The 7 Best Acting Self Tape Tools Under $20

Every year we all get whipped into a frenzy over Black Friday, whether you should participate or not, where the best deals are, digital or in store, et cetera. But if you are taking advantage of this new juggernaught in American holidays (and you really should, as the deals get better every year) are you looking for opportunities to invest in your acting career?

Of course you can deduct the light you buy for self tapes and the neutral background off of your taxes, but wouldn’t you like to get a discount as well?

I’ve put together a The Black Friday Checklist for Actors which greatly expands on The 7 Best Pieces of Self Tape Gear Under $20 that I’ve shared before. You may find some of the same products but this list has so much more to get you ready for the new year with professional gear, real opportunities, and cash in your pocket.

Let’s go!

The Black Friday Checklist for Actors

You can check out the Early Deals right now and even catch some Deals of the Day! Head to Amazon.

*The prices I quote in this checklist are what I was given with my Prime subscription. Prime will always get the best deals on Amazon. If you want to use Prime for 30 days free, you can sign up here.

Self Tape Gear:

1) Camera Kit – $221.99

Video Camera Camcorder 4K Kicteck Ultra HD Digital WiFi Camera 48.0MP 3.0 inch Touch Screen Night Vision 16X Digital Zoom Recorder with External Microphone and Wide Angle Lens,2 Batteries(4KMW)

2) Camera – $171.99

4K Video Camera Camcorder, Rraycom 48MP Ultra-HD WiFi Camcorders, 3 inch Touch Screen Night Vision 16X Digital Zoom Portable Digital Video Camera Recorder with External Microphone and Wide Angle Lens

3) Cell Phone Mount – $8.59

Perfect for on the go self tapes. This mount attaches to glass so you can use it on windows to take advantage of natural light or I’ve even mounted them on mirror or picture frames when shooting in a hotel room. An actor prepares…to self tape anywhere.

Get the Rehearsal App

Rehearse Scripts Anywhere on Mobile

with the Rehearsal App!

4) JOBY Mobile Phone Tripod –  $24.99

OK, you’re not by a window or near a dresser at just the right height for a tripod. What do you do? JOBY has solved this problem over and over again with their flexible mobile phone tripods, but this one also has magnetic feet! That’s right, you can snap it to a lamp post or pipe and be ready to shoot in seconds. These tripods are incredibly durable, flexible and portable. Basically, this is the last mobile tripod you’ll need.

5) External Phone Battery Charger – save 25%

POWERADD Pilot 4GS 12000mAh Apple Lightning Portable Power Bank External Battery Charger with 3A High-Speed Output for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung and More.

6) Mobile Phone Camera Lenses – $10.39

Upgrade the look of your mobile videos using the wide angle lens. The macro and fisheye may not be great for self tapes, but fun otherwise!

VicTsing 3 in 1 Phone Camera Lens, Wide Angle Lens + 10X Macro Lens (Screwed Together), 180° Fisheye Lens, Cell Phone Lens Kits Compatible with iPhone 8/7/6s, Most Android and Smart Phone.

7) Mobile Phone and Camera Stand – $16.09

Neewer 75 inches/190 centimeters Photo Studio Light Stand with Mini Ball Head, Hot Shoe Mount Adapter, Adapter for GoPro and Pink Phone Clip Holder for DSLR Cameras, GoPro and Cellphone Photography.

8) Light and Phone Stand In One – $9.79

Neewer Clamp-on Live Broadcast USB LED Selfie Ring Light with Cell Phone Holder for Youtube Video, 2-Light Mode, 360 Degree Rotating Flexible Arm for iPhone, Samsung, HTC.

9) Backdrop – $27.99

Neewer 9 x 15 feet/2.8 x 4.6 meters Fabric Photography Backdrop Background Screen with 3 Clamps for Photo Video Studio Shooting (Black)

10) LED Lighting – $67.99

Godox Portable LED Video Studio Light LED308W II, Dimmable 5600K White Light with Remote Control and Barndoor, Battery and DC Powered for Outdoors and Indoors Shooting

11) Lav Mic for Mobile Phone – $16.00

Bad sound will kill any audition. You must have good, clean audio. We’ve all tried getting that last minute recording just to have a car horn, barking dogs, or general outside noise spoil the take. NO MORE! This lav mic is a lapel mic that plugs right into your phone and clips to your shirt. The sound is much better and the cord is long enough to allow freedom of movement. This is a must for any on-the-go audition.

