Why You Need a Solid Reader for a Self-Tape Audition and where to find one.

by OAS Team

Ah yes, self-taping. It is the gift that keeps on giving. You can audition from practically anywhere, at any hour of the day, and even edit and submit your audition without ever leaving your couch. It’s the ultimate convenience…unless you forget about one very important thing…

Your Reader:

As we’ve discussed in our previous blog posts about self-taping (check them out if you haven’t already!), a solid reader can make or break your audition. They are there to support you, listen to your lines, and react in a natural way that brings your character to life. They are the yin to your yang, the cheese to your macaroni, the peanut butter to your jelly. 
Without them, not only would you be saying your lines to an invisible person who doesn’t respond (don’t do that – it’s weird to watch), or perhaps have you prerecording your own voice saying the opposite lines with weird pauses (try to avoid that too), but with out a good and experienced reader your self-tape may also fall flat and miss the mark of the audition altogether.

A lot of actors always ask..
“Can I use my mum as a reader?”

Now, we all love our mums, dads, grandparents and aunts and uncles, but when it comes to self-taping, they may not be the best choice as your reader. While their love and support is invaluable, unless they have experience in acting or self-taping, they may not be able to give you the feedback and support you need to truly shine.
And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more awkward than having to perform an intimate, romantic, or even an aggressive scene with your dear old Mum or Uncle Joe standing opposite you unable to control their reaction. It can be very distracting and even a little uncomfortable.
So, do yourself a favor and choose a reader who knows what they’re doing and can give you the support and feedback you need to bring your character to life.

So, how do you choose the perfect reader?

Here are some things to look for:

1. Find someone who has experience with self-taping. Self-taping requires a different set of skills than traditional in-person auditions. Your reader should know how to frame the shot, adjust lighting, and use a microphone, and know where to stand. Generally, they should know their way around a camera and have a general idea of how to make you look good.


2. Choose someone who is reliable and committed. You don’t want your reader to flake out on you at the last minute or show up looking like they just rolled out of bed.


3. Look for someone who can act, baby! A good reader should be able to react in a natural, believable way that helps bring your character to life. They should be able to match your energy, rhythm and tone, and accent if necessary.


  1. 4. Consider the reader’s energy and personality. The right reader should be someone who can help you relax, have fun, and feel comfortable during the recording process. They should be supportive and encouraging, and able to create a positive atmosphere that allows you to give your best performance.

Things to avoid:

  1. Avoid choosing someone who is too close to you. While it can be tempting to use a close friend or romantic partner as your reader, it’s important to maintain a professional relationship during the audition process. Using a close relationship or partner can also lead to unexpected insecurities or self consciousness or even conflict if they’re not able to provide the feedback or support you need. 

2. Avoid choosing someone who’s going to steal your thunder. A reader who hogs the spotlight, overacts, or otherwise distracts from your performance is a big no-no. This is your moment, don’t forget that.

3. Avoid choosing someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries. It’s important to set boundaries with your reader, such as when and where to meet, what feedback you want to receive, and how to communicate. If your reader is unable or unwilling to respect these boundaries, it may be best to find someone else who is a better fit for you.

4. Don’t choose someone who’s not taking the process seriously. This is your career we’re talking about here, so you need someone who’s going to take it as seriously as you do.

If you’re struggling to find an in-person reader;
don’t worry!

You can always use a remote reader through a video chat platform. This option can provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need, especially if your traveling or live in an area where finding an experienced reader may be difficult.
However, when using a remote reader, there are a couple of things to remember to ensure that your self-tape audition goes smoothly…
Firstly, make sure to position the device that your reader is on close enough to the camera for the camera to pick up their voice clearly. This will ensure that you can hear their reactions and responses in real-time.
Secondly, if the device cannot be positioned in a way that allows you to maintain a good eye-line for the camera, it’s a good idea to mark a spot on the opposite wall or on anything that is positioned just off to the side of the camera so that the camera can always see your beautiful eyes.

Not sure where to find remote readers?
Check out the the OAS Website!

OAS has an amazing community of experienced readers who are just dying to help you nail your next self-tape audition. Plus, they have all sorts of resources and tips to help you improve your self-taping game.

Want to apply to be an OAS reader?

If you’re looking for a way to get more involved in the OAS community why not apply to become an OAS reader!
A lot of the time actors like you make the best readers, because you know exactly what it’s like to be in front of the camera working off someone else, and how a good reader can impact your performance.
By becoming an OAS reader, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience, connect with other actors, and contribute to the community. It’s a great way to pay it forward while also enhancing your own skills as an actor.
To apply, and for more information, simply visit the link below or go to the Online Acting Studio website and fill out an application.