So, I’ve been touring around teaching the Self-Management for Actors principles in cities all over the world. Awesome. Loving it. One of the questions I was asked recently in a minor market simply blew my mind. It was a question based in an ABSOLUTE that was being preached by one of the industry leaders in that market.

Here’s the short version of that “truth”: No casting director in Los Angeles will ever look at audition footage submitted by an actor or agent or manager unless the opening STILL shows the actor in front of a crisp, blue sheet, which indicates the footage was shot in a professional facility.

(This is where my jaw dropped.)

“Wow,” I said. “That’s some blue sheet bullshit.” I mean, really. Let’s play this out.

I’m a casting director in Los Angeles and I have opened up the field on a particular role to actors in a minor market, via taped audition. Awesome. All sorts of awesome. Let’s say it’s a local hire role. We’re doing invitations via Eco-Cast or any other online self-submitted audition option. We WANT to see the actors in that market on this particular role. We NEED to.

You’re telling me that — when we’re HOPING to find the answer to our PROBLEM by opening up in this way — we will actually NOT watch a submission we have received because the opening STILL shows the actor in front of a backdrop other than a crisp, blue sheet?

That’s coo-coo for cocoa puffs crazytown talk, right there, mister.

That’s like saying, “THIS may be a winning lottery ticket in your hand, but don’t scratch off to see the numbers, because you’ve got a nickel instead of a quarter, to do the scratching. Just throw the ticket out.”


When I pushed a little deeper into the “wisdom” of this whole thing, it turned out — as you might expect — the person espousing this RULE offers audition taping services. In front of a crisp, blue sheet.

Sure. That person’s facility is *also* filled with great equipment, it delivers perfect sound, and even handles coaching the actors to their best reads as a part of the premium offerings. Awesome. But don’t EVER tell an actor that there’s a hard and fast RULE about anything in this business, universally.

If a casting director has said, “We want to see audition footage from other markets,” you can bet someone in that office is gonna watch the stuff. Because any self-taped audition could be THE ONE, you have to trust — especially if it has been requested — it’s gonna be checked out.

Absolutely, equip your team with the best tools you’ve got in your arsenal to have them help you along through the casting process. Absolutely, take all the tips that have been provided so that you can shoot your best take, every time! Absolutely, have everything that is in your control going for you, so that everyone is seeing the best of your work, rather than focusing on what’s going wrong. Always. Yes. Yes, yes, YES!

But to NOT tape yourself because you’ve been told by someone who sells this line of “blue sheet BS” that “THIS is the ONLY way you WILL be seen”? No. Don’t buy it. It’s one of those Big Lies. There are a lot of ’em. *sigh*

If you’ve been invited to tape your own audition footage, DO IT. Even if nothing comes of it, it’s fantastic practice and it’s only going to happen more and more. Get good at it. Blue sheet or no blue sheet!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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