Working Wednesday: A Good Slate

In today’s rapidly changing voice-over industry, slating will always remain the way to vocally identify yourself to the casting team or whoever is going to be listening to your audition.

When asked to go to a studio for an audition, generally when you first enter the booth the casting director will ask, “Can I please get a slate?”.

Your answer should be simple: state JUST YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME.

As a new voice actor, you need to know that this is ONLY your first and last name. This isn’t a time to say “of course” or “ok” or “sure” or “I’m…”. They don’t have time for that. Just your first and last name when auditioning in-person. Now, there will always be a debate on when and when not to slate when it comes to sending in your MP3’s. This is simply up to the casting director, and all of them have different preferences. Slating your name and number of takes was the standard for many years. If there is NO direction on how to slate, ask your agent how they prefer or make your own decision. 

However, with the introductions of the pay-to-play market and the fact that we ALL audition from home now, these casting people are now able to listen to HUNDREDS of auditions.

Many of the casting people I’ve taken workshops from and auditioned for have expressed that they prefer the slate at the end, or NO SLATE AT ALL due to the time it takes from their casting process. When there is no direction, for commercial auditions I DO state my name AND number of takes because I want them to know that I have provided more than one take for them. 

Always, ALWAYS read the specs and ANY notes in the email or audition pages as there is a chance that you may see the NO SLATE direction. This is getting more and more common as your name is already in the MP3 file and many are ok with just that and no audible slate. The tone of your slate should be positive, friendly, and confident as this may be the first impression they have of you. NOT put on, “performed”, punched-up, or overly projected. An internal smile with a relaxed “all is well” attitude will make a great slate for any type of voice.



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