Home Auditions – 10 Tips for Success
Jul 10 2018
Tips for successful home auditions, or refining the art of auditioning from your home.
These days, you usually submit a recording, rather than visit the client. So no worries about the mechanics of signing in and how to behave at a commercial studio that your client sends you to. More than ever, winning the audition depends on your ability to self-direct. But there are still other ways to boost your chances. Are you doing all these things right?
Don’t sound like everyone else.
- This is easier than it might seem, but requires study, thought, practice and maybe some coaching to explore the many ways you can make your read distinctive, yet still “you” and on-target.
Don’t read too fast.
- Your listener can’t see the script. They have to mentally process what they hear. If there’s a video component, that’s even more to take in. So speak naturally, but give them time to absorb.
Don’t rush the first word(s).
- In many genres (not just commercials), your listener’s mind is on whatever came just before, be it a conversation, or personal thought, or previous presentation, whatever. Help them in that moment to catch up and get in synch with you. Be sure your first words are especially clear.
Don’t automatically pause after the first short phrase.
- To an experienced audition screener, pausing unnecessarily signals that maybe you just speak in patterns, not really thinking about what you’re saying. Speak in complete thoughts. If a pause is appropriate, use it. If there’s no punctuation or reason to pause there, don’t.
Watch your volume level.
- If the audition instructions include volume specifications, meet them. Otherwise, low volume makes you sound weak. Very low volume makes you sound unprofessional. And if it’s way too low, the screener might not even listen. Ideally, aim for -3 dB peak volume, never going into the red.
- Even if the audition deadline is days away, get to it immediately and send it as soon as you have a read you’re proud of. You may be competing with many other submissions, and busy clients sometimes choose from the first auditions that come in.
- If slating instructions are given, follow them precisely. Otherwise, should you slate at the start, the end, or even slate at all? Opinions and situations differ. For example, in an automated online audition, the client sees your name in the system, so some people feel a slate is unnecessary – get right to the read. One thing is sure: a bad slate is bad for your chances. Slate only your name, clearly and confidently yet pleasantly. Remember, your slate is your one chance to get your name in front of a new client.
Make your file names distinctive and clear
- You can’t know how the client will store the file or where they’ll send it. So unless you’re given specific file naming instructions, include your name in the file name, and the title or product, and date – enough to uniquely identify your file without having to listen. Only as long as that. For example, Pat Hartsman-Dell TV-2018-07-10
Develop audition skills
- Even top professional athletes and musicians must continually practice. One way to learn home audition skills and practice them under pressure is to practice with us. Edge Studio offers various audition classes for talent at all experience levels, including classes that simulate the actual audition experience.
- You can also learn by entering and following our Monthly Audition Contest, and by submitting your recordings to our Feedback Forum. Also check the articles below.
Work with a director
- Consider hiring a commercial studio for important auditions. For example, we supply an experienced VO engineer and director, recording you at our location or remotely at yours. It’s an especially good approach if the job is a major client or you’re still getting a feel for auditioning. Our audition clients have a very good success rate.
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