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Making Your Online Audition Stand Out – Digital Audition Etiquette

Making Your Online Audition Stand Out – Digital Audition Etiquette

Posted by jharris in News

Due to the most recent audition I posted for a local Ford client, I find it absolutely necessary to share some Audition Do’s and Don’ts for your AT HOME auditions.  If I could only play for you all the auditions I received!

From your home computer:


Be sure you are suited for this project

1 proper acoustic studio

1 recorded mp3 audition – (edited to final take or 2, but do not add ANY effects)

1 Properly Named File

1 creative cover letter (short and to the point)

All your necessary contact information (If sending on behalf of an agent – say so)

The ability to throw it away after your done recording and pretend it never happened.

Blend this all together and you will find a successful recipe!

Following this method precisely will get your audition heard, however, not even realizing it, there are many things that talent will do which can cause their audition to be discarded or ignored.

I have always wanted to start a website that posts ALL of the actual auditions and lets you know who booked the audition.  Names aren’t necessary, just the auditions themselves.  No comments would be allowed to avoid drama and the auditions would be open for all to listen to.  It would be so educational to be able to air all of the auditions I receive from time to time, so you can hear for yourself why people get selected and why they don’t.

When I post auditions, I come from a rare point of view.  I’m not actually not making any money so it’s a TON of time for nothing in return.  So why would I do such a thing?  Well first of all I love to be able to find my students work, but on days like this when it’s short notice, I don’t have my talent organized enough (as my site is in transition) to know who to refer, except for those that stay in touch and keep up to their coaching etc.)

Also like many other talent, when they can’t please their client, they want to still please them in some way so offering other talent is a very smart thing for talent to do.  Many of us wouldn’t cast our own roles of course – and it’s very rare that I would either.  I’m generous but I’m not stupid.  However this particular client was looking for young females and as much as I try to sound young, it’s not authentic, so I am happy to share the work.

Many of you don’t realize how much work it is to receive auditions.  Perhaps if you had an understanding of it, there would be many things you would do differently.  Imagine posting an audition at a very late time of the evening because you are too busy to send it any other time.  You post that it’s a ONE DAY ONLY audition and yet still receive auditions two days later.  From the second you post it, either your phone starts ringing or your emails fill up at hyper speed.  Next thing you know you’re being woken up at 7:00 a.m from people that need some answers so they can audition before they head out the door etc.  It’s all just part of the job.  The job of the agent is constant.  Always respect that.

Now it’s time to go through all the auditions I recieved.  First thing to listen for are those talent that suit the role.  I found many women (at least 35 and up) auditioning for Young Female.  If this was animation I get it, but the chances of you getting that role (if you don’t sound authentically young) are slim when compared to someone with any talent who is authentically younger.    I know we all just want to work, but it’s important that you suit it – unless you have something SUPER unique to offer.

Then receive about 100 submissions (seemingly all at once) and being the type of personality that wants to give advice to each one – (It’s the coach in me I’m sure) Remember only a ONE day deadline to fill this role.  If the email contains all the pertinent information it stands out as worthy of listening to.  Name of talent, how to get a hold of them or who to book them through, any kind of personal information that might be important, or questions that are necessary to ask (but if you can avoid asking any – I highly suggest you leave them be so they can sort through 100 auditions).

Add on top of the fact that many of the files are named the same thing because the client (or me in this case) didn’t specify how to name the file.  As a standard, always have your name in the file unless otherwise told to do so.  If everyone sends a file called Ford.mp3, and I download them all to my computer, how do I know who is who?  Or perhaps the talent didn’t slate their name and now I’ve lost who this talent is and because I have to narrow it down to only 30 to submit, that makes my decision easy for those that aren’t labeling and slating correctly.

Many of you are LOCAL talent – meaning you live in a major centre and stay busy enough to work through your local agency so perhaps you don’t have your own studio, but you wanted to audition because your agent got a hold of the audition and wants to submit you.  Wonderful.  But do you know that your audition that you record on your home computer, or your Iphone, is not comparable to one done on a proper studio.  Another reason to toss this away to narrow down the audition process.  It’s all apples to apples.

The local clients that hire agencies are used to in person auditions so there is no need for studio equipment – but in the online world, this just isn’t the case so make sure your audition is recorded in the right recording environment – or it could very well be a waste of your time.  The producer will assume this is the final quality of the studio.   It would be nice if we could just quickly do our auditions over the phone or on our iphones or computers without equipment and voice in the middle of the room with no acoustic treatments, but in this digital world, it’s just not going to cut it.

Many submissions were short and sweet – to the point.  Many of you knew me personally so the cover letter isn’t as big of a deal, but what if this is the first time this client has ever heard of you.  Did you leave him anything behind to remember you for next time?  If there is 100 of you – who is going to stand out?  Creativity and caring enough to talk to the client is really important.  However be careful with what you say.  Don’t go on and on about your obstacles, your life issues, your apologies for whatever…etc.  This is the time to talk about client or the project a bit, let them know what you’ve submitted, possibly your rates, your recording options, your turnaround time etc.  Then your contact information – especially if booking through an agent – be sure to clarify.

You would be amazed at what people submit.
I hope these little morsels will help you better your auditions and make sure you are working within the norm of the talent who are booking.

I did of course receive some fabulous auditions which I sent off to the client, but there were many that didn’t make it to the clients inbox.  I share this with you not to single anyone out, but because I am not paid to do this, I am not the decision maker, so I have nothing to lose.  This was my client and I know their tastes and what is castable for them or not (they are trusting in my judgment), so I am just being honest with you.  Many of you were good, but I would suggest that nearly ¾ of you needed further training and understanding on what exactly needs to be on those auditions and how they are done.

I don’t have auditions often but it’s a ton of work when I send out generic auditions so top of mind is key to land more work through me.  Keep in touch with me so I remember you are there.  I hope this will help you in your next auditions

Take time today to thank yourself for all your hard work that you do to be a talent.  And I thank you for allowing me to speak my mind.

Until Next time.

All my best,
VO Chef Deb

01 Jun 2012 No Comments

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