I find myself rediscovering the joys of Self-Taping. Well, I say “rediscovering” – it wasn’t as much of a thing before Covid. But I enjoy it.
That seems to make me a bit of an oddity.
Reading through the interweb’s numerous actor messaging boards, I can see that Self-Taping is generally more tolerated than enjoyed. Most actors hate seeing their work back and self-taping forces you to do just that. Over and over again until you’re happy enough with a take that you’ll send it off.
It also take time to set up a shot, learn the lines, record a few takes, watch them back, make some changes, go for a few more takes and watch them back. All of that before you edit them down, produce a take and send it. That’s if you’ve got the right kit to tape at quality in the first place.
That’s a lot of work to just put your face up in front of a director or a CD, without any guarantee that you’ll get anywhere near a face to face audition.
But I enjoy the process. I suppose it comes from a history of directing as well as acting. It also helps that I like to watch my work back because, uncomfortable as it can be if I see something to improve on, I WANT to see where I can improve. I WANT to get better with every performance. So working through a character in front of a camera and being able to watch for the beats and tics is so interesting to me.
Why didn’t that work? Did that come over as stagey? Why? What’s going on behind those eyes? Would thinking about something else bring an interesting subconcious flitter of emotion here?
I find Self-Taping to be invaluable. It also means that you can ALWAYS be at your best for you CD because you get to choose the shot they see, rather than hitting it up once in a studio and hoping you nailed it.
As for the time it takes and the effort needed: this is an industry and acting must be treated as a business.
I am a commodity and my job is a) to be the very, very best product I can be (IE – a brilliant actor) and b) able to demonstate this effectively. I’ll do anything I need to do to hit those two briefs. Self-Taping actually helps out with both, as it keeps me practiced, improving and gives me the ability to display my work.
So embrace Self-Taping! Show it some love. Use it to learn, grow and, most importantly, to show what you can do, however scary it is.
In my last post I mentioned having new headshots taken – and here they are! So many thanks to the brilliant Ania Pankiewicz for doing such a wonderful job and being such a complete pro throughout. You can book her for your own headshots at https://www.aniapank.co.uk/
What have I been up to?
Apart from applying, and auditioning, for roles that suit me, I’ve been back playing The Mad Hatter for the final performance of Alice in Wonderland for Rough Magic Theatre, which took place just over a week ago. While we think the show could technically continue, it’s time to ring the changes. It’s bitter sweet when you reach the end of a run.
The show itself was wonderful! What an audience! So much noise, so much joy, so much energy! High octane doesn’t touch it.
I haven’t just been auditioning: I’ve been knocking on doors and saying hi to CDs and producers. Creatives appreciate talking to creatives, though you should never become a nuisance – know when to say hi and when not to, folks!
To be honest, returning to the industry after a short family break has been faster and more rewarding than I’d ever expected. I hope to have more news about where you can see me next very soon.
Until then: stay frosty.