Alright, so you’ve been auditioning for a while, but you feel like you’re just not getting any bites. Or maybe you’re new to the world of voice-over, and you want to make sure your work really resonates from the get-go. How do you make your voice-over audition stand out?
While there are infinite ways to keep learning and developing as a voice talent, using these five tips can ensure your auditions actually book. And when we book work, not only do we gain confidence as professionals, but we’re also able to invest in becoming even better!
- Be a Human (Not a Robot)
“Real, relatable, authentic, non-announcery” – sound familiar?
Most casting directors and clients have come around to the fact that today’s audiences don’t want to be preached to. Instead, they want to have conversations. So while you may be recording an audition alone, it’s important to remember what goes unsaid in your imagined conversation with the person you’re speaking to.
Another part of being human in your approach is finding something in the text which you can truly connect to. Maybe you don’t drive a sporty minivan yourself, but you might be able to relate to schlepping around town with a few kids, a dog, and groceries in tow. Put yourself in that space, and humanity will come through in your delivery.
- Make Opposite Choices
When clients listen to voice-over auditions, they hear a lot of people who sound exactly the same. Since you usually will provide several takes, use at least one of those takes to do something unexpected. Science literally proves that we get excited from being surprised, and casting directors are no different.
For instance, if the obvious choice is to play something over-the-top, perhaps on one of your reads, you approach the text with a deadpan sense of humor instead. Find the balance in taking a bold risk and doing something different, while still drawing on the foundations of your good technique.
- Deliver White-Glove Audio Quality
If you’re submitting an audition from home (as 90% of auditions are done these days), an obvious way to stand out from your competitors is to deliver sound quality which sounds professional. You may just be starting out in the business, but the client doesn’t have to know that!
Your auditions are your first impressions, like vocal business cards, so you want them to be crisp, ear-catching, and high-caliber. Ensure that your acoustics, microphone placement, and editing combine to present your work as polished and dependable.
- Use Multiple Creative Stimulants
Remember summer camp as a kid? Remember all of the cool activities you got to try out, from painting to improv and beyond? Everything was playful (even if you were secretly learning behind it all).
Keeping your auditions playful, at least from your mental perspective, is a great way to stay fresh. Sometimes, you might not be jiving with one way of connecting to the text, so instead of getting bogged down in endless analysis, try other creative stimulants to move your mind, body, and voice.
Using lead-in lines and self prompts is a wonderful start. Alternately, find a picture of who the character is to you on the internet, or place some photos of your own friends and family in the booth with you. Try wearing shoes that get you into that zone and help your physicality. There are many ways to connect to the text which keep things fun. And when you’re enjoying the work, it comes through in your delivery!
- Be Easy to Work With
Last, but by no means least: be easy to work with. You may not be the award-winning, twenty-year veteran of voice acting, but as you hone your skills, being pleasant, professional, and confident will make you memorable. No one enjoys working with a diva, in any industry.
From a voice-over perspective, when you’re doing in-person auditions, be courteous, on time, and prepared. When you’re auditioning from your home studio, use your proposal notes and templates to remind clients what kind of turnaround time you can offer, whether you include any rounds of revisions, and how your home studio can serve their needs.
As you keep working your way up the voice-over ladder, remember to incorporate these tricks. Over time, they’ll become second-nature, and you’ll notice your booking rates improving as well.
Remember: perfect practice is what makes perfect!