Top Tips on Self-taping by Casting Director Manuel Puro

"Preparation is the key to success in any field, and that’s especially true with acting. Your next audition could change your life – you need to be fully prepared for it." - Manuel Puro

Casting director Manuel Puro has worked in casting for over twenty years for films such as Moon, The Machine, Thick As Thieves and Heartless. He regularly runs masterclasses designed to help actors master the technical skills of self-taping, develop analysing skills to create interesting characters that stand out, and utilise tools to strengthen memory and learn lines at short notice.

During a Mandy Surgery session, Manuel Puro gave FREE 1-2-1 tailored career advice to Mandy Actors, and shared some of his top tips for self-taping, contacting casting directors and creating a photo gallery.

Tips for self-taping

  • Frame close in on your face - your eyes are the most important element so we want to see them clearly.
  • Learn to compress your file and label it sensibly.
  • Be bold with self-tapes, don’t be afraid to do something different - own the character.
  • Learn to enjoy self-taping - see it as just another way of doing what you love.

Tips on contacting Casting Directors

  • Attend workshops and build up your own network of casting directors and other actors. Find out how casting directors like to be approached.
  • If a casting director is open to receiving emails from actors, write every 6-8 weeks to remind them that you are still alive. It's better to email during normal office hours.
  • If you don't receive a response don't take it personally, but if your email lands at the right time remember it can help the casting director - we need you.

Tips on creating a Photo Gallery

  • Make sure you have headshots with a variety of different angles otherwise the casting director might think you have something to hide.

Don’t give up!

Read feedback from surgery attendees:

Really useful. He was very nice and relaxed.Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet him.’ (Thomasin Lockwood)

Really helpful. Interesting to found out how he looks at CVs and what’s important for him. Wonderful guy, really supportive.’ (Kat Sellner)

Lovely! Informal, relaxed and confidence-boosting. What a great guy. Lots of tips for the next steps to take and will definitely be using the advice!’ (Jessica McClellan)

I found it very helpful, he answered the questions I had, which will definitely be useful for me going forward. He was very friendly so I felt really relaxed. I am really glad I got to come to this surgery, it is really good to see casting directors as human beings, to take the pressure out of meeting them in an audition situation. ’ (Rachael Laboucarie)

Fantastic! Manuel was incredibly generous with his time and advice. I was really keen to find out how the casting process transpires from a CD’s point of view and Manuel expertly made me feel at ease and was wonderfully open.’ (Adam Jessop)

Really lovely relaxed session and chance to meet Manuel, good to get some feedback on headshots and basically how he works.’ (Hannah Boyde)

‘Manuel immediately put me at ease and was very welcoming. The session was very useful, I felt that Manuel was very honest and sincere. I appreciated the advice I was given, which I think was very constructive. Manuel has given me some new goals. This is great for me and has given me a new focus.’ (Roisin Monaghan)

Did you know that these events are FREE for Premium The Mandy Network members? Keep an eye on all upcoming Mandy Surgeries and apply to be in with a chance of meeting acclaimed industry professionals.