Podcasts Voice Over Experts 6 Steps to Win a Voice Over Audition with David Goldberg
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6 Steps to Win a Voice Over Audition with David Goldberg

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Geoff Bremner
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Join veteran voice over coach David Goldberg from Edge Studio on this month’s Voice Over Experts. David dives deep into his 30 plus years of experience in the voice over industry and gives us a behind the scenes look into what clients do when casting a voice talent. Have you ever wondered who might be listening to your audition, or how to master the balance between your personality and artistic direction? David Goldberg is here to give you the inside scoop so you can be more successful in your voice over career.

More about David and his studio: https://edgestudio.com/david-goldberg/

Spice up your auditions: https://www.voices.com/blog/art-of-audition/

Check out our other podcasts: https://www.voices.com/podcasts/

Hello and welcome to Voiceover Experts, your monthly educational podcast, which helps you take your voice acting career to a whole new level. Pretty cool. Uh, these podcasts have amazingly insightful lessons, and they're brought to you by voices, voiceover coaches. I am David Goldberg. I am the Chief Edge Officer of Edge Studio. And today I think this lesson is gonna be like amazing. We're talking about six steps to booking work, six really unique steps, different steps than you hear. You, uh, will hear elsewhere. Um, but first, very briefly, just a little bit about Edge Studio, because a lot of people know the name but don't really know what we do. We are a huge casting and production house. In the voiceover industry. We cast every conceivable kind of voiceover. We cast commercials, video games, documentaries, uh, audio books, you name it. We cast it and we record and we produce, we, we handle ADR and dubbing and translation.
We do a lot of international work. Um, we have a fantastic team and we all love what we do. And we have sort of a side business, which has become a huge part of Edge Studio, and that is the voice acting school at Edge Studio. And we have, uh, 16 or 17 different coaches at the moment, all kinds of classes. And we have an amazingly good track record. A lot of students who go through our program are doing so well in the industry, and it is because of the six steps that I'm going to talk about today. So I feel like we should get right into the six steps. Um, the thing to know is sort of one thing there is to know, there is like a, a conundrum that you, the voice actor goes through because like every day you're given, you're given scripts to read and you have a limited interaction with the client or, or no interaction.
Um, sometimes you don't even know who the client is from these auditions. Sometimes you're given direction, sometimes you're not. And when you are given direction, sometimes it's confusing. It's hard to parse. It's, I don't know, like it doesn't, none of this makes your job easy, but some of the things that we talk about today will make it easy. But let me go a little further into this dark hole because you're given these scripts to read as auditions without clear or any direction. And then you're told to like read it in a certain way. And for example, the client wants it to be read at a certain pacing or leave certain, uh, or emphasize certain words, and you follow these technical things. But now you're kind of not able to infuse personality into your script. And you have to start to wonder how much personality should you include? Like should you take the,
The safe route and be technically correct, like follow everything to a T or should you really kind of blow all of that off and, and be all about personality? Or how do you find that blend? That is what these six, these six steps do. These six steps will help you find a blend that will help you sort of incorporate the technical aspects or the direction that a client may want, while also infusing personality, which is so key to booking work. No one wants to book a voice that doesn't have personality or very rarely. So that's what these six steps do. And we talk about these six steps at Edge Studio so often because they really do help voice actors win a lot of work. I'm going to go through them very quickly, and if you ever want to go through them personally, just let us know.
And number one, uh, step one is like I tell my kids homework, do some groundwork practice, okay? Take a script practice and then research the client. Okay? Look up how to pronounce the client name or the product or the, these general basic things are, are key. We, we have tens of thousands of auditions and it is staggering how many voice actors mispronounce the client name. Um, that is not a way to ever
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bookwork. So just do a little groundwork. Okay? Number two, change your mindset. Changing your mindset is key. What I mean by change your mindset is you need to make sure that you read an audition so the client will like it, not so you'll like it. I'll give you an example. Voice actors call me all the time and they say, David, I didn't book that job. I don't know why I didn't book this job.
Like, I had an audition. It was fantastic for me. I did a great job on it. I, I've listed back to it like 10 times. I think I did great. Like, I really like what I did, but I didn't get booked. And I'll say, well, you may like what you did, but with the client, like what you did, who cares if you like it? You have to make sure your client likes it more on that later, but change your mindset. Number three, match expectations. This is huge. When you read an audition, you have to match expectations. Let me explain what I mean by that. Um, there are lots of different people who can be involved in the casting process, okay? Whole lot of different people, and they all listen for different things. And it is imperative that you make sure that every one of those people who are listening to the audition are satisfied by your audition. You need to make sure that you do things for all of those different people. That may be a little confusing at this point. Let me explain. Sometimes the person who selects the voice actor is the client. A client listens to 10, 20, 100 auditions. What is it that they're listening for? Well, they want to make sure that their brand name is clear, the product is clear, their slogan is clear, really clear. Well, you need to listen back to your audition and say, okay, if
The client, and that's the key word, if the client, uh, if the client is participating in the casting process, will they like what I did? But sometimes the client is not the one who selects the voice, uh, or the voice actor. Sometimes it's a focus group. Sometimes a client will pay a, a focus group to take 10 auditions or 20 auditions, and they will play them for a focus group. Play the, for example, a radio commercial or a TV commercial one time and say to the focus group, okay, you heard this commercial one time. What is the phone number that the, uh, we want the, the listener to call? What is the product that is being sold? What was the special thing? What are the benefits of the one product that we talked about on that commercial? Al? So you can take a, a rather educated guess at what the questions given to a focus group would be.
