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How To Ace the Audition #8
Exclusive interviews with voice-over pros for subscribers

'Turn On Your Energy!'

Robert Sciglimpaglia
Voice Talent, Coach & Actor
By John Florian

Audition anxieties? Bring 'em on, says Robert Sciglimpaglia, who for two years has been learning – and speedily climbing – the voice-over ropes. He welcomes anxiety as energy to channel in a positive way. And it works. He gets jobs as both voice talent and a TV and film actor.

"You need to get your energy up before you step into the studio," says Sciglimpaglia. "Even as you walk through the door they'll be forming an opinion on whether to hire you.

"So go in there confidently, smiling and happy. They want to see you take control. Make the booth your space for a couple minutes, and that'll go a long way toward getting the job."


Yet "the most important thing" to Sciglimpaglia is how you read the first line of the script. And that takes preparation.

He'll study the script to prepare two or three ways to voice the copy – but also remain flexible for direction from the control room.

Deciding how to read the copy is easier when you're selective about which auditions to take, Sciglimpaglia adds. For instance, he'll limit efforts to jobs calling for his "everyman" or "guy next door" style.

Moreover, being prepared for the read helps quiet the nerves. "If you're not relaxed, it'll kill the audition," he notes.

"Believe it or not, when I'm doing an online audition in my home studio, I prepare the same way. I figure my character and do two or three takes (before the final)." The file he sends will include several reads if requested, or if he feels strongly about alternate interpretations.


What not to do?

At an in-person audition, "Don't hang around to chit chat with the casting people after your audition unless they want you to. They're busy. Sometimes they don't even want to shake hands."

Prior to the audition, Sciglimpaglia keeps to himself in the waiting room, studying the script and staying focused.

And "Never get caught up in a numbers game in the waiting room by thinking, 'Look how many people are auditioning for this job!' "

That only ruins your confidence, says Sciglimpaglia. Instead, think: "Look at all these people I'm going to beat for this job."

"You need to keep reinforcing yourself like that, or this business can get the better of you very quickly," he explains.


And it may surprise some, but Sciglimpaglia says his audition goal is not necessarily to get that job.

"There are a million reasons why you might not get a certain job, even if they like your voice," he explains. "So I want them to remember me" when a similar type of script comes along.

"And this has happened. I'll read for a spot and not get the job, but they'll call me back for another."

Being memorable counts.

"We practice auditions in my acting classes, and it's often just a teeny, teeny bit that separates one actor from another," he says. "It's the same with voice-overs. Just a teeny, teeny bit separates us."

To contact Robert Sciglimpaglia:

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Comments (9)
Vernita Whitaker-Naylor
7/19/2022 at 7:22 AM
I found this article especially really informative and have heard these nuggets of wisdom over and over.
Kim Handysides
8/12/2017 at 9:15 AM
Nice one, Rob. I also always do what I guess I call "rosy up" my head space when I'm going into an audition. As in, be centered, grounded and ready for anything. Much like in an improv setting. Go in with an idea, but don't marry it. Be open to the yes and the now.
Patricia Corkum
12/27/2016 at 5:18 PM
I've heard Rob speak at a webinar before; he's a great talent AND a thoughtful, intelligent person who understands what he brings to this business. The confidence factor is very reassuring. Nice article - thanks for providing!
8/26/2011 at 11:28 AM
All of your articles are very helpful and encouraging. Thank you for your valuable words!!! I actually print out each article and read them for reinforcement!!!
Roy Wells
4/20/2011 at 10:01 AM
Read your article twice. Wish I had that confidence to which you refer back when I lived in NYC. I went to a live audition once for a tiny part in TV show, place was packed even for just that tiny part, and I chickened out. I had no confidence at all, and I realize now what a big mistake I made. Wish you could have kicked me back then.
Dan Roberts
8/11/2010 at 7:56 PM

Great advice from start to finish! I've bailed from online auditions before, if I am not satisfied with the read (usually reaching for something that I am not right for). Better to play to your strengths. In your case, that 'everyman' style that you mentioned.
Patrick Sweeney
8/11/2010 at 1:24 PM
Thanks for sharing those tips with us, Rob. Confidence and preparation can certainly take you a long way in many careers, but so important in our industry. Continued success with the auditions.
Tom Conklin
6/26/2010 at 1:05 PM
Great tips, Rob! Especially the confidence remarks. Worrying about all the other folks who are auditioning is not a positive use of our time. I'll think about these things before I audition, for sure.
Mike Coon
6/19/2010 at 11:02 AM
Dear Rob:
Thanks for the practical insight to effective auditioning! Confidence goes a long way for sure, and that really only comes from experience. Also, in my experience, one has to balance "confidence" with "arrogance." Nobody likes to work with someone who is over-the-top arrogant!
Thanks again...Please keep the great information coming!
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