Slate Your Online Auditions?
It Might Hurt Your Chances ...
By Steven Lowell
Voice Actor & Public Relations Manager, Voice123
There are varying opinions as to why or why not someone should slate in an online audition.
The truth is, as in any creative field, you never have a definitive 'right way' - but there is always a definite 'wrong way.'
So let's examine slating - which is voicing your name and the project title on a recorded audition - and why or why it is not done.
WAS COMMON PRACTICE
It was a common practice, when working offline in studios, to slate names before one began an audition.
The way auditions were collected called for it to happen this way.
But today, online, it is done less frequently. Why?
Working with a website involves a new way of collecting auditions. Your name is right there on the interface.
THEY DECIDE FAST
Here's a marketing tip: when working online, if you can offer a solution to a problem in one mouse-click, and less time, the buyer feels like a genius for finding you. Attention spans run shorter online.
In general, it takes between 5 to 20 seconds before they conclude that the mouse-click was a failure, and that it is best to stop listening.
So, should the first 10 seconds of your audition be a slate, or are you spending time telling them something they already know or will find out?
WHAT TO DO?
There are always those who can say, "I slate, and I get work often online." And there are those who do not slate, and also get work.
So what do you? Think a moment ...
Slates that offer personal commentary, or a long explanation into what the person is about to hear, usually leave a voice seeker bored before they hear the audition.
YOUR VOICE FIRST
Also, feedback received from voice talent on Voice123 who have posted work as voice seekers, have expressed that "techno slates" damage chances with the client because the first voice the client should hear is the talent's voice.
Many who audition believe that they are auditioning for the person doing the hiring. But in fact, most voice seekers are posting the voice-over work as a third party to present to a client.
This means that the auditions being presented to the client represent the job poster's ability to find voice talent.
Thus, any slate that prompts the question, "When will the audition start?" may do more harm than good.
MIND YOUR INTENTIONS
A final note.
A creative talent always has to face the question, "Is what I am intending to do being received like I had intended?"
It is a tough question because creativity comes from the mind and heart, and the anonymous atmosphere online allows people to be more opinionated than they would be face-to-face.
IT'S NOT PERSONAL
It's also important to never take someone's business decision personally.
In a do-it-yourself voice talent environment, each voice talent has to offer a bit of online customer service by knowing whether or how much to slate.
Previous experience is a guide here: were you successful when providing a slate?
ABOUT STEVEN ...
Steven Lowell is a voice actor based in New York City, and public relations manager for Voice123, the online voice-over marketplace that provides online auditions and work for its members.
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