So then you need to listen back to your audition and make sure that you've satisfied those points. Because if there's a focus group involved in the casting process, will they score you highly? You need to make sure. Number three, sometimes the copywriter participates in the co in the, uh, casting process. They're going to be listening for clever things that they've put into the script, the messaging, the, the organization of the words connections, uh, contrasts, alliteration, fun words that they made up. You need to make sure that those things are very clear because if the copywriter is part of the casting process, you need to satisfy what they want. Sometimes the audio engineer is participating in the casting process. They're listening for your quality, your home studio quality, Joseph's si, noise floor, all of those things. Listen back to your audition and make sure you nail those things.
Sometimes the video editor listens to an audition, so they will be listening for your pacing. And in general timing, like, will your voice match well or sit well with video? Like, are you rushing from phrase to phrase to phrase to phrase? Or are you leaving time for the listener to see what's being shown on the screen? That's how they're imagining it in their head when they listen to your audition. Number seven, um, sometimes the marketing team or an ad agency is listening to or participating in the casting process.
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Very often they are. So if they are, are they gonna be happy? What are they listening for? They're listening for the overall content, the overall message. What is being communicated to the listener. You need to make sure that all of those things are satisfied. So I repeat, you don't know who is going to cast right? You never, you'll never know who's part of that casting process. Sometimes it's one of those people that I mentioned. Sometimes it's just all of them. Who knows. Uh, so you need to kind of listen back to your auditions and match to your, their expectations. This is not about if you like it, this is about if they will like it. Two other things I'll throw in there to make your auditions much better while I'm thinking of it, read smoothly. By far
The biggest reason, or at least one of the top three biggest reasons why voice actors are not hired is because the read is choppy. And also read without tension. No vocal tension. Be at ease with your voice. Trust your voice. Okay, I mentioned that there were six steps to winning auditions. We went through three of them. Here are the other three. Number one of the three, which makes it number four, . Um, don't go on autopilot. Don't assume you should read a script. Oh, in a certain way because of the kind of script it is. A lot of voice actors lose jobs because of this. For example, if I give you a children's script, you might think, oh, it should be high energy. But that may not be the case. I mean, it may be, but maybe not. What happens if it's a, it's a story to help kids fall asleep.
Do you really want high energy? What if it's the children's wing of the Holocaust Museum? It's a morbid example, but I bring it up because we at, at studio have recorded a lot of audio for the Holocaust Museum. We do a, we work for a lot of museums, in fact, and a lot of museums have a children's wing. Well, do you think that you should have energy at that point? I mean, the point is, don't go on autopilot. Instead of assuming how you should read a script, why don't you look at the script, think about it. Think who the listener would be. Think what the intent might be and base your delivery on that. Number five of six be unpredictable. Let me talk briefly about this. I'm gonna say something that sounds like a sidetrack, okay, like a tangent, but it's not. I'm gonna kind of come back to where we are.
You can break down your voiceover delivery into two parts, acting and technique. And they are, they are equally as important. Technique is when you can control your voice. The client says, slow down on this word or speed up there. Leave longer spaces between words or shorter spaces. Uh, emphasize this word. Whatever it is that they want, you need to be able, you must be able to add that or incorporate technique into your delivery. Acting, of course, is the emotion of your voice, the storytelling portion of your voice. What the message that you're conveying so much, so much of that comes through your emotion, through your acting. If you're all technique, well then you wanna have emotion and the reverse. You need to find that balance. We find that voice actors are so often concerned about incorporating the technique they get so caught up focusing on the technique that they no, no longer offer acting. The acting goes out the window. And so you're left with this like stilted robotic re that doesn't ever get you, uh, a job. You need to learn and allow yourself to incorporate the technique while also infusing personality. And that is something I said earlier, right? You need to add personality. Don't be, don't be like so focused on the technique that you don't infuse that personality. Personality wins. It really does. Um, is very, very seldom that a voice actor is gonna be hired if there's no personality in their voice. And finally, number six,
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Get a second opinion. If you wanna win a good audition, get a second opinion, but it's a little bit more, uh, complicated than that. Don't just play it for someone and say, do you like it? Rather play it for someone and then ask a couple of questions. Say, okay, now you've heard that audition. What do you think the client asked for? And if the person listening to your audition says, well, I mean you're really upbeat. They must have been ask, asking for enthusiasm. Well, if that's what you were asked to do, that's great. But what happens if your description, your direction says, uh, we want a voice to be kind of low key? Well now you know you've missed the mark. Get a second opinion when at all possible, okay? You can win a lot more work that way. So listen, um, I hope that makes sense.
If you have questions, you can always call us in a minute. I'll give you our contact information and you can get in touch with us. We'll be happy to help. Um, I'm recording this podcast for voices, um, for their voiceover coaches. As I mentioned earlier, let me give you our contact information. Now, three ways to get in touch with us. One is our website, which is edge studio.com. You can email [email protected] and you can call us at two one two eight six eight Edge, which is 3 3 4 3. We are a voiceover business and we are all about talking. So if you call, you get a human being and we will talk with you. Um, listen, I, uh, hope you subscribe to voiceover experts. Um, it's free. You can find these wherever you listen to your podcasts and, uh, use them to help grow your career. Thank you super much for listening. Goodbye.
David Goldberg VOE (Completed 06/19/23)

Geoff Bremner
Hi! I'm Geoff. I'm passionate about audio. Giving people the platform for their voice, music, or film to be heard is what gets me up in the morning. I love removing technical, logistical, and emotional barriers for my clients to allow their creative expression to be fully realized.
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