Facebook Live: Perfecting Your Self-Tape & Audition

Our industry continues to evolve during this climate and the ways in which actors are harnessing virtual auditions and self-tapes, as well as how casting directors are finding talent, will have a long-lasting effect on the sector. From perfecting your self-tape and audition to understanding what a casting director wants from an actor in this climate, we decided to life the lid and chat with two titans in our industry.

During our recent Facebook Live, we were joined by renowned casting directors Kate Evans CDA and Sophie Holland CSA! They have years of experience and have cast top TV series and films for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and more, as well as commercial for clients such as DreamWorks and McDonald’s. Kate and Sophie were on hand to discuss how you can nail aspects of your career during lockdown, as well as offering top tips that you can take through your acting career. You can check out our full conversation below, or watch it on our Facebook page.

Mandy’s Business Development Executive in the UK, Rob Stevenson, posed questions to our panel, some of which were submitted by the Mandy community. Check out just some of their useful pieces of information and advice below.

Sophie: “For far too long this industry has felt inaccessible to anyone but those with money. The stories I want to hear are the stories told by people of different walks of life, who speak with different accents, come from different socioeconomic backgrounds - those are the people I am after.” 

Kate: “I love when actors enter an audition and play the role in a dynamic way. You can still adhere to the true essence of the character, but actors are to bring creativity. It’s all about openness and rawness, allowing your personal acting style to come through.” 

Sophie: “When auditioning virtually and submitting self-tapes, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera and other pieces of equipment, nor do you need to spend a lot of money on training for various skills. This can be a difficult industry and people should be saving their money in times like this. If your acting talent shines through, there is room to train you if you are hired.” 

Kate: “There is so much undiscovered talent out there and talent can be anywhere. Formal training does help and it gives you important tools, but it doesn't matter to me what training school you went to, as long as I can see you know how to grasp a character. To me, it's a level playing field.” 

Sophie: “The most exciting auditions I've seen are from actors who approach it as a collaboration between them and the casting director. This comes through confidence and experience, but letting your raw energy shine through will always allow you to stand out.” 

Kate: “With a CV it’s hugely important to make sure everything is up to date. This may be our first introduction to you, so your playing age must be accurate and your credits must be up to date. This goes for headshots too - they need to be fairly recent and accurately show you as you.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who tuned in to our Facebook Live! A huge thanks is also in order to our panel. They offered an incredible insight into how you can perfect your self-tape and virtual audition, as well as understanding the key developments within the industry.

Tree Keston

Kate is an award-winning casting director with over 20 years experience working alongside the best directors, photographers and brands in the advertising industry. She casts for UK and global commercial, campaigns, TV and film. Kate's projects include casting for DreamWorks, McDonald's, Lego and Argos.

Sophie is a renowned casting director specialising in film and TV. She has cast a variety of projects for Netflix, including hit series The Witcher, Young Wallander, as well as Madiba on BET, The Peripheral on Amazon Prime Video and the BAFTA-winning series Dixi for CBBC.