To become a successful voice actor for commercials, anime, audiobooks, movies, or video games, you must first nail the audition. The world of voice-acting is competitive, but with consistent practicing, fine-tuning, and acting lessons, you can succeed in this creative field.
What are voice acting auditions?
Voice acting auditions are the first step to securing successful and recurring voice acting work.
Before a client can hire you for voice over work, they typically listen to voice over samples or voice over auditions to find a voice that resonates with their project. So, successful voice acting auditions lead to winning jobs, recurring work, and establishing strong client relationships.
Where do voice actors find auditions?
When you are entering the voice over business, it may be hard to find reliable work and as a result many people tend to freelance. This means that voice artists will try to look for any jobs that they could do at any place. However, due to the internet, it is now easier than ever to find such jobs. There are multiple websites that provide voice over jobs and many places where you can upload demos for potential clients that could hire you. Here are a few websites that will help you find people that have demand for your services and that may be willing to hire you.
Voices.com is one of the largest websites to host many different voice over samples for clients to choose from. They also provide one of the largest platforms for aspiring musicians and voice artists. Your clients would post jobs and receive auditions and then they will be able to pick the voice that they require.
Similar to Voices.com, Voices123 provides similar services where clients upload jobs to the website for voice actors to audition for them.
Bodalgo is another award winning website that can help you seek out different jobs. There are multiple castings that you can post for free and a platform where voice actors can be hired. They provide commercial services along with eLearning, Video Games, Audio Books, IVR, Presentation voices and much more. There are no commissions and no fees associated and your voice over projects will be easily managed there.
One of the largest P2P freelance websites where anyone can post a job and have it requested by clients. As a beginner in voice acting, this website should be high on your priority list considering how it can get you known by a lot of people very quickly. Do a good job and your client can leave a review and with enough reviews you’ll get a growing audience. You may even set your prices and upload customized services based on what you’re best at. There is a small commission that comes with the website but it’s definitely worth it.
VoicesUK and VoicesUS
These websites are, according to the website, the biggest smallest voiceover platforms where they could be looking for talents to diversify their portfolio. They have a very high rating score with multiple positive 5 star reviews. Working with them could provide many possible benefits and could help you expand your horizons.
15 Tips for a Good Voice-Acting Audition
Here are some helpful tips to help voice-over actors prepare for an audition:
1.Do vocal warmups.
An essential part of preparing for a voice-over audition is warming up your voice through voice exercises. Vocal warm-ups and breathing exercises help prepare you for voice-over work because they open up your vocal cords and help with breath control. Additionally, practicing pronunciation during your warm-ups can help you ease into a “recording voice” with the appropriate breath support and clarity for audio recording.
2.Take note of the casting breakdown.
Casting calls may contain notes about the text’s direction and additional info about how the client wants you to play the character (dialect, age range, style of reading, etc.). Read these notes carefully to ensure that your audition doesn’t get disqualified because you didn’t follow instructions.
3.Study the text.
Ahead of your audition, you will receive a script (or sides) from the casting director or service. The text will provide context for how you should deliver your lines, which is why you should study it before your audition. Read your sides carefully to get a good feel for the direction of the words and the best way to perform them. When you’re not actively auditioning, download free voice-over scripts online to hone your skills. Select a few different options, then study and break down the scripts, noting the various tones and delivery you like for future use.
4.Use your acting skills.
A professional voice actor doesn’t just have a great voice; they should also possess acting skills. Voice-over jobs require various performance styles. One promo project may require you to use an announcer’s voice, while another may require accent work. Voice actors may take acting classes or hire an acting coach to work on their line delivery and technique. Before your audition, work on your line delivery through practice or lessons to ensure you’re in the right headspace to get into character.
5.Mind your pronunciation.
Read the text thoroughly and make sure you’re able to pronounce any unfamiliar words correctly. Look up the words beforehand and practice saying them to sound more natural when delivering the line.
6.Use quality equipment.
If you’re serving as your own audio engineer in a home studio, it’s important to use the best equipment you can obtain, as that can affect how your entire performance sounds. Post-production software can only edit your sound so much, so aside from a small, quiet room, your equipment needs to be the best quality you can afford. You don’t need to buy high-end equipment—there is a lot of quality recording equipment available for those on a budget.
7.Do your slate.
Before you begin your audition, you will need to slate—which is a brief introduction that includes your name and the project you’re reading for. You can do your slate in character or in the tone of the work. For example, use a cheery tone to slate your audition for a cereal commercial. Your slate should be under five seconds long and include your first and last name, the project’s name, and the number of takes in your audition tape. Job-posting websites that charge voice actors annual fees to submit auditions (pay-to-play sites) do not allow you to include your name in the slate. However, you can still slate with the number of takes to let the casting director know that there are multiple takes, so they don’t stop the recording after the first one.
