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  • Tracey Kelley

If you can't stand the heat, don't do the audition

Voiceover auditions are both fun and trepidatious, especially when vying for a "new" voice of a project.

Clients obviously called you in because they liked something--but will the read be what they hear in their minds? If the scriptwriter is also the director, there will certainly be notes. You need to take these notes with enthusiasm and grace, but also be original as to stand out from other candidates.

The world of audio make believe is much more complex than most people realize.

While some of it has to do with the sound of your voice, it has much more to do with nuanced interpretation:

  • How should a listener feel or respond to the message?

  • What's the right tone and emphasis for authenticity?

  • In what way to you create the proper atmosphere?

And other bits.

Voice acting is one term for it, but not to the point of affectation. Which is what many people with good voices but no training and direct application often don't understand about the process. I believe after 25 years in the industry, I know a few things, and am proud to do my absolute best.

I'm also not afraid to share. After auditioning for one project, I got the part. During the session, as the client read her notes to me, I commented that she had a lovely voice and should give this a try. She laughed and pooh-poohed the idea, but then the producer/director seconded the motion with great fervor.

(Note: Producers/directors, don't do this with voice talent sitting right there. It's rather demeaning and unprofessional. Wait until they leave, THEN talk to the client, if that's your prerogative.)

The client praised my performance, but I never got a callback. That was 10 years ago.

The client has done all the voiceovers since.

Some you win, some you keep, some you lose. That's the auditioning process.

The photo above is an audition Matt and I did recently. We've completed work for this client before, and were thrilled to be included in a promising new venture. We have all body parts crossed that we win and keep this project, as it would be an honor to be part of the process. Wish us luck!

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