Over the last three years, Robbie Dema adjusted to the pandemic and its impact on the acting world landing roles on television shows and commercials.

A big part of that creating self tapes — the audition videos made from home.

He says he likes the flexibility of being able to create the tape whenever he wants.

What You Need To Know

  • Actor Robbie Dema relocated to Long Island from the city in the pandemic. He is getting used to filming auditions from home or self tapes

  • Emily Kate Decker recently graduated college after studying musical theater and books space to tape her singing auditions

  • Silvana Marmolejoes says self taping loses the in person connection that is experienced

  • SAG-AFTRA responded to a Deadline report on casting agencies offering self taping opportunities for a fee, saying in part quote,“Casting offices charging actors for the creation and production of audition tapes is taking our industry in the wrong direction."

“At first I despised everything about self tapes. You have to find a reader set everything up, but now it is more time efficient. It works with your schedule. You can pick the best take,” Dema said.

The planning can be a bit different for a singer to find a good space to belt out their audition.

As a recent college graduate, Emily Kate Decker said she learned to budget her time and money to be able to do this.

She said she prefers to audition in person.

“The price of that adds up very, very fast studios rent from 15 to 50 dollars an hour depending on what size where how last minute you were with your rental that all comes into play,” Decker said.

Something else that is different for performers and casting directors is losing that in person connection and opportunity for feedback. Casting director Silvana Marmolejos said she will always prefer in person auditions to get a sense of the person’s talent and work ethic.

“A lot of times someone may be a great fit but they are not workable, they are not easy to work with and you can catch that in an in person audition versus in a casting tape,” Marmolejos said.

A report from Deadline says in some cases, casting agencies have offered self taping opportunities for a fee which caused some backlash on social media.

SAG-AFTRA reacted to that report, saying in part quote, “Casting offices charging actors for the creation and production of audition tapes is taking our industry in the wrong direction.”

Marmolejos said she agrees with that statement.

“The idea of you having to pay for a casting is not normal,” Marmolejos said.

As actors adjust to this new normal for the arts, Dema said he plans on continuing to tape on his cellphone and hope for the best.

“This is how the future is going. I learned how to embrace the self tape making process,” Dema said.