Set up your Home Studio

A great project to take care of during this time of Covid is to get your self tape studio together.

More and more auditions are self tape and now we’re even seeing zoom auditions. This is the future in my opinion.  You will get an appointment time, wait in the waiting room, and then let in. They may interview you, chat a bit, give you a redirect and have you read a few times.  This is probably going to continue after Covid as some casting directors are saving on office space, not having to hire a camera person or receptionist.  You should be prepared as it could be the new way of auditioning.  After all, when your audition is over, they will have you on tape to review and show their directors. They will even have you in an interview situation and maybe reading several times. It is just like driving to their office.

Take time to create your own studio environment.  You want the light to be perfect, a good background and quiet enough for your sound.  Spend some time getting this perfect, yes, get it as perfect as you can. It’s easy, inexpensive, and there are tons of people doing this.  Lighting is cheap, a decent camera is not expensive, many people are working very successfully off an i-phone, and a good web cam can also work well.   Most important is good lighting with a proper background that shows you well.  Gray, blue, or a soft color is good. What kind of energy do you want to present yourself in?  Some people get green screens and then you can put whatever you want for a background. 

I am not here to tell you what you should have, I am here to say, do it so you look and feel good, and sound good.

We want to see you clearly, into your eyes and see and feel your expressions easily. It matters, it really matters.  You need to feel good and proud of it, as it reflects you.  Test out your system, do research, ask your fellow actors. If you know a lighting person or cinematographer, ask them for help.

Keep it simple so on short notice you can get on and deliver comfortably.  You want little energy on the set up, your time and energy should be on the script and character. Sometimes the turn around time for an audition is short and you will need to get it done quickly.

I’ve seen people use closets, pantries, a blank wall in their apartment.

What matters is that it is simple to set up and you look and sound great. Once you get it perfect, it should be easy to recreate each time. If you use natural light from outside, that can be good but you are subject to the time of day and other weather conditions. That’s why I suggest good lighting in a space that will work any time of day.

It does not have to be expensive to work well. There is no need to spend a lot of money on this.  Lighting systems and cameras are changing quickly, they are constantly improving and getting cheaper.

The protocol for actors has been to have a good headshot, and tape, yes that’s true.  Now, you need to be able to tape yourself on short notice, and be ready to be interviewed and audition live in an excellent environment. One that you create and are comfortable in.  It’s a good thing, it’s something that you have control over.

Take care

Fran Montano
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