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VOICE OVER AUDITIONS
What To Do When You Receive The Same Voice
Over Audition From More Than One Agent?

By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor

Tough predicament, huh?

First of all, count your blessings that you have agents, and that they're sending you good work.

Secondly, you can only send out this audition once. Just 'cause you got the same copy for the same client from three different agents, doesn't mean you send it three times… even with three different reads. Generally, that's considered a no-no.

Now to the hard part. Which agent gets the audition?

Bottom line – this is a grey area, and subject to interpretation.

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED?

A good rule of thumb says it should go to the agent who sent it to you first. That's pretty simple, and it's a fair guide that works most of the time.

But what if you've recently been sending several auditions to agent A (who sent this one to you first), but not been working recently with agents B & C (who also sent you that audition)? 

Wouldn't it kinda make sense to give those other two a fair shake, and send one to them now?

Maybe, but you could also assume that agent A is working harder to get you stuff, and deserves priority. Of course, that's really an assumption.

Maybe agent A just had a good week. Maybe B and/or C might do just as good for you as A next week.

CONTINUING CONUNDRUMS

Do you keep a record of which agent got which audition, when, and how many times?

Do you owe an allegiance to the agent who signed you first - all those years ago, when you had barely broken into the business, and they took a chance on you?

Then there's the conundrum about which agent you most want to keep:
  • the one who stands to bring you the best jobs for the most money in the long run, or
  • the one in the biggest market, with the best connections.
Should you give them preference as you bank for the future? Give them the most love?

Has one of those agents given you pause to think you might be on shaky ground? 

THE VO WORLD IS CHANGING

Let's face it, the VO world is a far different place for agents than it was even two years ago. 

They have to make tough decisions about who to keep and who to let go.

I mean, how many times have you been told by an agent that your stuff is good … REAL good … but the agency already has 5 voices that sound like you? 

I've had that thrown in my face many times, and it hurts.

Anyway, do you give preference to the agent whom you feel might be close to letting you go? Show them you're gung-ho and all that?

And sometimes one agent has better compensation terms than another. That makes the decision pretty easy, and makes you wonder why the other agents didn't get the same deal.

RECENT EXAMPLE ...

See? It gets complicated.

This very predicament happened to me recently. One audition from multiple agents. What did I do? I didn't send the audition to any agent. 

I figured that with such a wide casting net - with so many talent being canvassed - I didn't stand a chance against scores of talent who are better than me, and I know it.

That sounds terribly defeatist, but I've come to realize it's not. It's pragmatism and realism mixed in together.

But now you tell me: What am I missing in regards to this multiple-audition challenge?
--------------------
ABOUT DAVE
Dave Courvoisier is a voice actor and audiobook narrator based in Las Vegas who was recently recruited back to TV news following retirement from a long stint as Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, producer and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the CBS affiliate. He is now the morning TV news anchor on Good Morning Las Vegas at ABC affiliate KTNV, Channel 13 (also seen as live stream on KTNV.com). A former president and a founding member of the World-Voices Organization (WoVO), he also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of voice over adventures, observations and technology, and is author and publisher of the book, More Than Just A Voice: The Real Secret To VoiceOver Success, now in its second edition.

Email: CourVO@CourVO.com
Web: http://www.courvo.com
Blog: https://courvo.com/blog
More Than Just A Voice - 2nd Edition


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Comments (3)
Jason Webb
10/9/2020 at 11:27 AM
Thank you for this article. This question comes up in my mind often. Thank you for this insightful answer.
Alan Sklar
10/8/2020 at 5:20 PM
As much as I admire young Mr. Courvoisier, I feel differently about this matter of responding to several agents.

It was a concern of mine when I was starting in this wonderful work. I asked my voice coach, David Lyerly (a genius when it comes to VO work!!) how to respond when several agents sent me the same audition. He told me to send an audition to each agent and let the casting director decide which audition he/she preferred.

David is without doubt responsible for my success in this delightful industry. I have followed his advice in this matter for over 20 years. I love auditions. When I began this VO career about 30 years ago, the first agent I met coached me as follows:

"You will submit 30 different auditions and you will book one job!"

I told her...."That sounds good to me. Gimme millions of auditions"

I feel auditions are like going to the gym to keep in shape. I don't care if I don't book any of them. I get enough work to service my mortgage, feed and clothe my wife and children, run two family cars, etc.

I want to constantly practice my craft. I love sending two or three versions of an audition script to an agent. I'm toning my muscles!!!!

So....I disagree with young Mr. Courvoisier. I disagree on this one point. And I admire him on all the others. An e-hug to Mr. Courvoisier.

Ron Whittemore
10/8/2020 at 12:16 PM
Very fair way to look at it! Thanks Dave...and congrats on coming back to TV...you look and sound great!!
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