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An Unusual Voice Over Audition

With regard to, Voice Over Auditions, here’s something you as a voice over actor might want to keep in mind and maybe even try out. I received an e-mail and a phone call one day from a production company asking me to come to Milan for a voice over audition. It made me think about what I wrote in my book about the 21 business principles, one of which is creating shareholder value. This has to do with being professional, so that your “stock price” so to speak continues to go up, because when casting directors, agents or other industry contacts see you, you always bring home the goods. When you do that consistently, they call you directly to audition for jobs!

This particular production company in Italy (I’m working here for a few months) is one I have done several jobs for over the last couple of years. I did the big, 2-month industrial on the cruise ship with them as well as other voice over jobs. This time I was called at 8pm and asked if I could make it into their office the very next day for an audition. It’s important for you to know that Bologna, where I stay is about a 2 hour train ride away from downtown Milan, so taking time to go there means that for that day I won’t be able to do anything else.

I swear that I get motivated when I find myself in situations like that, because on one hand I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity of this voice over audition. On the other hand, however, the work I already had planned for that day to make a lot of money in a short amount of time by using what I know to give seminars) was much more important in the long term as well as it paid a heck of a lot better than the possibility of getting this voice over job! I get excited, because it becomes a challenge to find a solution to be able to do the audition, but still do the seminar and make the money.

The Greatest Question In The World!

During a summer intensive class I took a couple of years ago at the Ward Acting Studio, my movement teacher, Grant Neale asked us a question which provided the basis for some exercises that we did to develop our creativity. He asked us, “How many different ways are there to get someone to do what you want them to do?” Asking that question implies that there are probably more ways than the ones we traditionally think about. I found that to be true in my case. We thought about it and realized that there were many answers to that question, around some of which we did our exercises. Great class by the way!

That very same question I ask myself when I get into a bind and need to find a solution, as I did in this case with the voice over audition. I thought and thought and thought. And I came up with an answer. About a year ago I bought an incredibly easy-to-use audio file creation tool on the internet that I use periodically in the newsletters and other communication with my customers.

So What About The Voice Over Audition?

I proposed to the production company that they send me the script via e-mail and that I could create an audio file for the voice over audition right from my desk at home and send it to them via e-mail. They were so happy to have that option and so was I to have found a solution. I recorded the brief (approximately 50 second) script four times and sent them four links on an e-mail with play, stop and pause buttons and everything! How technology has changed!

They received my files, chose the one(s) they liked and forwarded them to the customer. The customer liked my voice, but asked me to make some adjustments. I did and re-recorded three more files and sent them through.

No Job, But…

In the end I didn’t get the job, but I was happy to have thought of an alternative that at least let me audition.

While I realize that doing an audition in this way isn’t the norm and might not be acceptable to many casting directors and/or customers and while I realize that the Italians do things differently, I definitely wanted to share that story with you to say, that you never know. Don’t take for granted that your idea might not be accepted. The worst that can happen is that they say no. But in my case, they didn’t, which means having one more chance to shine. For us actors, that means a lot! In this case, it was another voice over audition.

I have since booked many voice-over jobs for product promotions, university promotional texts and film narration.

If you are interested in finding a voice over audition, I found these sites that can certainly help you out. Good luck!

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