Female Voice-Over Talent Beware:
'Audio Play' & Sneeze Sleaze Scams
By Bobbin Beam
Nov. 17, 2008
Watch out for a new weirdo audition from a guy who has an “audio play” for educational classroom purposes. Yeah, sure.
I love play acting and agreed to audition a portion of his script.
After giving him three separate, yet innocuous script readings, the last script he sent me had one word that was a red flag. I wouldn’t read that particular line, and sent it back and said I was not reading any more.
Either he was going to cast me or not, and I would get paid for anything else.
By the way, he asked me to read this last particular audition script through twice. Connect the dots …
IT GETS WORSE ...
Then he emailed me back to say what a great range of emotion I have, bla bla bla - and asked if I would be interested in reading erotic material for pay, for his personal use.
I was so stunned that I had to take time to process what had happened.
I didn’t write back. I had to take a shower.
WEIRD RADIO CALLS
When I worked in radio, sure I got strange calls from listeners on drug trips, guys who wanted to hit on me, the guy who wanted to know the color of my panties, and a few absolute nuts.
One guy believed he had a wire plate in his brain that transmitted the radio station, and said he heard derogatory things the DJs would say about him over the air.
The "audio play" scam reminds me of a “sneeze audition” request that I received about a year ago.
A man called who said he was with an ad agency and asked if I would do a phone audition - a simple sneeze over the phone. He also said that his name didn't show on my phone's caller ID screen since he was calling on a VOIP telephone.
I thought this was a REAL unusual request, but I went along with it. I have auditioned for other things over the telephone, so I thought it was OK.
But I couldn't sneeze on cue. It just felt weird, and I wasn't going to feign it!!!!
So he suggested I take a little white pepper and inhale it gently. That's when I told him I wasn't interested in this job, and hung up quickly, feeling a bit violated in the aftermath.
It turns out there have been a number of VO ladies contacted by telephone this way in the recent past.
A man who calls himself "Bill Johnson from the Lang Agency" in Las Vegas has been calling female voice-over talent and asking them to sneeze for an audition for a national commercial.
Anyway, I just received another email asking for an answer from my “audio play” admirer.
I simply replied, “I am not interested in the work you offer. This is done.”
And from now on, I will get a physical address from those requesting custom auditions.
Bobbin Beam is a very active voice talent, based in the San Diego - Los Angeles area, who specializes in projects for broadcast and business. She also writes a very entertaining and informative blog, Bobbin's Blog.
I could not do it with the black pepper he suggested I put in my nose or the bobbie pin, so he said he would call the next week. He said they were doing a commercial for Zyrtec (sp). Called the next week, said it was "Tim," and I just inhaled the pepper and gave him a play by play as I sneezed. Said he would call in a few days after I learned how to "control" my sneeze.
I Googled Tim Walsh and the "real" Tim is a talent agent with the Atlas Agency in New York, a top agency. This "phony sneeze guy's" number showed up as "restricted" on my cell phone, but my phone provider had the number. I investigated and found out he was calling from Phoenix. I am in the process of blocking him from calling me again. I feel violated, used, etc.