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News & Advice

We asked some of our friends in the industry (and our in-house experts) for their words of wisdom for Young Performers based on their years of industry experience.

We hope these are useful when you come to do your next audition or self-tape. It’s important to note that every agent can tend to work slightly differently so remember to always check in with them too!

On self-taping:

When you go to do a self-tape, be fully prepared and ready with all your material. Do three takes in a row, then watch them back. Generally, one of your first takes is the best! Don’t watch each of your takes back after each time you tape.
Kimberly, iD Talent

The reader does not influence the self-tape, the casting director is only focusing on the individual performer. So as a parent/guardian do not worry if you have an accent – your reading skills are not being judged.
Mel Brown, Senior Performer Executive

Self-tapes are so popular and can just as easily land you a job in the same way an in-person audition can. Don’t leave a tape until the last minute, as it may be wrong, and there isn’t time to do it again.
Kim Thursfield, Agent at KTTA

Where you place your eyeline in a scene is extremely important. You should not be looking directly at the camera, you should be looking just past it. Who is the person in the scene? Are you talking to an adult or a peer? Think about the eyeline of the other character in the scene and place something there if you need to, so you can direct your lines to the same place.
Mel Brown, Senior Performer Executive

Read every instruction you’re given on an audition/self-tape request! I can’t explain how important it is to know what you’re being asked to do rather than assuming. You could miss an important detail which could end up costing you an opportunity.

Perfect your self-tape and dress to impress, unless it’s a specific dress code. Just because you’re taping in your living room, you can still dress for the audition room.
Kim Thursfield, Agent at KTTA

If a self-tape is not working, stop and then come back to it. Don’t keep pushing to get it done, as frustration can set in. Take a moment, have something to eat, take a walk, have a bath and then come back to it when you feel more relaxed.
Mel Brown, Senior Performer Executive

Self-tape in landscape! Always think about your self-tape as a cinema screen and that should help. You wouldn’t watch a film in portrait!

Remember not to make your actions and reactions too big on the camera-  you are not pushing your performance to the back of the stage. The camera picks up every little movement.
Mel Brown, Senior Performer Executive

On being prepared:

Give yourself time! Whether that’s for recording a self-tape, getting to a casting venue or learning your lines, rushing during this process can cause unnecessary stress for everyone, and it always shows when you haven’t spent time on something. If you’re worried about deadlines/timings, etc. talk to your agent and they’ll do all they can to support you.
Rhiannon, Lead Agent at Fiorentini Mosson Agency

Always make sure you make time to prepare for a role, self-tape, etc. Learn your lines. Every casting is an opportunity, so give it your best shot.
Michelle Kirby, Founder of Daisy & Dukes Ltd

Remember before your audition to practice some deep breathing exercises., You will be surprised how many performers actually forget to breathe during their auditions!
Mel Brown, Senior Performer Executive

On being new to the industry:

Ask your agent if you are unsure of anything – we are here to help and guide!

When you are starting out, don’t be fooled by those who guarantee you work. Nobody can guarantee this!
Michelle Kirby, Founder of Daisy & Dukes Ltd

It’s important to have an acting clip up on your Spotlight profile – even if you don’t have a full showreel yet, recording a monologue or scene to upload works in the meantime. We need to see you acting, particularly for screen roles.
Sarah Leigh, Agent at iNCLUSIVE Talent

It’s important for parents to know that having your child signed with an agency is like having a part-time job yourself. It is a lot of commitment, so make sure you are able to take on the extra responsibilities!

On headshots:

Please, please, please, practice headshots before your session! Decide beforehand (with your agent if possible) so that you are clear on clothing choice, hair, emotional playing zones and your casting type. As a parent, get your child in front of a camera, and help them to engage with the camera. This will lead to a stunning and audition-filled range of shots!
Tom Moriarty, Moriarty Management

A photo doesn’t have to be professionally-taken to be professional. For home-taken photos, it’s best to avoid silly expressions, distracting items like light switches and food, and other people in the background. You want the focus of your photo to be you.
Natasha Raymond, Performer Support Specialist at Spotlight

On doing your best:

Submit the tape, do the audition… then try to forget it happened. Then you get a nice surprise if you hear something back, rather than spending hours refreshing your emails or waiting for your agent to call!
Scarlett Leigh Fawcett, Head Agent at Scarlett & Co

When your pre-audition nerves kick in, remember that the casting director WANTS to give you the job. They’re on your side, so take a breath and do your best. Why not try one of our pre-audition meditations, designed exclusively for Young Performers.
Emily Moran, Communications & Engagement Manager at Spotlight

When going in for a casting, we tell our young performers that the casting directors are very excited to meet them. Be prepared before meeting the casting agent and/or director. Remain focused when in the waiting room and be aware your audition begins from the moment you enter the building. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Remember to breathe, take your time and ask questions if you’re not clear on anything asked of you.
Superarts Agency

Remember that when you get an audition you have already achieved something – a casting director has seen your profile, liked what they’ve seen and invited you to audition, this is fantastic! Use this success to give you inner  confidence when you are auditioning, either in the room or on a self-tape.
Ellie Samuels, Young Performer Consultant at Spotlight

We always tell our young performers that being selected for a casting is a great achievement, not being selected for a job has nothing to do with them as a person, and to persevere until the ‘door’ opens. Hard work will pay off just – keep practising your accents, learning monologues, and always keep training!
Superarts Agency

More helpful advice for Young Performers and parents can be found on our website.