My Top 3 Tips for Voice Over Auditions

Jennifer Sims

I have a confession to make.   Early on in my voice over career, opening my email and seeing an audition request in my in-box would fill me with equal measures of excitement…and panic.  Yep,  just a little bit of panic.  Because while I was excited for the opportunity to potentially book a job,  I was also anxious about that opportunity because I lacked confidence.

So there I was, a trained voice actor and I was actually getting the opportunity to audition and book gigs so why wasn’t I just plain excited?

Here’s what I eventually discovered.  I realized that I did not have a consistent audition strategy.

The voice over industry is becoming increasingly competitive.  A client may receive hundreds of submissions for any given audition and quite honestly, many of those auditions won’t even be listened to all the way through.

So how does a voice actor stack the deck in their favor and make sure that their audition stands out and stays top of mind with the client?

It’s about having an audition game plan that allows the actor to consistently create their best reads.  Here are my top 3 tips for creating your own audition strategy:

1) Make a really good first impression

The first line of your script is what I like to think of as “prime real estate.” It’s your opportunity to make your read stand out right away.  In my job as an ad agency producer I have listened to thousands of auditions.  I was often struck by how often each voice actor’s interpretation of that first line was the same.  I wouldn’t finish listening to the voice actor’s audition who’s first line sounded like every other voice actor.  The voice actor who made that first line their “own” was the audition that would get my attention.

2) Tell the story

In commercial advertising the trend is conversational, conversational, conversational!  Advertisers are striving for the “no sell” approach to their spots.  Storytelling is the trend.  The voice actor who truly connects to the copy and the story will stand out with the client.  And one of the best ways to connect to the story is to be specific in your choices as a voice actor.  Break down the script and ask: Who am I talking to?  Where am I?  Why am I talking to my listener about this?  How do I want my listener to feel?

3) Ignore the deadline

Most often when you receive an audition in your  email, it will have a specific deadline.  Ignore that deadline and send your audition in as soon as possible.  As I mentioned before, hundreds of voice actors will be submitting on any given audition.  A client is not likely to listen to all of those hundreds of auditions and will select a voice actor long before their stated deadline.  I’m not suggesting you rush your preparation. You’ll still want to take time to break down the copy, make specific choices and tell the story.  But  get that audition in long before the deadline. A voice actor can not assume that their audition will be heard if they wait to submit it to the client.

Whether you book the gig or not, if your audition was excellent, the client will remember!  Consider each audition as an opportunity for the next audition – you may not have been right for this particular project but you’ve increased your odds of being considered for the next project! If you are having trouble creating your own audition strategy, no worries! That’s where Edge Studio comes in! Be sure to check out our upcoming class schedule, or book a private coaching session with me and we can work on YOUR strategy to help you feel more confident with each audition.