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How to Ace the Audition #7
Exclusive interviews with voice-over pros for VoiceOverXtra.com subscribers
 
'Find Voice-Over Work
That Resonates With You'
 
Bob Souer
Voice Talent & Producer
 
By John Florian
VoiceOverXtra

Living outside a major metro market for voice over production sent Bob Souer online for income.

Souer has been voicing for over two decades well, actually 32 years if we count his first gig:

"I was the proverbial poor-as-a-church-mouse college student, putting myself through school. And I wanted to get married, but needed $75 to buy a setting for my fiancée's family heirloom diamond.

"By chance, the company where my fiancée worked needed somebody 'with a nice voice' to read something and they hired me. The session paid $50 an hour and ran 1-1/2 hours. I got the exact $75 I needed and was able to get married!"

A voice actor happily ever after.

Fast forward to today. From PBS to US Airways, eLearning courses and more, Souer's voice is heard in documentaries, training and marketing videos, web sites, audiobooks, radio programs, and TV and radio commercials and imaging. Plus, he finds time for a (mostly) daily blog with helpful advice for voice actors (see address below).

CHOOSE AUDITIONS TO CHASE

All this is done online from his home.

Yet Souer cautions that joining casting services to receive audition notices can glue you to the computer an addiction to avoid. So he puts these casting notices through a three-part test before responding.

  1. Pay: Is the budget for the project sufficient enough to be worth your time? Figure the time it will take you to respond to the audition vs. potential income if you get the job.
  1. Project Size: Is the amount of time you'll invest in the project worth the pay? For instance, Souer notes: "There might be $1,000 in the budget, but the project is a 48,000-word audiobook."
  1. Project Content: Do you want to be associated with this organization or message?
BUT BE FLEXIBLE

"Most projects don't fail the third test," Souer explains, but some have. For instance, he once turned down a job after he'd won it.

"I auditioned, got the job, and then they sent the entire script. I discovered that the last part of it was about positive thinking on how to seduce people you are not married to. I wrote back to the fellow and said, 'Keep your money.' "

Yet Souer can be flexible on pay. "I am willing to compromise on my rates in order to do something I think is really worthwhile," he says. "For instance, for a non-profit organization I believe in, or want to support."

Moreover, the three-part test is a way to "eliminate the stuff that's going to be a distraction and a time-waster," he says.

"Find work that really resonates with you because then you have a better chance of delivering a performance that will resonate with the client."

FIND CORE MESSAGE

About that performance, Souer follows advice he got years ago from coach Marice Tobias:

"Good copy has a single idea at the core. So find that core message and construct your entire performance to deliver it."

For a commercial audition, he'll typically record two or three takes, but only send one to the client. In the text portion, he'll tell the client why he's interested in the job, or about his qualifications "beyond what my voice sounds like here."

Then he submits it and forgets it.

"If you stress over getting jobs it'll twist your life into knots. You'll lose your mental health in a matter of weeks."

DON'T SWEAT IT
 
Neither should you stress over online notices to which many others have already responded.

"It's very tempting to say, 'Oh, I'm not going to bother responding' " when you see that hundreds of others have already auditioned, Souer explains. "But I can point to two times when I got the job after the client had already listened to 200 or more other auditions. One of those paid over a thousand dollars.

"If you really believe you're the right person, and it's a job you want, then audition for it."

To contact Bob Souer:
 
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Comments (14)
Rob Reed
7/8/2020 at 7:15 AM
Terrific and timely advice. Not sure that enough people follow this advice. But, I believe this with all my heart, too. When you stop 'chasing' the wrong auditions, just because you were invited... you'll find that the RIGHT auditions find you, and chase you. Thanks for the great insight, Bob.
Carolyn Rubin
2/7/2020 at 9:42 AM
Bob is truly a consummate professional and genuinely nice guy! Grateful to have made a connection with him and find great value in his advice and years of experience. Thank you for this great article Bob and John🙏🏻
John Florian
8/20/2019 at 11:05 PM
Hi Frank,
The best way to market your voice-over talents and services is to not put all your eggs in one basket. For instance, finding jobs and clients online is done through belonging to online casting services, and also through web searches for potential clients who need your services. (Like, Google for local production studios, and call to see what they need). In time, you'll also acquire agents and perhaps join the union. It's a combination of all. For now, at www.VoiceOverXtra.com, write "marketing" in the SEARCH box at the top of the page - and get to work!
Frank Guglielmelli
8/20/2019 at 10:52 AM
What are the best places to find voice over jobs on line or best way to market myself
Thanks

Frank
Kerin McCurdy
2/27/2019 at 7:33 AM
I love reading all of these helpful tips from the experts who have been in the business for a while because I always learn so much from all of them! 😁
Michael McGinnis
5/16/2018 at 6:39 AM
I am new to the business. I retired in 2014 after a 42 year career in the insurance industry. I have no expectations at this time other than learning. Would you take time to share how you break down a script before reading it for the first time?

Thank you
Mary Ann Keiser
3/16/2017 at 7:01 PM
This is great advice. Thank you for helping me sort out audition notices. Your information is invaluable to me as a beginner in the field. Thank you.
Hugh
3/1/2016 at 8:22 AM
Sage advice from years of experience. Thanks, Bob!
Kay Shelton
11/18/2014 at 10:07 PM
I am somewhat new to voiceover. I have researched it, read LOTS of books about it, am being coached currently by a VO person from Minneapolis. I so look forward to these articles from VoiceOverXtra. I want to soak up everything I can about the business. I'm getting close to making my demo (in Charlotte at a yet-to-be-named studio), and then getting a website so I can start marketing! Thanks for providing these very informative articles by people like John Florian and Bob Souer!
David Lecinski
6/10/2011 at 3:50 PM
Excellent approach and great advice, Bob! I appreciate the well-written article and will try to approach my next few auditions this way and see what happens!
http://windycityvoice.com.
Howard Ellison
3/15/2011 at 5:45 PM
For what it's worth, I do jump to the mike ... for a take that's raw, no planning, so I can capture that feeling of discovery. Then I pause to prep for a second take, find emphasis points, visualise the listener, etc. With luck, I can paste a few elements of the first to boost the energy of the second. If not quite there, it will serve as a guide for a killer third! It all works fine when the topic resonates. If not, well I do go on labouring at it - I'm relatively new - and have won unlikely jobs as a result. Some turned out to be amazing fun, leading to more.
Angie Farruggia
3/8/2011 at 9:56 AM
Thank you for the advice . I am very new to all of this ,and at the moment am auditioning for almost any thing coming my way . It is hard not to, as I have no experience as yet and need to build up some kind of resume. It is very easy to get sucked into jumping on the slightest comment that is made about you!! I have only been a member for one month and have yet to land a job, but I am not feeling bad , these are early days I believe and I treat every audition as a 'professional practice.'
Amy Snively
6/29/2010 at 11:06 AM
Excellent advice!
Robin Rowan
5/17/2010 at 5:18 PM
Hey, Bob, this is great information. I'm happy to have an Inbox filled with potential jobs every day! But you are so right, you have to qualify those jobs. I just skipped over 2 jobs that I thought I'd be good for since more than 80 people had already applied. I think I'll pull them out of the circular file and go for it!
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