One thing that’s not obvious to us voice actors is that in video productions, like narrations and commercials, producers often take our auditions and put them directly into their video timelines. They can see right then and there hear how our audition fits in with their production. Does the voice, pace, and style match their music and visuals?
Get the Goods
Now, it’s not always possible to get production elements when you’re auditioning for your agent, or for a pay-to-play site. But when a potential client reaches out to you directly requesting an audition, seize the moment.
In these cases, you’re usually only competing with a handful of other voice actors. The smaller the pool of talent, the better your odds are for booking the gig. To stand out from the others, here are a couple of things you can do:
- Request a rough cut of the video
- Request any music tracks they are inspired by or intend to use
These production elements might not be available to you (or to them) but it never hurts to ask.
When you’re able to obtain a few of the elements that will be used in the production, you gain a serious advantage over the competition. Why? Because you can tweak your audition to make it fit perfectly with the client’s production.
Timing is Everything
For instance, a client recently reached out for a voiceover audition. When I asked for the music, one of the options they were seriously considering had singing with lyrics in the beginning and towards the end. I wasn’t sure they would use that particular track, but I still made sure my voice over fit between the singing, with only my tag following the lyrics. That way, I knew that if clients really wanted to use that track, they would be able to stick my audition in their video, and it would fit perfectly. I also gave them another option that would fit better with the other track they were considering. It turns out they used the track that had lyrics.
Timing is not the only factor you can tailor your audition for. Seeing production elements will give you an idea of the energy, tone, style, and emotion your client needs from you to make the production work. Once you have that information, you can adjust your read.
Always keep in mind that your voice-over is often the last element of the production, and it ties the whole production together. By handing them an audition that fits perfectly with the production elements, you’re helping clients make their production the best it can be. You’re also showing them you truly understand your role, and that you can accommodate them.
As you know, there are plenty of voice actors out there and booking gigs is far from easy. So, when a client comes to you directly, jump on the opportunity to get the materials that will help you stand out. Remember, clients are also trying to make their production stand out. The more you can do to help them, the better the chances are of booking the gig.
Requesting a rough cut of the video or a music track will help you gain an understanding of the energy, style, tone, emotion, and timing needed to make that production the best it can be.
By showing clients that you understand EXACTLY what they’re looking for, and by tweaking your voice acting audition to blend into their production seamlessly, you gain a leg up on your competition. Consider this the next time you’re preparing for a voice acting audition. In the end, you’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes!
To learn more tricks that will help you succeed in voice acting, read Part 3 of the Get Clever series, called Running Your Voiceover Business.