Let’s face it.
First impressions are integral.
Research shows that most people quickly judge others’ based on subtle cues within 7 seconds.
And so when it comes to voiceover auditions, even if you don’t get the part because the producers or casting directors decided to cast someone else for whatever reason. It’s important you still put your best foot forward and make a great impression.
Because naturally, you want to get invited for future auditions don’t you?
So here are some Do’s and Don’ts Audition Tips to help guide you to make a good impression.
Before the Audition
Do Pay Attention to Specs and Details
First things first, read what you get—from the email, from your agent, from casting companies. Read it through carefully.
This is part of the audition They want to see if you can take directions well with the directions and the information provided. This include everything from naming your file to submission instructions. So ensure you read everything carefully and follow the instructions.
What are the specs?
The specs are who they want you to be / play? What style / tone of voice do they want you to have. This is going to inform you of how you want to read your script.
Do they want you to Slate or Don’t Slate?
Slating means to state your name. So typically, if they want you to Slate you’d say This is Theresa Ho reading for (Insert Character you are audition for).
If they don’t mention it, I’d still slate except on P2P sites.
Do Title Your File Correctly
in some cases, you may be requested to label your files accordingly. They’ll tell you how they’d like it to be labeled, i.e. Character Name_Project Name_Your Name. To avoid any mistakes, just copy and paste the format they’d like it in and add the relevant information.
If they don’t provide directions, keep your labeling simple. Character Name_Your Name _(Agency name if you have one).
Submit it your audio as an MP3, unless directed otherwise.
Last but not least
if you don’t know what product you’re reading for. Google it and find out and see if you can find any past ads or videos so you can get a feel for what they company likes, who you’re talking to and have know what you’re talking about.
Do Read Only Your Lines
When you get your script, you’ll notice there may directions or additional details on the script that paints the scene or you’ll see the dialogue between your character with another.
In any circumstances, there is no need to read these additional details. These are there for you to have an idea of what the scene is about and what is taking place.
You just need to read your lines.
Don’t NOT Take Care of Your Health
From a holistic perspective, it’s important to keep your physical and mental well-being in a happy and healthy positive state.
Don’t Be Unprepared
Make sure you’ve read over the scripts a few times and warm up your mouth with a couple of reads. Mark the script. Who are you? Who are you talking to? What’s your intention? Perhaps there are certain words you want to emphasize or feelings you want to connect to on certain lines. Make note of it.
#3 Don’t Over-Rehearse
Sounds counterintuitive. But trust me, after doing your due diligence, and going over the script reading it softly, then marking it, then re-reading it again getting into the embodiment of the character a few times, leave it alone for a bit. Don’t overdo it, or else it won’t sound as natural and you’ll lose that natural spark in your read.
Want to stand out from the audition?
- Do add some non-verbal sounds when it’s appropriate (i.e. giggles, whimpers, sniffles, sighs) where it feels appropriate
- Do improvise (if it makes sense). Adding a few words or a line but nothing crazy where you transform the script or is distracting.
- Don’t add any sound effects; If you are self-taping, DO NOT embed any sounds FXs to your audio.
- Don’t over-process your audio. Keep the file as raw as possible. This means you need to have a good recording space. You can take out breaths or mouth noises that are distracting. Keep any other fancy editing out. They want to hear YOU and your voice.
During the Auditioning
- Do silence your cellphone;
- Do give confident, decisive reads.
- Do be punctual and be cognizant of people’s time by showing up on time and doing your job and not talking too much in between takes.
- Do have a second / alternative take that shows a different side of you. You can include this in your self-tape. If it’s a live audition, having an idea of what you might do differently might come in handy will when you’re asked to provide different takes
- Don’t wear rustling clothing or clanging jewelry;
- Don’t turn the page as you’re reading your sentence;
- Don’t wear your politics or religion on your sleeve;
- If it’s a live direction, don’t ignore and resist taking direction. Don’t continue to give the same exact read. Your job is to connect with the CLIENT’s point of view. It’s not about you, and what you think. It’s their vision and you’re paid to bring it to life even if you don’t agree /believe in it.
After the Audition
- Do thank them for the opportunity to audition
- Do let go and forget about the audition once it’s over. Focus your energy and attention on your next audition. A lot of times, we are our own worst critics, and it doesn’t help when we are in that head space because our future auditions will take a toll when we are not present and physically, and emotional distracted.
- Don’t beg for work. The likelihood of you attaining voiceover success overnight is slim. So don’t quit your day job so quickly. Make sure you diversify your income stream so that you are in a good headspace.
- Don’t post cast, photos, or script info to social media without the employer’s approval. This goes for auditions as well as paid gigs, especially if you have signed a NDA agreement.