Audition, Audition, Audition
Whether people realize it or not, voiceover auditions are 95% of a voice actor’s job. That’s the world we live in. In the good old days, people were ‘booked off of their demos’ (hired after someone listened to a demo of their work). Nowadays, almost everybody wants to hear their copy auditioned, and I get it. It’s a heck of a lot easier to hear the real thing than to imagine what your project would sound like spoken by a variety of different people.
All-day. Life throws all kinds of curveballs at you. You can duck, run and hide, or step up to the mic and put that kinetic energy to good use. From my studies with Marice Tobias I’ve learned that regardless of the emotion you are feeling, you can harness it and have it serve your reads. Anger and frustration seem to work really well to get you in touch with your true self. Try this exercise: read a piece of copy, then read a ‘rant’ you’ve written or can extemporaneously speak about, then immediately read the copy again.
It will be different. It will be connected. It will be you.
Of course, when you’re working with people who know your range, they can trust that whatever the project is that they’re presenting you with, you’ll be able to deliver and deliver well.
It’s a Numbers Game
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s a numbers game. Very much like when I was a stockbroker many years ago. We smiled and dialed. 100 calls meant you reached 10 people, which meant that one person was interested in you sending them a brochure about whatever the product was that we were selling. Then the real hard part started where you had to build trust over time so that you got to know the person and they you before a transaction ever took place.
With auditioning, I keep track of my numbers too. How many I record per month, whether they’re recorded live or recorded in my studio, where the sources of the auditions are, and what my hit ratio is. Last year I recorded 677 auditions and booked 103 jobs. Not all of the bookings came from auditions, however. 54 were repeat clients, and 49 were new ones, so based purely on the number of auditions and the number of new clients, that was a 7% hit ratio. My numbers are looking even better this year, which I attribute to continued training and honing my craft.
Hearing is Believing
- Jewish South African male actors narrate an audiobook who have to be able to speak Yiddish.
- Women 35-40. Doesn’t have to be that age just sounds like it.
Regardless of the specs, whoever sent them to you thinks you’re right for the job, so bring your interpretation to the audition. That’s how you #BeHeard.
Now I leave you with some words from Bryan Cranston: “Know what your job is. It’s NOT to get a job. When you audition, you’re going there to present what you do. You act. There it is. You walk away. There’s power in that. There’s confidence in that. It’s also saying there’s only so much I can do.”