How to Self Tape - Do You Need a Reader for Your Self Tape?

Do I Need a Reader for My Self Tape?


You must have a reader.

You must have someone reading the other role. And it should be a person. (As opposed to a computer voice, or your own voice recorded)

They should stand as close to the camera as they can. If the Reader is just behind the camera to one side, you’ll still be face-on with the camera, but without spiking the camera lens. Make eye contact with them during the scene, it lights you up when you make contact with another person.

They should purposefully keep their volume lower, because being closer to the camera means they are closer to the microphone than you are and this will be very obvious on the self-tape.

The Casting Director doesn’t really want to listen to your reader. But they do want to hear them! So they should be audible to the CD, but not dominating the audio.

Don’t choose someone who is going to do a wild and theatrical performance. They should read confidently and with feeling, but they shouldn’t distract from your performance. Keep it simple.

Don’t choose someone who is difficult to understand, or will distract from you in any way.

Always have a reader. always.


Stay off camera. Only the auditioning actor should be on camera.

Keep your volume low but clear and audible.

You must read with some feeling, but you should be muted. You’re not giving a performance, but you must give the actor something to work from.

Need some help with your next self-tape? I've written a free to download guide to Self Taping here


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