More on Self Tapes

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s acting blog from Fran Montano of Actors Workout Studio: “More on Self Tapes.”
Photo by Designecologist:

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s acting blog from Fran Montano of Actors Workout Studio: “More on Self Tapes.”

Let’s face it. Self taping is the new audition technique. No matter how good you might be in person, on stage, or reading in front of a casting director or producer, let’s be honest, the gateway is a self tape. That is the new game. It can sometimes book you the job without even going in, or get you an audition on Zoom or in person.

Self tape is the current audition technique that each actor must ace.

It is the new way to get a casting director to see your work. It needs to be great. I’m not going to talk about the production values here, that also needs to be great. However, that’s another topic for another time.

I’m talking about the work. Being present, looking spontaneous, natural, and unpredictable.  How do we do that in acting? Whether you’re working on stage, film, television, or a reading, you do it by being present with your partner, and working off your partner moment to moment. That is how chemistry is created. The difference is you have an actor to see, hear, and work off of. Not so with self tapes.

This is what you need to understand and grasp with self tape auditions.  

A self tape audition requires more imagination than what you are normally used to.

Think about it. In a self-tape, you have to use your imagination to see the other character and hear them as if you are hearing them for the first time. When you work off an actor, you’re looking at them, you know the lines they are going to say, but if you’re good at moment-to-moment work and improvising in the moment, you will have to listen, watch and react. That is what you do, you do this automatically, as you are a trained actor. In self tapes, you have to use your imagination and yes, work a little harder with your imagination to create seeing them, hearing them, as well as seeing their reaction to you.  And you have to do that without it looking like you’re acting.

I look at hundreds of self tapes in my work. No matter how good you are, if you look like you’re acting alone, you lose. You have to react to your partner, and your partner to you, and create their voice to be fresh and spontaneous. This has to come from your imagination.   

That is the difference between a regular audition and a self tape.

Break a leg.

Fran Montano
Actors Workout Studio

Coaching Actors for 35 years
Emmy Award Winner
Author of “Act Authentically” available on Amazon
In-person Classes in Los Angeles and International classes on Zoom

Fran Montano - is the owner and Artistic Director of The Actors Workout Studio, located in the NoHo Arts District for nearly 30 years. It is one of the longest running small, intimate theaters and Acting Schools in the Los Angeles area. AWS was created to being a “home” for aspiring and working actors were the work not only includes classes and training, but personal coaching, career planning, networking, showcasing, and regular performing. His students range from beginning actors, accomplished actors who work regularly in film, television, and stage, as well as numerous working directors and writers. His style is on an individual basis and in his small, intimate classes, it’s like working with a private coach. His reputation is in finding and breaking actors blocks Fran’s background as an actor, in producing, directing and theater makes him an excellent resource for actors in Los Angeles, in finding their way both in their talent, and promoting their career. Visit for more information and a schedule of classes and productions