Self-Taping Should Be Optional
It’s the perfect win-win
(Photo: Karolina Grabowska | Pexels)
Some actors perform better when they can enter an audition room and focus strictly on acting. They have auditioned this way for as long as they’ve been actors.
They live to perform in front of others. They feed off the energy in the room. And they enjoy getting redirected by the casting director.
But in the post-pandemic world we live in, live auditions have gone the way of Blockbuster video rentals. Which is to say, they are a thing of the past. And that creates a new barrier for actors who thrive on performing the traditional way.
That’s not to say that self-taping doesn’t have its benefits. Self-tapes offer convenience. They allow actors a chance to do more takes. They allow more actors to be seen by casting.
Actors who enjoy self-taping, and who have mastered the technical aspects, will thrive. But if self-tapes are here to stay, many actors will suffer.
What happens to actors who can’t afford quality self-taping equipment? What happens to actors who can’t find a quality reader? What happens to actors who live in tiny apartments or who sleep on their friend’s couch? How can they possibly compete with well-financed actors who can put together a complete self-taping home studio?
What happens to actors who can’t afford quality self-taping equipment? What happens to actors who can’t find a quality reader?
When casting sees one actor with an amazing, well-produced self-tape and another actor with a horrendous tape, which actor will they choose? Even if both actors are equally talented, the actor with the grainy tape is at a decided disadvantage.
The playing field is simply not level, and it’s not fair.
Before self-taping, every actor had an equal chance. Every actor had the same reader, the same lighting, the same background, the same camera, the same chance for feedback. Every actor could focus on acting, and “may the best actor win.” That’s no longer the case.
There is a simple and obvious solution, though. Make self-tapes optional! Those who enjoy self-taping, and can put together an amazing tape, should be allowed to do so. Those who prefer in-person auditions, or who cannot put together a good self-tape, ought to be allowed to audition in person. It’s the perfect win-win for all.
Make self-tapes optional.
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