So Why Self-Test?

A few years ago, when I was working in Sydney, briefly assisting Anousha Zarkesh in auditioning hundreds of actors for the many and varied projects she was casting, a few mini-dvd or even dvd discs came into the office…These were the self-tests that actors who had sent in because they had not been able to attend the actual auditions.

Previously to that, I used to video self- tests for those who were marooned on the set of “McLeod’s Daughters” in South Australia ..sometimes we would have to use the corner of a field,  a room in Kingsford House  and once  even in my small attic-type flat in Gawler when I did a  disastrous video for Simone Jade Mackinnon …a very hot day and somehow the sound or the lighting just did not happen properly…  Working on location and no time to get to a decent studio had taken its toll!

The trouble is that nowadays self-tests are a way of life for Casting Directors and Producers ; it’s a great way to source a much wider range of actors without cost.  Just simply ask an actor to send in their piece on-line..join the queue. An Agent told me recently that he’d had success with clients who lived in rural towns getting roles from their self-tests – those actors who once upon a time would not have had a chance in that lottery.

The down-side is that actors now pay for their auditions. Of course once they pass the self-test  they are then selected to attend a “live” audition, which could still cost as they might have to fly to Sydney or Melbourne .

But, those intrepid actors are in business  …they do whatever they can to get the role, get seen. However – it’s so much harder to do a self-test than the usual audition. It’s about getting heard and seen, having a reader, and working without a director, and,  without the adrenalin that carries them through a “live” audition.  The owness is so much more on the actor.  Viewing a tape/disc only takes 3-5 seconds to tell if an actor knows what he/she is saying. In a “live” audition there is the chance to “do that again”.

I have learned a lot since those days on “McLeod’s Daughters” and can, and have, assisted many actors in their self-tests.  I am now Assessing Self-Tests too – contact me on and ask how this can be done – I work through Industry Actors HQ in Brisbane  … go to  … I am once again in South Australia, in Adelaide, briefly, but technology being so great when used correctly, I can work anywhere!