Tips for better Self-Taping

In the run up to the third annual CDA Casting Awards, celebrating the art of casting and honouring the work of the casting director, we have gathered the best tips from some of this year's nominees.

Self-Tape Tips by Nicci Topping

1) I've never done a self-tape - where do I start?

Well the first thing - you must have a decent phone - Android, Apple or a camera - place on a tripod or hold the phone landscape and make sure you have another actor reading in for you. Make sure you have good lighting and a grey or white backdrop - no need to splash out, a sheet will do or a plain wall. Now that you have the setting, make sure you have learnt your lines and you’re ready to go. I would recommend you do it 2 times. Ask your agent to ask the casting director for as much information as possible, if you don’t already have.

2) What are the most common mistakes you see actors make with self-tapes?

  1. They can be too rushed.
  2. The sound and lighting are not so good.
  3. The phone is held the wrong way!

3) The scene I've been sent is a duologue - should I pause or get someone to read in?

Get someone to read in, it really helps. However, actors often try and self-tape with a friend or relative who is not an actor. This can spoil the fluidity of the auditioning actor's delivery and detract from the whole audition. You should try and get a little circle of actors who can help each other out on self-tapes.

Nicci Topping has been a professional casting director for 20 years across film, TV, commercials and music promos. Her commercials work includes many household names including Gucci, Nike, Facebook, John Lewis and Amazon. Her promo work includes Paul McCartney and Chase and Status - Blind Faith. Nicci is also a firm advocate of education in the industry and runs a series of workshops and is a popular blogger, helping aspiring actors develop their career.

Nominated for: Best Children’s Casting, Best Casting of a Charity Commercial, Best Casting of a Short Film.

Not a member yet? Join The Mandy Network today!