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Dance-tress Acting Up: Self-Taping Your Audition

I write this blog out of pure annoyance. And, I use the term “annoying” because I understand that I am not performing brain surgery or serving our country. Thank you to those that do! I am lucky enough to even pursue a career in entertainment, so my “problems” aren’t really that bad, just an annoying inconvenience.

Annoying = Monday mornings. I woke up at 10:45am for my 11am dentist appointment. Whoa! First of all, I slept till 10:45! That hasn’t happened in years. I’m not exaggerating when I say my weekends are crazy busy. Turns out, I set my alarm for pm. So, I was late for my appointment which also meant I was going to be late to my 3pm meeting. Then, I had to figure out how to find 45 minutes to run to my friends house so that I could borrow her computer (I get mine back TOMORROW) to upload my current auditions video. It had been sitting around my room since Friday. It was due at 6pm today.

After pushing my meeting back an hour and almost getting into a car accident, I found myself roaming some building in Sherman Oaks to get to my meeting. Well, the address listed on Google is different than the address actually listed on the company’s website - Burbank. So, I missed my meeting.

This brings me to the real topic of this blog - self taping auditions. Do you love them or hate them? I straddle the fence on whether I like them or not. 

I LOVE them because-

  1. If I mess up, I have the luxury to press stop and go again. I have the ability to improve/correct things I didn’t like. 
  2. I like not having to drive anywhere. Rush through traffic.  Worry about parking. Ugh, how many times have you walked out of an audition to find a parking ticket on your car?
  3. I like not having to set up my printer to print my resume. Or run to CVS to have a picture made. Yes, you can have them made in bulk, but that is an extra $100 I don’t have right now. Also, I’m earth friendly so it’s nice to conserve paper.  
  4. If you are easily able to make a tape, then this option saves a lot of time. 

Now, time for the reasons I can’t stand self taping auditions.

  1. Not everyone owns a video camera.  What about using your computers webcam? Um, who remembers my sob story last week about not having a functioning computer or web cam. 
  2. “Well, then ask a friend to borrow theirs”. OK. Try linking schedules with that one person who volunteers their computer for a small period of time during the 3 day time frame given. Sounds like plenty of time, but its not. 
  3. Better hope they are also actors because asking your friend who is a student/full time worker to help you run lines may be hard to come across. Then use their computer for the next 30 mins. This includes the time it takes to tape, upload to your computer, convert to an acceptable format and size, then send it off to casting. You will owe a lot of lunches after the 10th time you ask. 
  4. Sometimes finding a reader is hard. Yes, I have tried recording the other characters lines with my phone in an attempt to create a dialogue. Man, I can’t even tell you how many times that didn’t work. 
  5. Self taping is becoming more and more common. Is it simply because producers can see more people in less amount of time? ”One of these 7,000 entries will be ‘the ONE’ ”. Is this the modern day “cattle call”?
  6. Or as some would say (not me, don’t blacklist me!) casting directors are becoming lazy

Just tonight I was supposed to upload my tape before my 9am deadline tomorrow. After having many of the above issues, I came to the conclusion that I would have to let this one go and decline the audition invite. Funny enough, when I got online, there was an email in my inbox pushing the deadline back to 6pm. Guess I wasn’t the only one having these problems and hadn’t received many. 

How do you feel about this type of audition? What are your thoughts? Any crazy stories?