Self-Tape Challenge

Oh man. Lovers of 100-Day Challenge action, get ready for a speed-round.

I facilitate these ongoing SMFA mastermind groups. Eight of them, to be exact. Well, last week, one of my lovely groups was engaged in thoughtful blockbusting for one of the participant’s focus issues. Now, you should know that during these meetings, I’m taking copious notes to share in our private online forum. That way, all masterminders can stay relaxed, open, and receptive to the hive-mind work we’re doing while trusting that I’ll have all the advice and resources shared in one place for future reference.

Okay, so, something *really* interesting happened during this particular bit of blockbusting. The note I created was almost iffy. Definitely noncommittal (something we dance with, in masterminding — since sometimes the important thing is getting ideas out and sometimes the important thing is holding someone’s feet to the fire about moving ideas forward). It was just a cautiously optimistic POSSIBLE to-do. Here it is:

maybe post self-taped auditions and craft work in the forums to get feedback and to be accountable for working the instrument — maybe start this in a month or so

Now… I can’t share exactly how things went down — both out of respect for my gorgeous masterminders and because we were all dishing out a bunch of “yes, and…” for this sweet little *maybe* of accountability of possibly getting going with some self-taped auditions created for practice, not for actual castings.

But it got serious, quickly. Yes, we were encouraging. Yes, we were thinking about how great this muscle-building task could be. Yes, we were all eager to help one of the masterminders build toward serving a craft muscle in addition to all the Self-Management for Actors work going on.

And then a challenge was extended: “What if you self-taped every day of the month?”

Here’s me: *blink* *blink* *blink*.

Not just for the boldness of the challenge, issued by one masterminder to another, but for what I was sure would be a response of, “Well… maybe I could try to set up my camera and pull down sides and get something up once a week… maybe.”

I was ready for where I thought this would go, not for where it would end up. Here. In this column. In front of tens of thousands of actors, reading worldwide.

Ready? My brilliant masterminders not only challenged ONE member of the group to do DAILY self-tapes for the whole month of February, but agreed that they would ALL do daily self-taped reads.

Yep. All month long, these four talented actors from Toronto, Uruguay, Michigan, and Los Angeles are grabbing sides from Showfax, firing up their webcams, shooting themselves doing the work, and posting their vids up in our private SMFA Talkback forum.

And now I’m challenging you to do the same.

No, you don’t have to post your vids anywhere (although I’d love to cheer you on, should you choose to do so — you can get into our private forums here), and of course, with some material, it’s not *okay* for you to post it anywhere, so be smart about this, please.

But if you’d like to join in on this ridiculously fun and easy challenge for the month of February, just start. Start right now. Shoot a monologue. Shoot a joke. Shoot an improvised bit based on a character you’ve been working out in class. Pull sides out of your files, grab that monologue anthology from school, transcribe a scene you saw on a favorite TV show last night. Just shoot yourself acting. Right now. And daily.

Share the goods at Twitter with hashtag #SMFAninjas if you want some community support with this. But honestly, this is not about the public sharing or the community accountability. That stuff is awesome, but the real point to this is to build a muscle — if not a home studio — that allows you to be so dang good at self-taping, on your own, no matter what, that you can get an audition notice and jump into action WITHOUT having to ramp up, figure out a plan, or learn what to do. Best of all, you can get that last-minute self-tape audition and never again have to make an EXCUSE about why you can’t make it happen.

Because you can. You just may not believe it yet.

Whether you do this challenge or not, send my awesome masterminders some love and support for being bold and starting (and hopefully finishing) strong. But consider doing this too. Do it for yourself. Build a muscle. Get GOOD at self-taping this month.

Lemmeknow how this goes for you!


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 http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001932.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: I did it! Lessons from Self-tape Challenge no. 2 – It's Lenka

  2. Pingback: I did it! Lessons from Self-tape Challenge no. 2 – Lenka Šilhánová

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