Charleston, South Carolina
This is a simulated audition from a local tourism board of their new self-guided walking tour. We’re seeking a conversational read from someone who has a true passion for history and exploring. Someone who’ll keep our listeners engaged. We welcome true (natural) South Carolina accents (please do not put on an affected accent) as well as all other voice types. No slate.
Our welcome mat is this original cobblestone street. From here, together, we'll explore the sights, sounds, and flavors only found in one place: right here in Charleston, South Carolina. And you'll learn that the stories you’ve heard about our legendary hospitality are true.
Winners and All Entries Below
But first, read our free: Analysis: Why the Winners Won ... and Why Others Didn't.
Congratulations to our winners, Nadine Simmons, Issac Versaw, and Chris Bookless.
By being simultaneously conversational, passionate about the subject, and informative, they threaded the needle and made this tour feel like a walk in the park. They also stood out from the many other professional-sounding reads that tended to sound alike. Here are tips on recording audition and jobs of this nature, as well as making your next read more distinctive.
- The read is not professional.
- The talent didn’t follow specs.
- It sounds like all the others.
- Words are slurred, inaudible or lazily pronounced. (IMPORTANT: In this month’s auditions, we heard a lot of “welcome mah” and “cobblestone stree.”)
- The recording has a serious technical issue, such as noise, distortion, stereo audio (your auditions should be mono, identical on both channels), poor studio acoustics, unrequested music or SFX, or very low volume.
1st place winner: Nadine Simmons
She sounds as if she truly loves this town and is excited to show it to you. That is, we hear real passion. This is what won her First Place. We also like that she interpreted well, hitting the word “cobblestone” rather than street. (Remember – this is a walking tour … it’s not news to the listener that they’re standing at a street. Some people hit “original” which is another good alternative.) However, some words are slurred or unfinished (e.g., “right” has no T). And she “swallows” certain words (such as “flavors”) causing it to seem as if the audio is fading in and out. Although her overall read is smooth, various words have a staccato quality (such as “cobblestone” and “together”) that she should learn to turn on and off as desired. The recording quality is marginal, as it has system noise, loud breaths, mouth noise and is a bit muddy.
2nd place winner: Isaac Versaw
Overall, he has a nice, steady, natural, enthusiastic delivery. It’s a little choppy at the start, but nevertheless is one of the smoother auditions this month. Very good enunciation. In fact, it’s even a smidge too articulate at times. But lowering a “T” sound is not difficult or time-consuming for the recording engineer, so it’s better to overdo the T, rather than missing it altogether. Recording quality is good.
3rd place winner: Chris Bookless
He’s in our top three because he connected words that belong with other words. Thank you, Chris, for being smooth. For example, “From here, together”. The comma isn’t really necessary, and so he phrased it smoothly – sounding natural – so that “together” didn’t get undue emphasis. Another example is “Charleston, South Carolina.” The comma is just because it’s required in written English, but the listener surely knows which “Charleston” he means, so there’s no reason to pause and emphasize the state. He made it a smooth phrase. A bit more smile would have helped him convey more passion for the city. And we would have directed him to hit “one” in the phrase “only found in one place…” since “one” is more important than “place.” Recording quality is good.