Self Taping Tips

Here are Richard's top tips for successful self taping...


  • As with any audition, learn any material you are sent thoroughly before putting it on tape


  • Make sure the room in which you shoot your tape is quiet, echo-free and light enough. Try to also have a plain or neutral background behind you, so that you are the main focus.


  • Sit to shoot your scenes, rather than standing, as this will ensure your face is in shot the whole time.


  • Ensure your camera (or mobile phone or tablet) is on a tripod or other steady surface to avoid shaking and is level with your face.


  • It's much easier to have a friend with you to operate the camera and read in the lines of other characters (fellow actors are especially useful for this).  


  • Do test shots of each scene and play them back to check picture and sound quality before actually shooting a take (you might actually end up using some of them).


  • Introduce yourself with your name and agent (or personal contact details), mention which character you're reading and introduce each scene to separate them.


  • Separate each take with a note of the scene and take number, like a clapperboard, followed by a second or two of silence. Write down the numbers of the takes you think are useable, so you can view them after shooting. 


  • Your performance will be fresher the fewer takes you do, so concentrate and keep going. Only take short breaks to refresh if you really need to.


  • The eyes say it all, so make sure they are emoting, rather than looking down and reading from the script.


  • Editing is far  easier if you shoot a whole scene as one, rather than picking up mid-take, so if you make a mistake, start again.


  • When you have the best take for each scene, Edit them cleanly and put all the scenes onto one file, as this will make it easier to send, and view.


  • Be sure to adhere to the sending or upload methods that have been requested and send the finished product as far before the specified deadline as you can.


and finally...


  • Do at least one dummy run before you are actually asked to self tape, so that you're fully prepared whenever the need arises.


Good luck!



There's a chapter on self taping in Auditions: The Complete Guide and lots more step-by-step advice on the most effective ways to put yourself on tape in the eBook, Self Taping: The Actor's Guide and its website,



Go to the DOWNLOADS page to get a printable copy of these tips, to keep with you and remind you whenever you have to self tape and a self taping checklist to fill in and tick off.