Your Guide

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Manuel Puro

Manuel has over 20 years casting experience working across feature films, television, computer games, commercials and shorts.

Projects include MOON and MUTE directed by Duncan Jones, SHAUN THE SHEEP: FARMAGEDDON for Aardman Animation and PLANET OF THE APES: THE LAST FRONTIER, the first in-house video game from Andy Serkis’ The Imaginarium.

Manuel regularly hosts mentoring sessions with organizations such as the National Film and Television School, iFeatures and the Directors Guild of Great Britain, and has held casting workshops all over the world.

He was the winner of’s inaugural Casting Director of the Year Award – voted by actors for the CD they felt most comfortable with and who they thought got the best out of them.

In 2017 Manuel created The Acting Habit, an innovative online platform where actors from all over the world can share their work, receive and give feedback, experiment creatively and learn new technical skills.

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

What is the 21-Day Self-Tape Challenge?

An opportunity to act and create – every single day – accompanied by fellow actors from all over the world. It may push your limits, but you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.

How Does The 21-Day Self-Tape Challenge Work?

* At 7pm each day (in your own time zone) you and the entire group will be emailed an audition piece with a new character for you to inhabit.

* The Challenge is to interpret and explore the character, learn the lines, film your self-tape and upload the file – all within 24 hours, when the next audition piece is delivered.

* Repeat for 21 days until you are in a state of peak readiness for any acting opportunities.

* It’s that simple.

What Kind Of Material Will You Receive?

The audition pieces have been carefully selected from film, tv and other works and encompass a range of genres and technical styles. They gradually become more difficult as the Challenge progresses and your memory muscles strengthen. We start you with simple short monologues using everyday language. These get longer and we start adding more complex phrases (e.g. scientist and medical roles). Then we ask you to perform scenes with multiple characters, so you can learn how to handle the challenges of self-taping without a reader present.

By the end of the Challenge we aim to have you ready for anything a casting director can throw at you.

Are There Any Other Reasons You Should Do It?

Hopefully you’ll find receiving new material every day and sharing your work with your colleagues motivation enough but here are some additional incentives:

  • All participants will be invited to attend a live online Q&A hosted by casting director Manuel Puro that takes place at the end of the Challenge on Sunday April 23rd at 7pm UK time.
  • All participants receive one year's free membership of Acting Habit Plus - this gives access to a series of online courses hosted by other working casting professionals. These are a unique opportunity for you to interact with a casting professional in the way that you are likely to in the real world – by self-tape – but this time with the benefit of getting their personal feedback each day.
  • All Acting Habit alumni are eligible to enter The Acting Habit Community – where you can join graduates of previous courses, keep your new habit active and much more besides – details supplied during the Challenge.

We hope that you’ll be inspired to get the Acting Habit by taking the 21-Day Self-Tape Challenge and look forward to seeing you on the course – thank you for reading!

Manuel and the Puro Casting Team, 2023

You can give the Challenge as a gift by purchasing a Gift Certificate here:

UK£35 / €42US$50 CAN$60AUD$69 / NZ$70

Testimonials from previous Challenges

"I would recommend this course to any working actor out there. It has been such a great, challenging, motivating and educational experience. The course is a safe and supportive environment and  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how I approach self-tapes and an improvement in my own efficiency whilst taking the course. I even booked a job from a self-tape audition during the workshop." Lindsay Mead

"This has been such an amazing experience. I’ve loved being part of such a supportive group of actors, and having all this fun and challenging material to learn each day. I have learned so much, especially on the technical side of self tapes, and grown in confidence in the performances I give. I will be recommending this course to all my friends." Rachel Levy

"Self-tapes are no longer a chore, but a pleasure.  My memorisation skills have improved exponentially, and I’m feeling fit and whole as an actor.  Thank you for a great supportive course, and building a community of actors from around the globe.  A must for any actor!" Matt Ovenden-Young

"I recommend… no, I REALLY recommend this course to ANY actor out there. It’s done more for me than I ever imagined. I feel the course has made me braver and much more efficient in self-taping and learning lines. Trust me when I say you will only grow from doing this course…it’s been invaluable." Natalie Martins

"Great course! Very low price and the info was invaluable – I learned just how quickly I can turn self-tape’s round when under pressure. It made me far more confident in what I am doing with self-tapes." Oliver Hewitt

"Over these 21 days, I learned to trust my instincts more than ever because I signed up when my schedule was busiest. It was a great advantage seeing how other actors interpret the same piece you were given – it allowed me to see the beauty of each person’s POV and it strengthened my comfort level in having my own originality. Try it out! The busier you are, the more it will pay off: you’ll realise you’re much more resourceful than you knew." Darrionna Barnes

"I’ve banged on about this course to anyone who’ll listen. I’ve been amazed I’ve learned so much more than *just* self-taping – I feel I’ve learned loads about screen acting too. It’s a wonderful way to learn real technical skills in self-taping along with being a superb creative experience for any actor. The supportive atmosphere is very freeing, whilst the course content is continually challenging and interesting”. Clare Fraenkel

"A fantastic course that demystifies self-taping and gets you acquainted with the technical side of this skill, as well as letting you harness your creativity to make strong choices quickly and confidently. I learned to love self-taping and enjoy taking text and interpreting it in different ways. I learnt a huge amount from watching others’ interpretations of the same text." Devora Wilde

"Thanks so much for an amazing experience. A very affordable and vital tool for any actor looking to embrace self-taping. My confidence in getting self tapes done and ready to go in no time has grown and grown through the course. You learn so much from watching others and the whole formula of the course just works brilliantly. I’ve recommended this to so many people." Yvie Magee

"I have learnt so much, professionally, technically, and personally. Its been the highlight of each day settling down to watch the tapes, and receiving comments on my own. The number of different characters that we have been explored is amazing. I used to procrastinate on self-tapes, and now I know i can get one done effectively and creatively, but also efficiently." Cara Dudgeon

You can give the Challenge as a gift by purchasing a Gift Certificate here: UK£35 / €42US$50 CAN$60AUD$69 / NZ$70

We follow Casting Society of America workshop guidelines:

 “These workshops are a learning experience. They are not an audition or employment opportunity. When the workshops are over, the casting director/associates hosting the workshops will not be given access to your headshot, resume or any other of your promotional materials”

The intent of the workshop is educational and should not be considered a job interview or audition. Attending workshops is not a way to obtain employment as an actor. It is a learning / educational experience. The presence of a Casting Director or other professional is neither a guarantee nor a promise of employment. All views expressed by any course hosts and participants are their own.

Along similar lines is the question of what you can do with your own material that you create during the Workshop.  The audition material has been provided solely for educational purposes. You can share it privately with your agent. But please do not share anything from this course publicly - on social media or your own websites or anywhere else where it would be publicly available, because you could be infringing copyright and this may expose you to legal action.