Do I Need to Travel for an In-Person Audition or Is a Self-Tape OK?

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Q: I have an audition for a Netflix series and I have the choice to either travel to the city where the audition takes place (I live in another city and would have to take a day off, pay for the ticket, etc.) or self-tape. What should I do? Are the pros of meeting the CD so big that it’s worth it? Or will a self-tape suffice? —@AmandaK, Backstage Community Forums

While meeting a casting director in person is always positive—they can give you direction and allow you to tweak your audition to truly give your best performance—it isn’t always necessary for a first audition.

For actors in your situation, I always suggest they self-tape for the first round. It’s not necessary to go to the expense of taking the day off and buying a ticket to travel just to audition in person. If you live close by and can get there easily, I’d say go for it. If not, a self-tape is absolutely normal and expected these days.

That said, the most important thing is to do your best work possible when submitting a self-tape. Make strong choices for the character. Make sure the lighting and sound quality are good.

I can tell you from experience that when we watch a self-tape and see that an actor did a good job but maybe needs to tweak a few things, we have them redo the tape before sending it to the producers and director. If we’re happy with the original, off it goes to the team!

If, after that first self-tape, the producers, directors, and powers that be want you to come out to a particular city for a callback, then you can go through the expense of traveling to the audition. But it’s really not necessary before that. Best of luck!

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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Lisa London
Lisa London has been a casting director for more than 60 films and television shows. Over the last 25 years, she has cast projects for Sony, Disney Channel, HBO, Nickelodeon, Screen Gems, Universal, Columbia Pictures, and ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Amazon.
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