Mastering the Self Audition Tape - Tips from a Casting Director with Video Examples & a Resource Sheet

Hosted by Marin Hope

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Marin Hope

Webinar hosted by: Marin Hope

Casting Director, CSA (HBO's BESSI, AMERICAN MADE, Emmy-winning HOMELAND)

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here. Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Today, more than ever, self tape auditions are an integral part of the casting process. This is even more true in the age of social distancing. Additionally, due to the convenience self tapes provide and tight deadlines casting directors often operate under, more roles are cast via self tape auditions than ever before. Understanding how to set up, craft, and shoot a self tape can be the difference between landing more roles or having your talents fall by the wayside. 

When a casting director requests and accepts self tapes to assist in their casting process, they inevitably wind up with tapes of varying quality and content. Whether it's picture quality or sound quality fails, a bad self tape immediately gets bypassed. Actors often think that their talent will always win the day. In a room, that might be true. But on a self tape, quality matters. Fortunately, there are some very simple, but comprehensive steps you can take that will make a massive difference in what you present to a casting director. The goal is to keep the attention off cosmetic or sound flaws and on your acting, where it belongs!

Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Over her storied career she has seen thousands of auditions and hundreds of casting self-tapes and she's back here exclusively on Stage 32 to impart her wisdom on what can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to your self tape. 

Marin will talk about the need for self-tapes and why they are an essential part of today's casting process. You'll get insight as to why some jobs rely on it vs. others who require in-person auditions. She will go over your question on whether or not you should use a self-tape facility or film from home. When it comes to shooting at home, you will learn background, lighting, angles, wardrobe choices and equipment you will need, as well as whether or not you should film horizontal or portrait. Finally, Karen will teach you the do's and don'ts of a self-tape and share with you examples of good and bad auditions. You will learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective which will give you the unique insight into how your own self-tape is viewed.

PLUS! Marin will share with you:

  • Videos clips of do's and dont's for casting videos
  • A resource sheet of tools and equipment that can help you with the look of your casting tape

 

 

Praise for Marin's Stage 32 Webinar:

 

"I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information."

-Michele C.

 

"I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away."

-Sondra C.

 

"The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this."

-Michael C.

 

"Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions."

-Kenneth W.

What You'll Learn

  • The Need for Self -Tapes
    • Why some jobs rely on it rather than an in-person audition
    • The changing landscape of how we conduct auditions
    • The advent of “real people” casting and why self-tapes are necessary for that
    • The needs of the casting director and the production
  • Using a Self-Tape Facility vs. Filming from Home
    • Self tape studios/coaches – particularly for theatrical auditions
    • Filming from home using a smartphone- using the tools at hand
  • Setting the Scene at Home - Pointers to Keep in Mind
    • Background
    • Lighting
    • Angles
    • Equipment you will need
    • Horizontal vs. Portrait aspect on smartphone
    • Styling/wardrobe choices
  • How to Create the Tape 
    • How to understand the format to present it in
    • Breaking down and understanding the different formats
    • Vimeo and Youtube link advice
  • Do’s and Don'ts - with Self-Tape Example Videos
    • The final presentation – keeping it simple – and precise
    • Some insider tips from a casting director to really make an impression
  • Q & A with Marin

 

 

About Your Instructor

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production.

Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here.

Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles.

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It’s the dream of many to have a career as a working actor, and it’s easy to see why. The ability to support yourself through performing, creating characters and telling stories is incredibly exciting and rewarding. The good news is this is not beyond your reach. Even during COVID, more productions are coming together for more and more networks, studios and platforms, and with them, more opportunities for actors looking to break in. If you’re dedicated, talented, and have a working knowledge of how the entertainment industry works and how you can work within it, you can absolutely find opportunities and ultimately career as a working TV and film actor. First it’s important you learn everything you need to so you can find success. It’s common for new actors to believe that the craft alone will lead them to work and a comfortable career, but there’s a lot more that goes along with this profession. Honing your skill as a performer is paramount, but it needs to be accompanied by strategy, initiative, and an understanding of the industry. So what do you actually need to do in order get a jump start on your acting career? What materials do you need to have ready, who do you need in your corner and how can you make sure you stand out from others? Let’s take a look at what it really takes to get into acting. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and continues to mentor and champion new actors beginning their careers. He’s excited to share with the Stage 32 community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. Taylor will lay out a realistic and soup-to-nuts approach to how you can start a career as a film and TV actor and pave the way for success. He’ll go into what it actually looks like to be a career actor and what the path to success realistically looks like.  He’ll delve into building the prerequisites any actor needs to start, including pictures, a resume, a demo reel and the right attitude. He will discuss where and how to get started and how to take advantage of the right acting classes and theater companies. Next Taylor will share with you the tools you will need for your acting toolkit and will then teach you about acting representation and how to get it for your own career. He’ll delve into the casting process for both TV and film and give you advice on how you can stand out by creating your own content and using social media to your advantage. Finally Taylor will teach you how to treat your career like a business to stay afloat, smart, and successful. Through the lessons Taylor is laying out, you’ll have a comprehensive blueprint you can use to start your career in acting with your eyes open.     Praise for Taylor's Stage 32 Webinar   "I think this was the most well informed and detailed getting started class I have ever taken"-Cecelia S.   "Taylor Nichols gave so many nuggets of wisdom and helpful information about the business and about acting."-Amor O.   "Taylor was straight forward and honest. I thought he was very clear on what you need to do to get out there for both experienced and inexperienced actors" -Kelvin H.

Learn What Work Visa Is Right For You: How to Legally Live and Work in the US

Learn directly from Managing Attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, Lorraine D’Alessio! For freelance creatives like actors, directors, writers and producers, Hollywood is probably your Mecca. However, if you don’t already live there, or are not even a US citizen, how do you get there- and work there- legally? Unfortunately, the artistic community is often the target of immigration scams. It’s hard to know what information is valid and what is not. Many people spend hours researching work visas only to end up with the wrong type of visa for a creative career. Stage 32 is here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! The more educated you are on the subject, the more empowered you will be in your career and in your life. Knowing how to find and secure the right work visa for you will get you one step closer to living your dream. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lorraine D'Alessio, managing attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, will walk you through how to live and work legally in the US as a creative. She will educate you on the different visas that exist, go step-by-step through the O-1 "person of extraordinary ability" visa, suggest ways to build your career portfolio in order to strengthen your visa petition, alert you to the dos and don'ts at the border and most importantly, dispel the many myths and misinformation that exist on US visas. Lorraine D’Alessio’ combines her unique knowledge of the entertainment industry and immigration law to assist foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States and work in entertainment and entertainment related fields. Her practice is limited to immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, entertainers, musicians, actors, directors, producers and essential technical and creative personnel in the motion picture and television industries. Ms. D’Alessio routinely gives lectures throughout Canada on entertainment and investment immigration.

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