How to create a perfect self-tape audition at home

Hello there! I am Bianca, the Brand Manager at Extras Ireland and The Production People. During the last couple of months, we have received many requests from our clients for self-tape auditions from our Extras and Actors.

Therefore, we would like to give you all our best tips and tricks to create a great self-tape audition, even if you are at home. So, let’s begin!

Check what resources you have available

The first step you need to consider before starting your recordings is a prior evaluation of the place(s) where you would like to record yourself. This way you will identify if you need to make some changes in your layout, or get any additional gear, such as:

-Tripod: If you don’t have one, a stack of books would be helpful

-Camera: Either a professional camera, or your phone would work great

-Lighting: If you do not have any lighting gear, sit close and in front of a window or any other light source

-Audio: Choose a quiet room and shut down all devices that make any sounds. Do not forget about pets or children that could cause an interruption. After this, do some audio testing to identify if the microphone in your camera or phone is as good as you need it to be.

-Background: It is best to shoot your video with a background that is plain or at least is not cluttered. It would be ideal if you can self-tape yourself in-front of a plain wall.

Practice makes perfect

Read the character’s description and the scene(s) given to you with plenty of time. If you invest time in understanding the behaviour of your character and place yourself in the scene(s) context, you will have a better performance.

We strongly encourage you to memorise your lines, so you are not holding the scene papers in your hand when filming your audition. In addition, by memorising and nailing your lines, there will be a lot less useless footage for you to delete later.

Pro tip: If you have practice using a teleprompter you can definitely make use of it during your audition. Just make sure you do not get too distracted by trying to read the text correctly, so that does not affect your acting performance. Practice is important.

Do some trials

To get a better performance after doing some trials. Tape as many times and you need to re-watch your tapes to see what kind of movements look best, and if you are talking highly enough.

If you need to change anything around you, like putting a frame away, or getting closer to your source of lighting, etc. This is the moment to do so.

Pro tip: If possible, make sure that the clothing you are wearing might be similar to the clothing your character could be wearing during the film. For example, if you are auditioning for a soldier in WWII, try to wear something with an army pattern, or a green jumper/shirt. In every case avoid wearing jewelry that moves and makes noise.

Now… the big time has begun!

Once you have practiced and done some trials, it is time to film your self-tape. The first step for any kind of audition is to introduce yourself. You will typically get instructions about what information to give for your slate.

Pro tip: Introducing yourself in an audition or self-tape is called “slating” and the introduction is called a “slate”. If you’re asked to do a “tail slate” that means they want your slate at the end instead of the beginning. 

You can find the slate instructions in the email you received with all the audition details you must be aware of. Read them carefully so you will give all the information the casters/producers need to know from you.

In the case none specific instructions have been provided, you can state your name, your agency, nationality, and age. After that, you will need to mention which is the part you are auditioning for, and something specific to the role (i.e. if you speak Spanish) if needed. You can say something like this:

“Hi, my name is Bianca Vertiz and I’m represented by Extras Ireland. I am 28 years old and I come from Mexico City so I can speak Spanish fluently. I am auditioning for the role of Mariana Vergara”

Your slate is the first impression the casters/producers will have from you. So you should not slate in character. Just be yourself.

Sometimes, your slate instructions might mention Full Body or profiles. 

Profiles means they need you to turn to the left and to the right so they can see what you look like from the sides. Whereas Full Body means they want to see your whole body, jest as shown below: 

Pro tip: There are multiple ways you can go about getting your full body into the shot. Here are some techniques:

-Place your camera further away from you for the body shots.

-If somebody can help you, zoom in and out with your camera.-If somebody can help you, do some panning with the camera down and back up so you can still get all of you on camera, just not all at once. Note: some advise against this method because it’s less convenient for the viewer than seeing your whole body all at once. This should be your last resource.

After these shots, you can start filming your scene(s), just as you have practiced. If you need more tips about how to film your scenes, check our 5 tips for a great self-tape post.

Sending your tape

If possible, once you are happy with your tape, you can edit it by cutting off the extra footage that might not be necessary. Sometimes you can do this directly on your phone, or by using a very basic video editing software. There is no need to be tech savvy.

After that, make sure you saved your tape properly, and watch it completely before sending it to us/the casting agent to verify the complete scene(s) were taped.

You can either use services such as WeTransfer, share it via Drive or Dropbox, etc. In the case the producers asked you to send your tape on a specific platform, make sure to do so. If you send it using a different platform, your tape will not be viewed so all your effort would be wasted.

To Conclude…

I really hope these tips help you to create a perfect self-tape audition at home. Remember that we have other articles on the blog here for you to learn more about this industry – make sure you read them to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to assist you and get to know you!

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If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email info@extrasireland.com or call us on (01) 634 3112 to see how we can collaborate with you.

How to work as an Extra if you are non-EEA

Hello there, my name is Bianca and I am the Brand Manager at The Production People and Extras Ireland. Coming from Mexico City, I faced all the different challenges that non-EEA migrants need to overcome to be able to live and work in this beautiful island. So believe me, I know exactly how you feel.

I am sure that all of us who decided to move to Ireland were at one point wondering the same question… “once I am there, how easy is it to get a job?!”

Well, in order to answer some of your questions and let you know how you can work in Ireland as an Extra, I gathered all the key information you need to be aware of before starting your new adventure. So let’s begin!

Ha’penny bridge, Dublin.

As non-EEA you will need to take an English course, or an advanced education course, to be eligible for a part-time working visa. Your visa will have different constraints depending on the course you are taking. Some visa types can be renewed more than others. 

