• Broadway Beat

Chilling: Mom’s Notes Actually Made Woman’s Self Tape Better

by Roxy Arecco. @roxyarecco.

NEW YORK, NY - Manhattan-based actress Tara Hilder booked a commercial this morning from a self tape that her mom helped her film, and, while she’s vowed never to ask for her mother’s help again, the actress has begrudgingly confirmed that her mom’s notes actually improved her performance.


“Ok, I guess her notes were kind of helpful,” confessed Tara, who has both a BFA and an MFA in Theatre. “But I only asked her to press record and read my cue. Do you know how annoying it is to be critiqued by someone whose acting credits begin and end with lying to my dad about the $300 charge to his credit card for jeans?”


Tara’s mother, Melissa Hilder, had a different understanding of her role in the filming process, swearing that she heard her daughter say the words “please, watch my performance and berate it ruthlessly.”


“She made me look away while she was acting,” explained Melissa, who has already quit her teaching job to become an audition coach full time. “I could tell from her voice that she wasn’t smiling or sitting up straight, so I advised her to do those things. I knew they were good notes, too, because she hated them.”


From over three hours of footage - the majority of which captured Tara and Melissa screaming at each other, then immediately apologizing through tears - Tara miraculously edited the tape down to two minutes before sending it to the commercial’s casting director, Olivia Catalano.


“I wasn’t surprised to hear that this self tape had a mother’s touch,” said Catalano, who sees moms who read for their children’s self tapes as essential workers. “Something in Tara’s eyes told me. Tears, maybe. But that extra sparkle made Tara the one for us. Plus, she had the best posture.”


For her next self tape, Tara has decided to enlist the help of her dad, who has committed to being quiet and looking away while she’s acting but will not budge on suggesting better sources of light.