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  • Writer's pictureSophia Thompson

Self Tape vs Casting

Hi, and welcome to Sophie’s Choice, where I give you my personal input on everything casting! During the recent happenings (c*vid), the film industry has been hit pretty hard, especially in 2020. There was almost no work to get into, which made it especially hard on casting agencies because with no projects on, they couldn’t call anyone in and even if they did get a project, there was no way they could just call up a bunch of random actors to sit in a small space and growl at each other.

Self Tape

Selt tapes became more of a norm because it was easier than having a tight schedule to go through when we all know that schedules are hard enough to stick to when everyone can come and be in the same room at the same time. Self tapes can be a pain and we all know it but unfortunately, so can in person casting.

Self tapes have an advantage that in person casting doesn’t and that’s time management.

You have a deadline but you can sit there for three days trying to get it right and then send it off or you can sit down last minute and do what you gotta do. Unfortunately, it also comes with some setbacks and you can often get into your own head over what you’re doing. Questions like “Is this good enough?” “Is this what they’re looking for?” “Should I change something?” “Maybe I should do an accent?” come rushing in and you don’t get instant feedback from a person watching you. Obviously, you can send it to friends for their opinions but no one can tell you for sure because you can’t get into the mind of the director to be certain.


In person castings aren’t any easier, though. They’re time consuming and even preparing for it is stressful because once you come in everything you did to prepare can go out the window. They can suddenly ask you to read for a different character and the character you built an entire backstory for just isn’t tragic enough for the new one.

But in a sense, in person casting is much easier.

You have a person there to tell you whether or not your choices were bad and what you can do to improve them or completely change them for the vision the director was seeing. When you’re there with all the other people reading for the same character you can strike up a conversation and ask how they prepared or what they are doing with the character just to see if you had the same idea or if theirs was better and then steal it from them (just kidding, don’t do that, please).

To be completely honest, no one knows what to expect when you go for an in person casting but it’s way harder to determine what you’re supposed to do when you’re just there to judge it for yourself. Especially, when you’re someone who’s used to an audience and having someone there to always tell you if what you’re doing is right or wrong.

Sophie’s Choice

Therefore, my choice would be in person casting. I know it can be hard and challenging but it’s way harder to get into your head when you’re being told exactly what you should be doing than having a vague description of your character and what exactly the scene is about.

And that’s that on that!

Sophie out!


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