Auditions 101 – Walter Williams
Voiceover Auditions 101
Being a pro voice talent means you’ll need to be able to record an audition for clients on demand with quick turnaround…if you’re serious about getting your next job and furthering your career.
Here’s some tips on how to get that job…see you at the top.
Every Job Posting requires you to fully read the script and instructions before you record anything.
It’s important to understand what the client wants to hear in their project.
Usually you’ll be given a sample script and a job description, talent budget, word count and what type, age group and sex the client wants to hire.
Find out what tone the client wants in the job description.
It might be “conversational, natural, deep”, whatever it is aim for that style of read in your custom demo.
Know your audience.
Who will be hearing your finished product if you are successful? Blue Collar Workers, Suits, Mums and Dads or Children?
Talk to that person or group when you do step up to your microphone.
Print out your sample script, then using a pen mark it up with the breath marks you need to make it flow…using commas plus “ands” as natural breaks in speech.
Before you accept or decline any project it’s critical to agree on the dollars and cents (including GST and currency where necessary) There’s no point arguing over money once you’ve signed off on the job and agreed to the t’s & c’s.
There’s plenty of rate cards on the net to use as a guideline to what your talent is worth, depending on your level of experience…plus you need to factor in any possible script revisions or pick ups.
The amount of words in a project usually helps determine the budget, along with the platform your voice will heard on. (eg: Broadcast ie TV, Radio, Cinema or Non-Broadcast, E-Learning, Online, Corporate, Gaming, Audiobook etc)
Make sure you record in the format the clients requested, whether it be an mp3 at 128 kbps or higher, or a wav file in say 24 bit 48 khz…it’s important to get this right so your demo will transfer on the file transfer protocol the client uses and they can play it on the other end.
Now go ahead and hit the red button and record the best damn job you possibly can soldier.
Generally there is no need to record your name at the beginning of the audition.
Files are linked with your profile.
Remember to always leave a line out of the demo or change the business name so your hard work isn’t used for free by the rare rogue cowboy client.
Once you’re happy with your takes (and there should always be at least 2) edit, de-breath, remove any mouth pops and clicks, then normalise to -3 DB and name and save your raw audio file.
In an ideal world you should be getting hired for 1 out of every 10 jobs you audition for, so good luck!
Walter Williams is one of the founding members of voices.com.au. A voice e as smooth as silk and decades of experience in the voiceover business.