January Jones is sick of auditioning over Zoom. Variety reports that over the weekend the Mad Men actor took to her Instagram Stories to express her frustration with virtual auditions. “Note to Hollywood: It’s time for casting directors to come back into the office like everyone else. To audition actors in person,” she wrote.
Jones took on virtual auditions as well as the now ubiquitous “self-tape,” which requires the actor to film their own audition and send it to the casting director themselves. “I personally have had to self tape several times since the pandemic began and there is zero benefit to it for anyone involved,” her post continued. “It’s time consuming, expensive, and a drag to whomever you have to drag in to read with you (sorry Mom), and is often done with zero direction/notes.” She also gave some free advice to aspiring actors out there, warning them to never pay for an audition: “And if anyone asks for a FEE to audition please know that this is criminal and PATHETIC.”
“I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for an actor just starting out if an established actor has to beg for a Zoom [meeting] when an in-person audition is ‘unavailable,’” Jones concluded. “Please do better.”
While virtual auditions and self-tapes have allowed actors to audition in a socially distant manner, they’ve come with their own issues. In 2020, White Lotus actor Lukas Gage went viral after posting video of a virtual audition where a director, later revealed to be TV-comedy veteran Tristram Shapeero, disparaged him (and his apartment!) while thinking he was on mute during the actor’s audition. (Shapeero apologized, saying that he was “mortified” by his comments.)
At the time, Jones commented on Gage’s viral audition, perhaps foreshadowing her now documented distaste for the virtual audition process. “Classy response Lukas 👌🏻,” she wrote. “What an entitled asshole, dm me who it was so I can make note not to ever work with that person.”