8.Record additional takes.
Voice-over artists should record at least two takes to give a potential client additional options. Most professional casting directors or clients know the right voice when they first hear it, but another take may help convince them you have the best voice for the job. Keep track of your various takes by labeling them accordingly to ensure you send the casting director the best one.
9.Be familiar with your software.
If you’re auditioning from a home recording studio, you’ll need to know how to use the software to edit, trim, and export your audio files to a casting director or client. Ensure you have a good Internet connection and ample storage space on your computer or external hard drive to store audio files.
When a script is supplied, it’s best not to read the whole thing in your audition. Read approximately 15 seconds or so, and then move on. Save your time, save your voice, keep your auditions short!
11.Bulk process auditions
A time saving tip, carve out a time of day or full day of the week to complete all of your auditions at once. And then, rest your voice while you keep the productivity train rolling— after the bulk auditioning comes the batch processing of your audio, and that is another great time saver as well.
We’ve seen time and time again that quiet auditions don’t book the gig. Our recommendation is to normalize your audio files to around -1dB.
Tieing into tip number one, get right to it! The job number, job title, and your name is all information the client can see right next to the play button. Let the job proposal cover that info for you so you can get right to bringing the client’s script to life.
Adding music is a risk. The client already has an idea in their mind of what they want to hear behind the voice so adding music can distract the client from truly hearing your audition and could move onto the next voice actor. Focus on your vocal delivery instead. It will save you time from surfing stock music websites in your post production, too.
The client believes your audition audio quality and performance to be what the final project would also sound like. So invest the time to make sure your audio quality is as good as it can get and that your performance will be duplicatable after you’re hired!
How can I get into voice acting legitimately?
Getting the audition is one thing, landing the gig is where a voice actor’s success lies! Here are eight tips that will help you get the job after finding the audition:
1.Take a voice acting class
Before you get too far ahead of yourself and buy studio equipment, get some training. When you’re exploring voice acting as a potential career, taking a class or two, or enrolling in voice over coaching can help you to determine whether voice acting is the right business for you.
2.Practice reading out loud
Read out loud often, so that you can really feel the copy, hear your voice, and play with the interpretation. Overcome any inhibitions by practicing your reading on a regular basis either on your own, with a teacher, family member or a trusted friend. Reading out loud also has many unexpected benefits, too.
3.Seek out pro-bono jobs to build your resume
Consider apprenticing under an established voice actor, or volunteering your talents for charities, nonprofit events, or student projects. As you are building your voice over portfolio, it is important to make the distinction between volunteer work and “giving your voice away for free”—your future colleagues will thank you.
4.Network with other voice actors
While coaching and training are a great place to start, don’t let your networking activities end there! Look for local Meetups, conferences, and online communities. Not only will you find kindred spirits and moral support, but you’ll also become part of a powerful referral network. When a fellow voice actor is presented with a job opportunity that they aren’t well-suited for, you can count on these peers to recommend other vocal talent in their network, including you, for said opportunities.
5.Practice proper breathing techniques
Remember to breathe properly. This means being able to control your breath and shape it to create flowing phrases and energetic, articulate performances. Breathing deeply from your diaphragm, breath support, and proper placement can work miracles and keep you conditioned to deliver in top form, even through sickness.
6.Produce a voice over demo reel
Making a voice over demo is a very personal, artistic, and technical process. You can go about this on your own, but it is advisable to consider the possibility of having a demo professionally produced for you. Your voice over demo can be your ticket to success, and often serves as the first impression of your voice that a prospective client will hear.
7.Create a Voices Talent Profile
When you’re ready to pursue voice over work, you’ll need to have a web presence and a steady source of auditions.
8.Follow up and be persistent
When you are pounding the pavement on your own, be sure to follow up with the prospects you have submitted your demos or marketing material to. Do everything you can to keep your name front of mind. You may not receive a response from every person you deliver your promotional materials to, but that shouldn’t deter you from marketing your services. When someone needs your voice, they will get in touch!
Voice actors audition constantly. This is true of new actors but experienced voice actors must constantly audition as well. In many ways, auditioning is a voice actor’s main job. There are online voice acting auditions and in-person voice acting auditions. The former are perhaps the most popular today, though high profile and high paying jobs will still audition in person. A voice actor must strive to master both.
The main one though is to be patient and keep going, never taking rejection personally. If there are perhaps far too many rejections a voice actor is well advised to take a look at certain sticking points we described here, but the main premise remains: Keep on trucking and you will get there!
Ten articles before and after