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  • sarahvkaufmann

6 Fierce Self Tape Tips to Boost Your Audition Confidence

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

You’ve just been asked to submit a self tape for that company you’ve been aching to work with. But you’ve got a few problems: you’re working full time, your audition pieces are rusty, and you have to send it off in less than a week. Don’t worry, you’re gonna be okay.

Self tapes are both feared and a godsend; you don’t have to worry about forgetting your lines because you can just do another take, but you also have to choose which take’s the best one to send. That level of freedom can be a relief, but if you haven’t quieted down your inner critic, it can be all too easy to get frustrated with never having the right take. Luckily, there are some helpful steps you can take before taping, and during the process to stay calm, cool, and collected. Self tape tips for the prep stage: 1. Do the damn table work. I know, this can be the realllly boring part, but trust me, you don’t want to skip it!

  • You can make it fun by highlighting sections of text to colour code different thoughts/emotions in your character’s journey.

  • Find action verbs that’ll work to propel you throughout your piece.

  • Research the time/place where the play/piece is set. Not only will this give you context, but it’s also super fun to research!

  • Establish a strong moment before, intention during, and moment after. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be strong enough for you to be fully invested consistently.

2. Have a coaching session, or ask a friend/family member to watch your piece If you have go-to coaches, then check in with them to see if they could squeeze you in for a session. Even if it’s just 15-30 minutes, you’ll gain so much insight from an outsider’s perspective. They’ll be able to share their fresh perspective on the piece and push you to stretch in ways you didn’t know you could. If money’s tight, or if you don’t have access to a coach, there’s no need to fret: a trusted friend or family member will do the trick! You should find someone who can be objective, judgement-free, and supportive. The key is to choose someone who’ll both encourage you and give useful feedback to bring your work to the next level.

3. Practice makes perfect! Try different acting exercises, try it doing the exact opposite of how you would usually do it... just try it! If no one’s told you before that A is for Effort, then here I am to do it now. By simply slotting 10-20 minutes of your time to completely focus on your work, you’ll start seeing new ways it can be done, and how you can grow through that. Self tape tips for the big day!

1. Let your roommates and or neighbours know you’ll be filming. Firstly, it’s courteous especially to your roommates who may have to hear you sing the same 16 bar cut of Notice Me, Horton over a dozen times, but it’s also good for them to know to be mindful of their noise. Be sure to check in with them to find the right time to do your filming, and if they also have plans that day, compromise is key! I only really recommend reaching out to neighbours if they’re in close proximity and you’re auditioning for a horror with a lot of screaming or especially loud noises. Make sure everyone’s on the same page.

2. Warm up and listen to music that allows you to get into character

Find some tunes that help you drop into your pieces. Dance if you feel the impulse. Meditate with the music playing if that’s more your speed. Music is the gateway to intense emotions and vibrancy, so use it to your advantage.

Having a routine warm-up can also help your body know that you’re heading into deep work and to be able to properly hold that space for you. Anywhere between 10-15 minutes is a fantastic aim.

3. Take a Deep Breath, and Hit ‘Record’

The time has come! You’re ready for this. Everything you need to create something beautiful and unique is inside you.

Record as many or as few takes as you need. Remember to take a break if you’re feeling frustrated. A quick walk around the block will help separate you from your work mode for a few moments and allow you to come back energized and ready to kill it!

Comment below with your favourite tips to make a self tape a success!

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