A Theatre Gal Learns to Self-Tape

I've recently gotten into auditioning for on-camera work and often am requested to submit a self taped audition. Eleven months ago I had never done a self taped audition, and there has been a steep learning curve! 

I've included stills of some of my self-tapes below. All of these were shot on my iPhone 6S, and edited on iMovie. I have zero training in any filming or editing, other than trial and error, and a few youtube clips

 This is a still from my first one. As you can see the light on my face is okay, as I was in front of a window and had natural light, but the living room (and the messy desk) are a bit distracting.

This is a still from my first one. As you can see the light on my face is okay, as I was in front of a window and had natural light, but the living room (and the messy desk) are a bit distracting.

 I moved to shooting in front of my wall, but I don't love the beige color, and since I often have to tape myself while my daughter is sleeping, this evening shot isn't great lighting--there are shadows and it is too dark and unfocused.

I moved to shooting in front of my wall, but I don't love the beige color, and since I often have to tape myself while my daughter is sleeping, this evening shot isn't great lighting--there are shadows and it is too dark and unfocused.

 Here I used my softbox lights and white backdrop for the first time. The shot is so much crisper!

Here I used my softbox lights and white backdrop for the first time. The shot is so much crisper!

 This one I shot last night. I wanted to see what a gray backdrop would look like. I used a bed sheet! I like the more neutral color over the white, but next time want to make sure it's recently washed and dried so there are fewer wrinkles! This was shot around 9pm, and I love how the light looks.

This one I shot last night. I wanted to see what a gray backdrop would look like. I used a bed sheet! I like the more neutral color over the white, but next time want to make sure it's recently washed and dried so there are fewer wrinkles! This was shot around 9pm, and I love how the light looks.

As you can see, I invested in lighting equipment (Fovitec studioPRO softbox lights) and a backdrop since my first self tape, back in January 2017.

I also purchased a Rode VMGO Video Mic GO, which has helped the sound quality immensely. There's one audition where I was supposed to be dying and saying my last goodbyes, and my volume was so low, and the street noise so loud that the sound quality was just embarrassing. I wonder if my agent even submitted that to the casting director. That audition was THE reason I purchased a microphone. My iPhone is fine for film, but crappy for audio. 

Learning a bit about Audacity for sound editing has allowed me to cut out most background noise. I still have some issues with Audacity crashing when I try to use Equalization, so I usually just stick to noise reduction, and sometimes lower the volume of my inhales, or other weird mouth noises. I want to learn more, and get my program working bug free, so that's a goal for the future.


I realized I'm coming up on one year with this website, and we are also close to a new year. I have lots of goals and ideas for more ways to improve (including more frequent blog posting---dropped the ball for months here!), but it's encouraging to look back at what I've learned in the past year. 

What are your upcoming goals? Contact me, Tweet, or comment on Instagram and let me know! I'd love to hear how you're keeping yourself inspired and working hard to achieve those goals!