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VOICE OVER AUDITIONS
What's The Ultimate Recipe For Winning
Auditions? There Are Many Ingredients ...

Note: The author and her voice over coaching partner Elley Ray Hennessy at Get Mic'd are the producers of the popular Ultimate VO Survivor competitions, now in Take 3. Round 1 auditions for Take 3 close on Oct. 1, and the grand finale competition and prizes will be presented at the VO Atlanta Conference, March 23-26, 2023. Details here and below.

By Deb Munro
Voice Talent. Coach & Producer/Director

You've worked really hard, trained with some of the best, produced a PROFESSIONAL demo (because it's THEE most important tool you will ever invest in), got an agent and it's time to audition. 

Now what?  

With an ever growing industry, booking the audition is getting harder and harder because the competition is getting larger and larger. This can be most discouraging when you've invested everything you had, followed all the directions and now you can't seem to book that audition!

Many factors go into an audition. However I used to be a casting agent and I've been a fly on the wall in the room with the decision makers. And it's hard to say it, but there is no one recipe for audition success.

Let's face it, clients make great products, but that doesn't mean they know what they want, or how to ask for it in a voice over.

In producing The Ultimate VO Survivor competitions alongside my incredible partner Elley Ray Hennessy, we have borne witness to every kind of audition. 

I advise my voice over students to watch this competition (whether recorded or while it's happening live) and learn. Why? We rarely get a chance to watch other talent audition, and UVOS has become a forum that allows us to do just that! 

Not everyone agrees on what makes a great audition, but there are many ingredients.

What has really worked for me is confidence, research, risk and being organic. Whatever character I'm about to take on, I truly believe for that moment that I am them. THAT IS THE ORGANIC. 

Here are some more tips to guide you to winning auditions.

1. Be Authentic YOU.

One of my favorite ingredients to nailing the audition is authenticity. That doesn't mean you are always yourself in the audition, because let's face it, you are rarely auditioning for the role of you. Instead, it's your unique traits, personality type, choices and risk level that separate you from everyone else. 

There is a fine line between being 'you' in everything you do and becoming a completely different personality, such as that of your character.  

Add YOU into everything you do. You are the only YOU out there, and that's what makes you sellable your experiences, your stereotypes, your decisions.

Take risks! What are you doing that NO ONE else is will do?

Many talents see the audition as only "A VOICE" but it's much, much, much deeper than that. It's about personalities and layering them. 

2. Know The Client's Specs.

I have always taught that you need to read between the lines.  I personally feel that the client specs (all of them!) are many times more insightful and important than the script itself.

Many talent just skim through the specs and assume that all the meat and potatoes are in the copy itself. But it's extremely important to understand the client - which is not easy when they don't give you a lot to go on! So you have to do some digging and take the risk to fail.  

Pay close attention to ALL the specs, and read into the client's personality.

Watch previous projects (if applicable) to get a feel for the client. RESEARCH. Get to know the client, know pronunciations, references, etc.

And label our files properly, according to the client's specs. Many systems are automated now, so if you name it wrong, your file is lost.

3. Slate Or Not?

One decision maker LOVES the slate, while another wants no slate at all. FOLLOW THE CLIENT'S DIRECTIONS. 

I personally like to leave a slate on my audition so they can never lose me, and I always name my file with MY name. I show them that I love what I do, and that I'm having a really good time, cause that's who I genuinely am.  

I prefer organic, playful, slates that get to the point, while my coaching partner Elley Ray wants you to take all the risks in the world - so again, try and read your client and trust your instinct. 

My own personal tip, however, is that clients are busy, so get to the point quickly.  I think that is why many don't prefer slates anymore, because they are too long and too rehearsed.

4. How Many Takes?

I love to give 2 reads (if applicable). I will always go for what the client wants (after all it's their project not mine), and then my second read will be something completely different than the first ,COMPLETELY! 

The second read is what I think will be better or it's just a big risk.

Warning: If you offer two takes yet they sound the same, you could be showing that you have no range. In that case, you're better off with just one take. 

And you don't have to be a one-take wonder. Record many, and choose the best of them to send to the client.

5. Stay current with voice over trends.

6. Love What You Do. Passion Pays.

THE ONES WHO 'JUST GET IT'

As Elley Ray and I approach The Ultimate VO Survivor-Take 3, we face the daunting task of narrowing down hundreds, if not thousands of auditions. 

It's like looking at cars. After a while they all seem the same - until that one breaks the mold, or JUST GETS IT. 

We can tell right in the first sentence if you "own" that copy. So make that first line count, grab our attention, and keep us there. 

Don't try too hard, since desperation is transparent, but rather, LIVE IT! 

ABOUT UVOS-TAKE 3

The Ultimate VO Survivor competitions award voice over career packages from scores of sponsors, including travel, demos, training, paid work, convention passes and much more.

The audition portal closes October 1, so don't delay. Put your audition skills to work and make impact!

PS: Throughout the competition, watch others audition so you can learn and grow from their experiences and show the world that you have what it takes to stand out amongst the rest!

For details and to audition, visit https://getmicd.com/UVOS.

ABOUT DEB
Deb Munro (aka VOChefDeb) is an award-winning voice talent, coach, producer/director and all around energizer bunny! She is blessed to have been working from home in the comfort of her PJs for most of her career, with over 30-plus years of experience. She likes to "give back" by teaching voice acting/acting worldwide for the past 20 years, teaming up with her coaching partner Elley Ray Hennessy to create their sister company Get Mic'd. A voice talent first, Deb she brings in her own personal experience and uniquely honest approach that tells it like it is without sugar coating and false promises, helping thousands of talents succeed this craft quickly and successfully. She is best known for her roles as Mai in the animated series "DragonBall and DragonBall GT," Carla Carumba in the series "Benjamin The Elephant," and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" video game for Disney. She is currently the voice for Makeful TV, ABC15, Granny in "Turbo Fantasy," Telus, Wayfair, BMO, StackApp, Planet Fitness, Enbridge, Scotiabank, Kitchenaid, Ring Central, is the imaging voice for several radio stations, and has voiced thousands of narrations, national commercials, talking technology, message on hold, and more. She is engaging, fun, has enough energy to feed the planet and truly loves what she does and can't wait to share it with the world.  

Voice Over: www.debsvoice.com
Get Mic'd Coaching: https://getmicd.com
Facebook/Instagram: @VOChefDeb
Twitter: @DebMunroVO


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Comments (1)
Patricia M. Smith
9/16/2022 at 4:39 PM
I am entering! I am now encouraged to take some risks to get noticed!
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