6 Tips To Deliver A Self-Tape (Even When You’re on Vacation)
This past summer, two exciting moments coincided on the same weekend: I organized my best friend’s bachelorette weekend in Miami and I booked the coolest job ever (recurring guest star on the NBC hit show QUANTUM LEAP)!
Fun times, indeed, and a lot of potential stress that I’m proud to say I was able to deftly avoid.
Here are some of my takeaways:
TIP 1: HAVE A SUPPORT TEAM AT THE READY
I asked a friend to help me for the first audition, who’s on a campy detective type show with a vibe similar to what I thought the show I was taping for would be. She’s a smart actor and has a solid sense of tone, two valuable assists in a reader. It was the first season of the show I was taping for, so there was no reference material, save the sides and breakdown. Nevertheless, my friend and I were able to make some wise deductions based on what was on the page. Ultimately, my reader choice was clearly a wise decision, as she’s now helped me book two jobs!
TIP 2: DO GREAT WORK, THEN LET IT GO
As much as I appreciate every audition that comes my way, I’m even more appreciative for any precious time off with my friends. So, after I sent the tape, I packed my bags and went to Miami for a weekend of fun in the sun. Most importantly, I blocked out the dates with my team and purposely left my taping equipment at home. I was on a weekend getaway!
TIP 3: BELIEVE IN MURPHY’S LAW (or don’t, but know the Universe works in mysterious ways)
On day two of the bachelorette, my agent calls to tell me that we’ve just received notes from casting and they want me to re-tape. And, of course, I didn’t have any of my equipment to do so. Time to get creative!
TIP 4: NOTES ARE ALWAYS A BLESSING BUT DON’T ALWAYS HAPPEN
Notes are helpful ways of demonstrating a clearer sense of what you’re capable of. Casting liked something you did and wants to give you some direction. Win! They’re already fans, so don’t use this as an opportunity to change everything. Now is your chance to adjust and deepen your performance in ways that make sense to you, not to do more of what you think ‘they want.’
TIP 5: DO WHAT YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Because I didn’t have any of my equipment with me, my actor brain immediately panicked. Rather than stressing out and trying to find a reader, learn the new sides, and cobble together a new tape, I got resourceful: I sent my agent two other auditions that reflected the kind of character they were guiding me toward. This was an empowering boost and reminder that I didn’t need to bend over backwards to get them a new tape.
TIP 6: BE HONEST WITH YOUR REPS AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Tell them if you’re able to do the work or not. There’s no shame in turning something down if you don’t feel like you can do your best. Ask yourself the honest question and listen to your gut.
It can be a really scary thing to take time out for yourself. One of my favourite sayings is: The most interesting humans make the most interesting actors.
So, go live your life and do those things when the impulse guides you. Take that holiday. Go visit that friend. Spend time with your family. And trust that the industry will be there when you get back. Chances are, you’ll be wanted when you’re unavailable, like in my case. And if you’re wondering about the bachelorette weekend, Miami was amazing, South Beach is the best, and I’m so glad I got to celebrate my friend!