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Casting Director Warns About 12 Mistakes
Voice Actors Make In Auditions From Home
July 29, 2016

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

1. Overslate
"Hi!  Good Morning! I’m June Blakely and I’m in sunny Oklahoma City and and I’m REALLY so excited to be auditioning for you today. Here are the first take of three and there will be three more. Okay! Here I go...
2. Underslate. That means not slating at all.  

3. Record too low
, or

4. Record too hot. You need to practice recording clearly and cleanly. Remember, we like our auditions like the desert, hot and dry (but not distorted).  

5. Save your file in anything other than an MP3 format.  No wav, aiff, m4a, mov. Please, keep it simple and small.    

6. Name your file something like this: 20160726-090734.m4a. That's even worse than being an m4a - I have no idea who you are.  Add not slating to this, and you can see the problem. 

7. Ignore the instructions. Buried in the email are guidelines for saving format, slating format, direction or any number of things. Read and understand them all before turning on your mic.   

8. Send files via an uploading service. This may sound strange, but simpler is better. If the file is small enough to be attached to an email, do so. And most MP3s are. No need for a recipient to have to create a Hightail account if the file is a lowly 10mb.  

9. Send it in late. Why should I even bother writing this one? Oh, right -  because it happens all the time. Let’s refine this a little ... 

10. Send it in "just under the wire." It is never a surprise to me that people who submit earlier, book more.  

11. Send multiple takes on separate files. It’s better to include multiple takes all on one file, rather than 8 files attached to an email that someone has to edit together.  

12. Record in an untreated "echoey” environment, with a cheap mic, in their phone, without getting out of bed…  
"People record on their phones all the time, Hugh. My friend’s roommate’s brother booked this thing where he just… ”
I know, I know, and that’s when they are explicitly told that they can. And then, there is the rest of the time.

Hugh P. Klitzke is studio manager and voice casting director for a leading bi-coastal talent agency, who in more than a decade has directed over 115,000 auditions for all voice over genres. Based in New York City, he is also a coach specializing in teaching voice over for actors, and blogs at, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.
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Comments (3)
j. Valentino
7/29/2016 at 7:45 PM
The people who claim to be voiceover talent and make these mistakes, they are the same people who have driven down voiceover rates to an all time low. So sad to see this once great industry deluged with lowballers. It's the same thing that's happened to many other once great careers in the USA. It's only talking right?
Ken Budka
7/29/2016 at 2:24 PM
Thanks, Hugh. I always read your articles because they clear, simple, and use the minimum amount of words to make your point effectively. Great job.
Howard Ellison
7/29/2016 at 9:30 AM
It's hard to believe people don't get most of those points right, given the sharing spirit of the voice community and how we all know how tough the competition is.

Even so, I do learn from you Hugh, and thank you for being among those generous folk who post here to help raise standards. It's particularly helpful to hear from a director/coach who's on the receiving end of auditions. 115,000 deserves a medal for resilience!
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