Podcasts Voice Over Experts Tips and Tricks for Auditioning
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Tips and Tricks for Auditioning

Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Welcome to Voice Over Experts. Brought to you by Voices.com. The number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors, and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else. This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Debbie Monroe.

Auditioning. That’s a word you need to get used to if you’re a voice talent. You better get used to the word because you’re going to audition more than you’re ever going to work. So you need to learn to get good at it. That means there’s a few tips and tricks that you could learn to help you get through that stage. Before we get to the tips and tricks, I really want to talk to you about what joining sites like Voices.com can do for you when you’re auditioning every day like that. Where else can you get this many auditions every single day and have the opportunity to practice all these different scripts all the time? You’ve got narration, message on whole, commercials, talking toys, animations even. There’s a lot of opportunity here for you to experiment.

So even if you’re not getting the jobs, I know it’s very discouraging. You need the jobs to pay back all the money that you’ve invested into this so far. Hopefully that’s something you’ve really worked hard to do, is invest well in your craft. Because I’m telling you those of us that are at the professional stages right now, we have worked hard to get where we are and we’ve educated ourselves. And this is just a perfect opportunity for the most minimal amount of dollars to be able to have your own website, be able to audition all day long, respond, and actually get an opportunity to get some work out of it. I’m hearing a lot of complaints that, you’ve been auditioning every day and you’re not getting anything. Well, there’s a couple of things to think of in this case. First of all, competition is getting tougher. That’s the bottom line. The more we train, the more the competition will be out there.

But there’s still over a million commercials aired every day. There’s always room for more personality voices. When I first started, it took me six months to land my first job. And I was so excited when I did. I wasn’t discouraged by all the auditions, in fact, I thought they were excellent for me to practice with and to get better at. And then I finally landed my job which paid for more than my membership and probably into the next years too. So, I was so thrilled when I got that. The harder I worked at my auditions, the more work that came to me. Now, I’m in a position where I get a lot of auditions that I auditioned for, but I certainly don’t get them all. And you have to remember when you’re competing on sites like this, you have no idea who you’re competing against.

You could be competing against professionals that have been doing this for 25 years, and you could be competing against people who have done it for two days. So you just never know. Don’t let the numbers discourage you of how many people are auditioning, and don’t keep track of your auditions. Once you perform them, let them go, don’t depend on them. There’s great steps to positive thinking and I do want you to think positively. But just know that there’s more auditions ahead. Put that one out of your mind, go on to the next. Some quick tips and tricks for voiceover artists and their auditions. Let’s talk first about going to actual studios to audition. Number one, fears, nerves. The best thing you can do in an audition is walk in with confidence and walk out with confidence.

I learned this best from one of my acting coaches, Tom Logan. He talks about, if you hire a painter to paint your house and he’s sitting there painting, and he turns around and looks at you and says, oops, can I start over? How are you feeling about that paint job? Well, that’s what we do as performers. We get into that audition room and we start apologizing. We start asking to do it over. We make mistakes, and instead of just acknowledging them in character and continuing on, we point them out and we draw more attention to them than we need. You’re going to get more no’s than you’ll ever get yes’s. So get comfortable with them now and quit worrying about how many no’s you have. Just keep persevering.

If I didn’t keep persevering, I would never would’ve made it to where I am today. Another great tip for you for the audition room, walk in happy. And when you do your slate, that’s when you say your first and last name, please be happy. Show them your personality, show them you’re excited to be there. That gives you two opportunities to audition two different people. You audition first as yourself. Then you audition as whatever character is that you’re auditioning for. Now, let’s talk about auditions at home. What kind of things should you and shouldn’t you do. Well, first and foremost, try not to do the entire copy if it’s an audition, so that way you’re protecting your work, they can’t steal it. The other option, of course, is watermark where you hear something like Debbie Monroe, Debbie Monroe, Debbie Monroe, in the background, and then they can’t use your work that way either.

With sites like Voices.com, they screen their clients quite carefully. The risks are so minimal. So don’t worry about them. Another thing that I do with the at home auditions, is I will give them two or three different reads of their script. I won’t do the entire thing obviously for time’s sake, but I will give them three varieties. Maybe I’ll give a bit of the full script first, and then two different reads on the next clips. It just allows them more opportunity to hear a little more from you, but you want to be careful not to give them too much either. If you don’t know how to pronounce something when you’re auditioning, and you can’t ask the client. Number one and the first and best thing to do is go to www.m-w.com, which is Miriam Webster’s website. And it’ll voice back the pronunciation to you in a Midwestern American accent, which is what you want to cater to anyway.

If you’re in a position you can’t ask, just go ahead and do your best. And let them know in your cover letter that you didn’t know how to pronounce the name and you would ask if you had the job. Just so that they’re aware that you are a professional. The more you show professionalism in your auditions, the more chances you have at landing the job. How do you learn professionalism? Educate. Get yourself in some classes and find out the do’s and don’ts of auditions. Most importantly, do yourself a favor, have some fun. Don’t look at auditions as just work. Look at them as your opportunity to play, just to let go. So get in there and have some fun. Quit getting discouraged. Just keep trying. If I didn’t keep trying, I wouldn’t be where I am now. If you want to know more from me, just go to my website, www.debsvoice.com, or email me info@debsvoice.com. Thanks, Voices.com. Take care.

Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com Podcast. Visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts. Remember to stay subscribed. If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast on the Apple iTunes podcast directory, or by visiting podcasts.voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
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  • Chris Burnip
    August 22, 2007, 12:35 am

    It is great that newcomers, like myself, can learn so much from a pile of voice over professionals. I look forward to learning as much as I can. Thank you!
    Chris Burnip
    Voice Over Actor