Going through the visa process is always tricky, you have many questions that never seem to have an answer, but don’t worry, on the Irish Immigration Service website you will find all the information you need to apply for your visa. 

Once you have your IRP card (a.k.a visa), the next step is to get a PPS number. For any kind of job in Ireland where you are going to be paid via bank transfer (such as being an Extra), it is necessary to have a PPS number. This is your tax number, which you also need to avail of some healthcare services, so it is important to have it as soon as you get your visa sorted.

Ok, I have my visa and PPS… now what?

Well, now the time to look for a job has begun! As a non-EEA you are allowed to work part-time (this means 20 hours per week). There are some exceptions such as the Christmas season and the time-off you have from your school course, when you can legally work full-time.

For those periods, or for whenever you need to make a bit more extra money you should consider working as an Extra. The film and TV industries in Ireland have been growing during the last years, so there are many opportunities available. You can be an Extra in films, TV series, documentaries, ads, music videos, corporate videos and so much more!

The first step is to join an agency like us, Extras Ireland, where you will need to fill out a form with all your details such as: gender, nationality, body measurements, and other personal details, as well as if you have any additional skills such as playing an instrument, the languages you can speak, if you can talk in any accent, if you’re a pro in any sport etc.

The more specific you are about your abilities, the better! Sometimes we need an Extra that can talk with a Liverpool accent and knows how to drive a bus… so do not underestimate yourself.

At Extras Ireland we help you create your own CV and profile with all the information you have given us. We know what producers are looking for, so no worries you are in good hands!

Is there any other material I need apart from my CV?

Yes, as an Extra it is very important to have good pictures of yourself – they must be recent.

If you want to learn more about how to take and select the best pictures for your profile, check out our Top 5 Headshot Tips post.

In addition to this, if you have worked as an Actor, Model or Extra in your home country and you have a video reel available, do not hesitate in adding this to your profile. If a Director can see you in action you have a better chance of being hired! The more prepared you are the better.

If you have no previous experience, that is no problem at all. Many of our Extras started with no experience whatsoever and they have been hired on some wonderful projects! We all start at some point, don’t we?

Examples of the headshots you can submit

I created my profile and it looks great… When will I start working?

Well, there is no rule of thumb in how long it will take to book a job. It is all a matter of time and availability. Some of our Extras get work on the same week they registered, while it can take a bit longer for others. It all comes down to whether or not you fit the brief the Director is looking for. 

If your description is what we are searching for we will send you an Availability Enquiry with the role and fee. If you are available to work and you are interested in the job we will pass your details on to our client. This is not a job offer, we just want to see if you’re free and interested in the project. If the client wants to book you we will confirm via email. There it is! You are confirmed for your first project as an Extra.

At Extras Ireland we always aim to take care of you, so before the shoot we will send you all the details you need (call time, location and wardrobe guidelines). We are always here to answer any questions you may have!

As an additional feature, when you register with us, we will send you a leaflet with a general overview of set etiquette (the do’s and don’ts for Extras).  We will always have your back! 

To Conclude…

I really hope these tips help you to start your journey as an Extra in Ireland. Remember that we have other articles on the blog here for you to learn more about this industry – make sure you read them to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to assist you and get to know you!

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If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email info@extrasireland.com or call us on (01) 634 3112 to see how we can collaborate with you.

Looking for Talent? 10 FAQs

Extras Ireland was founded in 2014 as a sister company to the award-winning The Production People. Over the last seven years, we have gone from strength to strength to source Ireland’s finest talent for creative and commercial projects all over the country. If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next shoot, do get in touch – we’d love to help! Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to guide you and if you have any other questions for us, please don’t hesitate to ask.


?️ Do you only source Extras?
We source Extras, Actors and Models. When we were founded in 2014, we were strictly an Extras agency. Since then, we have expanded to include a wide range of professional Actors and Models on our books.

?️ How many members do you have?
At the moment, we have over 3,500 members registered with us.

?️ Do you have a diverse range of talent available?
Absolutely – we have members of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, levels of ability and experience.

?️ What kinds of projects do you work on?
We have worked on feature films, shorts films, TV programmes, commercials, print campaigns, voiceovers and live events. If you are in need of performance talent, we’ll always try our best to help you. Click here to see some of the projects we have worked on.

?️ Do you have Irish speakers on your books?
Cinnte! Yes, plenty of our Extras, Actors and Models are Irish speakers.

?️ Do you have children on your books?
Yes, we are open to all ages and have newborn babies, toddlers, children and teens on our books.

?️ How much does it cost to use your service?
It is free for you to use our service – we will source and screen talent for you. You won’t need to pay a penny unless you make a booking with us.

?️ Do I liaise with Talent myself?
At the moment, we provide full agency service and we always act as the matchmaker between production and talent. We pride ourselves on knowing our talent so we can match them to the right work. When you let us know who you are looking for for your project, we will search our database for the best possible options. We will check their availability and send you options of suitable and available talent so that you can choose your favorites. We’ll act as your go-between up until the shoot day to ensure everything goes smoothly for you. You can find more about our team here.

?️ How much does it cost to hire an Extra, Actor or Model?
This will depend on the nature of the project, how the material will be used and where, how much performance is required from talent and how long the footage will be made available for. If you let us know a little bit about your project, we can provide you with a quote. We’ll always try our best to work within your budget.

?️ How do we pay the Talent?
Simple! After the shoot, our team will follow up with you to find out how it all went and how happy you were with our service and the talent provided. We will then invoice you for the talent fees and pay them directly ourselves through our company payroll. 

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If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email info@extrasireland.com or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.