Two Reasons Self Submissions Are Great, And One Big Reason They Can Suck

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

Hey there, hero!

I saw a posting on Facebook recently that quoted several casting directors on why they love self-taped auditions.

Three reasons stuck out.

One stuck out in a very bad way.

Hope this helps!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. This is where the reality of the business comes in, and your advice is terrific here: always frame the casting question in terms of how you can make the client’s life easier. We can get all worked up about the art, and fairness, and a hundred other issues. But when you stop and consider that the client is a person whose life is every bit as frustrating as yours (and maybe more), then think about how to make that life easier–your odds of being someone they want to work with go up.

  2. This reminds me of watching a former employer going through resumes in front of me. He was skipping through at high speed saying things like, “Don’t like it. Too busy. Poorly formatted,” etc. etc. From their perspective though, I understand it. They’re busy, and if something catches their attention, much like a casting director, it’s probably worth a look (or listen). This is good info to have. Thanks for the video David.

  3. Uugh. I heard #3 at a workshop too and it felt like the temperature in the room changed. The CD said it smugly and laughed a bit. I couldn’t get my jaw off the floor. Felt like saying “You know that’s… ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE RIGHT? Just say no and save us all time.”

  4. We all do things to make our jobs easier—often without consideration for others ans sometimes with little consideration for the end product. The first realization needed by any supplicant is to understand that most, not all, first-line staff consider themselves gatekeepers—seeing their job as weeding out the chaff.

    Therefore the process becomes finding reasons to say “No” rather than reasons to say “Yes.”

    While that makes their job easier, it makes ours more difficult. To paraphrase the Hippocratic Oath, “First, do no wrong.” Make sure our audition doesn’t go into the round file. Because once we do, our job just got 10-times easier.

    Because now that gatekeeper knows he has to find “The One” (or however many she needs,) to fill her quota—and that pile of leftovers in front of her is all she has to work with. Now it becomes finding reasons to say yes.

    Now we have a chance to shine. Now those bold choices can make the difference .

  5. Always value knowing info like this. All the more reason to not oversell and not take it too personal if not cast. When I audition I always try to have the attitude of wanting them to have the best talent for their project. If its me fantastic, if not, lets move on and both find that perfect match. Thanks David.

  6. I feel like the reality of the 21st century is that self-submission makes things easier for everybody, just may also make the odds more random given that there’s no personal exchange involved. Your point about an agent getting pushback (and not knowing that they overplayed their hand) is a good one too.