Archive for January, 2023

How to nail your drama school audition

Posted on: January 24th, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

If you are auditioning for our School of Acting (BA Hons Acting, Foundation Acting, MA Acting) you’ll need to prepare and send a self-taped audition as part of your application.

Self-tapes are part of everyday life for a professional actor; they’ve been used in the TV and film industry for many years and are increasingly used for theatre auditions as well. But if you’re just starting out on your actor training journey, we understand that self-tapes can be a bit of a mystery, even quite daunting.

Don’t worry! We’ve got you.

ArtsEd’s Director of the School of Acting, an Actor and Director, Kim Vithana, has provided some top tips for auditionees applying to our School of Acting. Keep reading for her guide to a successful self-tape.

For details on what you need to present in your tapes and how to choose a monologue, please visit our auditions page and select the course you are applying for.

Kim’s steps to self-tape success


You must record a brief ident to introduce yourself by stating your:

Your ident should be delivered straight to the camera, and my top tip is: don’t overthink this bit! Treat your ident as the equivalent of walking into a room and introducing yourself to the panel – show us a bit of your personality. Be enthusiastic about the characters you’ve chosen. If you’re engaging in your ident, we’ll be more engaged when watching you!

Let’s cover the technical aspects of filming your pieces:

My main piece of advice regarding the positioning of the camera and body/face is that we don’t want to see the side of your face!

How to perform your acting monologues for audition:


  1. My first top tip is this: do not attempt to do ‘acting for camera’. We want to see a theatrical performance.
  2. If you are recalled to the second round, which will be in-person, part of that audition will be a screen test. At the first self-tape stage we want to see how you would perform as if you were in the room with us.
  3. Use your natural voice – don’t affect an accent or do a ‘voice’ to fit the character. We want to hear YOU.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing. Don’t attempt to dress as the character or wear a costume.
  5. No make-up, and hair should be tied back so that we can see your face.
  6. Don’t use props.
  7. Don’t use background music.
  8. Please don’t overthink it or attempt to film multiple takes in order to choose the ‘best’ one. You should film each monologue no more than 3 times and choose the best one from the 3 to send to us.
  9. Don’t copy a famous version of your chosen monologue from YouTube!

What are we looking for in our Acting auditionees?


This is one of the most common questions we are asked regarding applications and auditions, and the answer is actually very simple.

Here’s my final top tip, and it’s a very important one:

Be brave, be bold and enjoy yourself. I look forward to seeing your tapes.

Kim Vithana

DOs and DON’Ts for your acting audition:


  • Be enthusiastic about the characters you’ve chosen.
  • Showcase your personality in your introduction
  • Use your natural voice
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Be bold in your choices
  • Make the pieces your own
  • Showcase your unique creativity
  • Film self-tapes Landscape not portrait

  • Don’t overthink your introduction
  • Don’t attempt to do ‘acting for camera’
  • Don’t affect an accent or do a ‘voice’ to fit the character
  • Don’t wear make-up or costumes
  • Don’t use props or background music
  • Don’t film too many takes in order to choose the ‘best’ one
  • Don’t copy a famous version of your chosen monologue from YouTube!