An Open Letter To Agents: Let's Discuss
A Standard Email Template For VO Auditions
June 3, 2014
By Peter K. O'Connell
Voice Over Talent & Producer
Hello Good People,
As Voice Talent Agents, your work on our behalf is tireless and we all thank you for that.
In that continued spirit of mutual cooperation and profitable partnership, I thought I'd offer an idea that would help make your business day more efficient and the voice talent's business day a lot simpler!
I propose a standard email template for voice over auditions.
On this standard format, you can simply and easily input information for new jobs each time, and maybe be able to send them out more quickly.
For voice talents, the benefits of this format would be a universal voice over audition response format to follow.
Why this proposal? As a voice talent, when I get different auditions from different agents, Iíve got to try and remember how they like it labeled: slate or no slate, etc.
I want to do it correctly each for each individual agent, but sometimes when I am doing auditions while also looking at the mirror combing my perfect hair, I get confused!
A SAMPLE FORMAT ...
So agents, see what you think about this:
1. Standard Template For Specs
Using a standard template, each audition email you send out would include the specifications for how you want your auditions recorded, labeled and returned. And once you create the audition template in your email system, youíre 90% done! You only have to fill in the specs of each job, which hopefully is mostly a copy and paste task.
2. Standard File Labeling
I propose the following format:
FirstNameLastName_ProjectName_Agency.mp3Iím not saying thatís best (we need to include character names on some files, for example), but letís discuss and agree on a file name style that will work on 95% of the jobs.
3. Standard Slating
Some agents like slates, some do not. So I propose that all auditions include slates. YES, there will be certain circumstances where slates wonít work, but again, for the majority of the work, slating will be fine.
The format of the slate could be as follows:
"This is (TALENT NAME) for (AGENCY NAME).ĒTHAT WOULD DO IT
Thatís really it.
Itís been my experience that almost all auditions are in mp3 format so I donít think that needs to be addressed.
Of course, unique return email addresses are necessary based on how agents would organize themselves.
Nor can voice talents really do anything about audition lengths (specifically long form). On this topic, I believe the voice talents need to take their cues from the agents, knowing the agents will look out for the talents to make sure (as just one extreme example here) a voice talent isnít required to read an entire book chapter to audition for an audiobook.
LET'S DISCUSS THIS!
Let's start an industry discussion about this. The "it will never work, there are too many variables with each jobĒ lament is off the table.
Please share your thoughts in comments below, to me or to this article, and letís see if we can get a professional discussion between the agency world and the voice over world started on developing a logical solution to a universal industry issue.
Thanks for your consideration. I think itís doable. What say you?
Peter K. O'Connell is a voice over talent and producer - "America's friendly, neighborhood voice over talent" - whose clients range from Fortune 500 companies to companies that think $500 is a fortune. From his conversational everyman voice to hard-sell straight announcer performances, his voice overs appear in commercials, narrations, e-learning, documentary, TV promo, radio imaging and live announcing.
Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success