Updated: Apr 22, 2020
I hit a wall last week, my energy depleted and feeling uneasy, but I couldn't pinpoint the cause. My mind tends to dissect these feelings, reverse engineer them to find the source of melancholia. An answer or a solution isn't always ready to be summoned to the surface. But at some point, whether hours, days, years even, the ground zero reveals itself, and so I remain patient until it does. After receiving yet another nightly digest with 5 more new Corona Quarantine Casting Self-Tape Challenges, at this point amassing approximately 15 since the quartine began, I recognized the culprit. Actors were being enticed, solicited to participate in these self-tape auditions under the guise of "getting practice doing self-tapes" or "get a general meeting with a casting director." When the first week of self-tape challenges began to roll out, I too jumped at the opportunity for casting directors to see my work. No one was expecting this quarantine to last very long, so why not get some new eyes on my acting. As a veteran of the self-tape preparation, I turned my comfortable apartment into a casting office. I set-up professional lights, a backdrop, tripods, asked my boyfriend to be a reader, and began working on sides. Up first, the most notable office, Bluestein/Kennedy casting who casts all of the NCIS shows. Kudos to them. It was very organized. I submitted for my gender and age range; they sent 13 character options to which I was to chose one, put it on tape, and upload to their ECO-Cast invite. Seamless. I was opposed to the requests that felt like I was being exploited. Write a monologue or a 45-second scene. Post it on your social media. Tag us, tag five friends. Check out, my new class. By uploading your footage, you give us permission to post it on social media... WTF!? UGH! This is where I hit the wall. And decided I will only participate when a casting director that casts shows I want to be on like John Frank Levey asks for a previous self-tape. Perfect, I can go through my archives, pick the best self-tape, upload to their dropbox, or a file delivery service of choice. Or a casting office with a specialized show like NCIS who has a well-organized break down of sides to upload. Now I get to go back to how I initially wanted to spend this quarantine. Cleaning out my closet, listening to the books in my Audible library, watching Tribeca and SXSW short films online, and whatever else comes up that genuinely interests me. To all the actors who are participating in ALL the Corona Quarantine Casting Self-Tape Challenges, this is not an insult towards you nor towards the casting directors making ALL the offers. #HappySelfTapes Hmmm, I wonder what writers, directors, and producers are focused on?