreasonably complex or restrictive. You may on occasion see entire scripts linked to job listings, but this is solely for reference rather than for the purpose of self-taping.
If you ever have concerns about the length of a self-tape for a job listing, you can always contact us on and we will investigate. The same is true for any feedback as we continue to develop the service over time.
Kind regards,
The Mandy Admin Team

  • 2 years ago
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I agree and Mandy has totally failed to understand your point. It's not the length of the self tape it is the fact that they want one before they have even looked at us for the part. Potentially wasting our time and theirs if they expect to wade through them all. 100 3 min tapes equates to 5hrs which I sincerely doubt that they are going to view. This is the digital equivalent of an open audition.

  • 2 years ago
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Totally agree with both of you! from initial equipment set up, prep, getting someone to feed you the lines, recording (bearing in mind mistakes) sound, editing, then sending it, sometimes each tape can take upwards of 2 hours from start to finish! & that's just one audition! if you have three your days gone! & some employers might not even look at them!

Plus head-shots are far easier to look at than self tapes.

  • 2 years ago
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Private User
This profile is private

Complete agree and Mandy hasn’t understood your point at all.

  • 2 years ago
  • 3
User Deleted
This profile has been archived

100%, headshots and showreels should be used for shortlisting in the first instance THEN self tapes should be requested. Its seems Mandy have missed your point on purpose. The actors, who pay for the service, should be prioritised not those who just want a bunch of actors putting all the work in for sometimes not even a tape being opened

  • 2 years ago
  • 4

Yes agree, self-tapes only after shortlisting, pleaseeeeee
Also if you are out and about you can’t just send off a quick application.

  • 2 years ago
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Michael Good

Totally agree, we should be prioritised. Headshots cost a lot of money, showreels cost a lot of time and effort to put together. If an employer can't use headshots and showreels to make a shortlist then they're not bright enough or diligent enough to be worth applying to.

  • 2 years ago
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Private User
This profile is private

Agree with everything here, such a waste of actors time and to be honest if it continues to become more common place as I’ve seen recently, I shall just stop paying for the service and stick to other sites, which I imagine a lot of others will too. I’m just staying away from those applications now as well. If there is a petition, I shall sign!

  • 2 years ago
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Private User
This profile is private

Thanks everyone who has replied so far.

Dear Mandy Editorial team - thanks for your comment. However I didn't mention the length of a self tape because, for the point I am making, it is irrelevant. An actors prep and set up time is significant even for 30 seconds. It is the fact one is requested BEFORE an employer has even looked at our headshots / showreels (at application) as to our suitability for the part advertised.
It is this point that I (and it looks like others too) would like addressing.
Look forward to your feedback.

  • 2 years ago
  • 8

It seems to me that production companies are trying to push the boundaries to see what actors will endure, and whilst a bit of tension between all parties is a healthy thing in business, it does rankle that those who are supposed to be arbiters in this arena aren't exactly playing fair and unbiased themselves. What they should be pointing out is that for every request for a self-tape recording a long-winded monologue with precious little in the way of back-story or direction or, for that matter, time to deadline, the less rich is the pool of talent from which they can pick their next star, and thus what might have been an award-winning blockbuster becomes a slightly-regarded straight-to-video affair which has many a viewer lamenting for the time which would have been better spent with a mace, a jackhammer and some Vaseline.

After all, whilst many people have a lot more time on their hands than is necessarily good for them these days, the group most likely to subject themselves to the tribulations of speculative self-taping is comprised largely of starry-eyed enthusiasts who, with the best will in the world, might not be better cast than those who truly know their worth is not necessarily measured in eagerness to please.

  • 2 years ago
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Melissa Hartzel
Actor, Talent

I completely agree with you Aurea and Mandy have totally missed the point. Mandy please also take note of the comment above from Andrew as this will affect the quality of your service from the producers perspective as well as the actors.

Also, Mandy, I’m very annoyed with your 2 minute self tape rule which is not disclosed on a job listing. This week I took the time to record a self tape and after I uploaded it I went to watch it back and my performance was cut off at the two minute mark but the scene I filmed went on for longer than this which means part of my self tape got cut off. This is very frustrating! Please remove this two minute rule as all self tapes have different requirements.

Mandy please recommend that your advertisers use showreels for the first round of castings and then shortlist for self tapes. If actors are on other shoots then how can we have time to self tape. Also listings sometimes close quickly with no warning so once a self tape has been filmed us actors sometimes find the listing has disappeared.

  • 2 years ago
  • 10

I agree with everything people are saying. The worst part of it for me is the poor reader. It's bad enough wasting my own time let alone someone else's!

Is there a petition? It might be worth starting one if not? :)

  • 2 years ago
  • 11

Agree with everything everyone is posting on this thread (with the notable exception of Mandy themselves...hmmm, it's *almost* like they're wilfully not getting it, wouldn't you say?). Something else some of you might not have spotted is that as soon as you do upload a self-tape it shows as having '1' play, so if you don't later see a playcount of 2 or more you know it hasn't actually been watched.

Something I will do from time to time though is simply reupload my showreel in the selftape slot adding a note that I'm very happy to provide a self-tape if shortlisted based on that.

  • 2 years ago
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Rushma Thapa

I couldn't agree more! Not only is it my time being wasted but also my poor reader friends.

  • 2 years ago
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Nelson. E Ward
Actor, Singer, Talent

Under normal circumstances you are not called in to audition until the casting director has looked at your headshot and showreel. This should be the case BEFORE you are asked to spend time and effort making any sort of self tape. This will preclude wasting unnecessary time and effort, if after making a self tape, you are not the right type they want anyway.

  • 2 years ago
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Rushma has hit another nail on the head the reader who maybe isn't an actor/actress & has to take time out of their work day/commitments to help you feed the lines. Horrible for all!!!

  • 2 years ago
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There’s also a lot of inexperienced people on the productions side that think that a self tape is just a new way to audition. A bit like when everyone insisted on a monologue.

  • 2 years ago
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Niki Mylonas

Agree. Some of my applications with a self-tape have never even been looked at. And how long should these tapes be left on one's profile taking up space? I have started to delete them once into the following month.

  • 2 years ago
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Don’t get me wrong, I think self tapes have really helped us actors save costs and time travelling to & from auditions. And for the production company saves time and money booking out rooms to audition.

But this mass self tape application is counter productive for all parties.

Hopefully Mandy will take this onboard.

  • 2 years ago
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Personally, I don't like self-tapes anyway. It's okay if it's just me, because I've got a good camera, plain background etc - but when it's a duologue or more complicated things start getting a bit too much. I live alone, and don't have any actor colleagues on hand to call up to devote time to acting out the scene with me, so I can either do the other parts myself or get the computer or a 'phone app to read them - neither of which produces very convincing results and therefore I'm just blowing raspberries at a volcano. It becomes more an editing project then, anyway. Far better for me to schlep down to a studio and do it in front of real people; that's what the eventual job entails, anyway, unless it's one of those work from home things. I'm more of a people person anyway - and especially with this forced isolation, self-taping is just rubbing it in...

  • 2 years ago
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Completely agree, well said. Mandy, please take this on board, it is a waste of everyone's time, including the employer.
I have absolutely no objection to doing self tapes on invitation after one round of casting, but I make it a point not to do them at the first round.

  • 2 years ago
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