Want to RUIN Your Voiceover Audition? Try This

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Whether it’s to subsidize your broader acting career or it is your acting career, more and more performers today are turning to voiceover work. It’s good timing, because there are also more voiceover opportunities than ever before. That being said, every VO job is going to be competitive to land and you might be ruining your chances before you even submit. Here, industry and Backstage Experts give you firsthand intel on the landmines to avoid and the keys to thriving in your auditions.

You play it fast and loose with the script.
“Changing the copy in an audition is a sticky wicket. Some auditions encourage the VO talent to take liberties, but I’ve also heard many creative directors say their script has gone through client approval and legal and should not be changed. I suggest you read the audition copy as-is and if you feel inspired, add a second take with your unique spin.” —Kelley Buttrick, voiceover actor and Backstage Expert

You’re going in with unrealistic expectations.
“Even the most talented, skillful, and experienced artists create work for their demos. They’re expected to sound like the real thing: nationally broadcast union commercials and narrations. They’re meant to seamlessly advertise your very best abilities and define where you belong to encourage auditions from multiple streams.

“All this to say: you can’t underestimate the importance of momentum and its impact on whether you have a career or not. So many talents lean back rather than double down directly following having their voiceover demos produced, which can create a nasty habit of starting and stopping your career, thereby undermining your confidence and derailing your career before it’s had the chance to take root.” —Kate McCLanaghan, casting director, producer, and Backstage Expert

You didn’t brand yourself first.
“The way you leave a voicemail, answer your phone, or write an email are all contributing factors to your branding, as are your social media posts. The graphic presentation of your business cards, web site, stationery, etc., have a lasting impact.

“So before you make first contact, have your smartly-branded marketing materials ready. If you can, hire a branding expert to help. It’s a worthwhile investment as branding is one of the most effective ways to get work.” —Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins, co-founders of “That’s Voiceover!” and Backstage Experts

Ready? Check out Backstage’s voiceover audition listings!

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Casey Mink
Casey Mink is the senior staff writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is definitely somewhere watching it.
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