12) Shotgun Mic for Mobile Phone – $19.95  

If you need more movement space or are just looking to have a wireless sound setup, then a shotgun mic is what you need. Many of this style of mic can run $60 and above, with some costing well beyond $150! Movo has created an amazing compact shotgun mic that you can take anywhere. You’ll get much better sound and will probably want to use it for any of the videos you shoot on your mobile phone.


If you need your headshots in 24 hours, then there is only one place to go. 25 headshots starting at $29.99. They will print and ship your headshots INSANELY fast and when you reorder, there are no set up fees so it’s even cheaper. You can mention my name in the notes section to let them know how you heard about them!

Books on Acting:

This section could go on and on, but I’ll stick to the top 10 that have been suggested by guests on the podcast. You can always seek out one that fits your needs.

Videos to Watch:

Playing Shakespeare

Michael Caine, Acting In Film

Al Pacino, Looking for Richard

Anthony Hopkins, King Lear

Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, The Hollow Crown


Masterclass –  $99

Acting Classes with Samuel L Jackson, Dustin Hoffman, Helen Mirren or Steve Martin.

Drop Off and Thank You Gifts:

Everyone loves gifts. They are especially useful when dropping off your materials to casting or sending a thank you to your agent, a producer or director. This industry is built on relationships and gifts are a perfect way to make your next correspondence special.

Simply Sweet Bakeshop Lemon Cake Batter Dessert Cookies

  • Cookies come in a pack of 3

  • Ultra-decadent cookies, 6 ounces

  • Each box comes with 6 cookies

Oreo Gift BoxesIncludes Regular Oreo, Double Stuffed and Mini Oreo (Thank You)

100 Thank You Cards Bulk – Thank You Notes, Maroon Red & Gold – Blank Note Cards with Envelopes

Hilliards Hanukkah Peppermint Bark – $29.95

  • The perfect gift – 10 oz of bark in wooden keepsake box with brown grosgrain ribbon

  • Made with Hilliards signature dark and smooth white chocolate

  • Natural oil of peppermint enhances the rich chocolate flavors

  • Family business in its 4th generation handcrafts small batches using family recipes

  • Among New England’s leading makers of artisan chocolates & specialty candies


A festive collection of 3 Chai Teas. Ginger Masala Chai, Maharani Oolong Masala Chai, and Sweet Cinnamon Masala Chai. All in all, a prized token of India packed in delectable tin caddies, in a joyous gift box!

Business Cards/Postcards:

Do you carry your headshot around in your pocket? Does your resume fit inside your wallet? Can you pull your website out of your handbag? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re Mary Poppins and I’d like to schedule a top to bottom cleaning of my apartment.

If you answered no then actor business cards are what you need, and using this link to will let you save $15 when you get them!

Other Deals:

Live Streaming Camera – $199 ($100 off!)

Mevo – Live Event Camera for select Android and iOS devices- Black. Making content has never been easier or more important! Now you can have ONE device that can shoot and stream all at once. This is a great deal for content creators!

Apple Macbook 12” (2017)  – $899

Time to upgrade your computer? Take advantage of these refurbished laptops.  Apple MacBook (Mid 2017) 12″ Laptop, 226ppi, Intel Core M3-7Y32 Dual-Core, 256GB, 8GB DDR3, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, macOS 10.12.5 High Sierra – Space Gray (Renewed)

There ya go! Even just a phone mount and a mic would put you miles ahead. You’ll be able to submit self tapes from the road, send amazing gifts to your industry contacts and research parts and actors to your hearts content. 

Also, don’t forget to combine these self tape tools with ActorTrade, the in person rehearsal application, and you won’t even need to have a reader in the room! What a time to be alive. Creator and actor Dylan Mooney joined me on the podcast in episode 89

These tips and tools have helped me and countless other actors stay competitive and the discounts help you sustain your acting career.

Make sure you listen to the advice of Valorie Hubbard of ActorsFastTrack from episode 79 regarding drop offs and building industry relationships. She wrote the Rule Breakers book featured in this list and she has helped actors earn 1.3 million dollars collectively off of their acting careers! She knows how to build your business better than any other.

If you’re looking to massively improve your audition skills you should check out Michael Kostroff’s book Acting Psych 101 or just attend his incredibly affordable workshops! You can hear some of Michael’s audition tips in episode 31.

Now go enjoy the holidays and prepare for a massively productive actor year!


Mike Moreno, host and creator of ActorCEO