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Voice Over Auditions: Beware That Sneaky Inner
Critic! Sometimes You Just Have To Click SEND

By Julie Waters
Voice Actor

Recently, an audition arrived in my inbox, like so many do. As usual, I reviewed it, got myself into the character and story, recorded several takes, and edited them for submission.

As I listened back to my completed audition a final time before emailing it in, I just didn't like it. It felt like everything about it was wrong.

Not having time to record a few more takes, I came "thisclose" to saying "forget it, I won't submit for this one."

But - knowing I have days when my inner critic can be especially....ahem..."active" - I stopped and asked myself:
  • "Is the audio clean?" Yep.
  • "Did I generally follow the specs in the audition?" Yes.
  • "Is it so objectively horrendous that I'll be forever blacklisted by this agency?" No, not quite!
So I said "the heck with it" and submitted the audition. And you know what? I booked that job.

Can you believe I almost took myself out of the running for it?


We all need to be able to evaluate our own work - especially those of us who are freelancers and creatives! It can be really hard sometimes to distinguish the legitimate voice of experience from the harsh, indiscriminate inner critic for whom we're never good enough.

My advice: have some objective benchmarks you can check your work against, to reassure yourself when that inner jerk is spouting off, and then just go for it!

Do your best, absolutely! But don't strive so hard for perfection that you self-select yourself out of opportunities!

Sometimes you just have to click SEND.
Julie Waters has been a voice actor since 2018, and primarily works on commercial, corporate, political, and government projects. She was an active duty Army officer from 2004-2016, first as a Military Police officer and then as an attorney, and she continues to serve as an attorney in the Army Reserve. Julie has two children and lives in the Washington, DC metro region.

LinkedIN: Julie Waters
Instagram: juliewaters vo

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Comments (3)
5/11/2022 at 5:48 PM
Dear Julie, I am a new talent about to embark on the V.O. journey. I am 62 years old and have just had coaching. And about to record my demo with one of my coaches. I am the same way. I did work on Fiverr for a bit. But wasn't pleased. Just wnated to let you know that it meant alot for me to see this post. Thanks again.

John L.
Mike Brooks
5/10/2022 at 3:11 PM
Good advice, Julie. I can so relate! My takes are never exactly right in my self-critiques. I'm betting I've lost a few gigs because I didn't think it was quite right. Next time I'll learn to cut myself a break!
Howard in UK
5/10/2022 at 8:56 AM
Yes. There's something about being too self-conscious, either during performance (stage included) or assessing what we've completed.

My partner is a visual artist and has learned to tell herself that disliking what she's painted does not necessarily mean the work is technically or creatively a failure.

And, in line with your experience, there's little obvious correlation with what in the end sells!
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