Thursday, January 31, 2008

Location, Location!

A recent thread on one of the voice over message boards got me thinking about auditions. Years ago, when I started in this business, a voice actor did all of their auditions in person. Sometimes it was in front of your agent, sometimes it was in front of a client.

There were many advantages to this type of audition:

1. You knew your audition was being heard.
2. You often received instant feedback and could change your audition to client specifications.

The only disadvantages were the time it took to get to the audition, and the money spent on gas.

Since more and more voice actors have built home studios, very few auditions are done in person anymore (I average 1-4 per month in person).

The advantages to the at-home auditions include:

1. Unlimited re-takes.
2. Being able to hear your audition before submitting.
3. No travel time or exense.

However, there are some distinct disadvantages:

1. One never knows if their audition is actually listened to.
2. The client doesn't have the option to critique you or ask for a different read.
3. No one to offer you kudos for an audition well done.
4. No human contact (which is the strangest part of the home studio experience).

One of the many reasons I am thankful to work at a variety of local studios is the opportunity to get out of my house and actually converse with people. It is drastically underestimated! I've also been known to offer to do my auditions via phone patch, just for the opportunity to speak with my client.

My advice to anyone that is disgruntled with the audition process, is to find a way to change it. Think outside of the box and consider ways to exceed your clients expectations, while enhancing your own daily voice over experience.

5 comments:

MCM Voices said...

Kara, I definitely agree with you about the disadvantages of remote auditions!

I was called for an audition last week by a casting agency - first time they had ever called me. They gave me the option of emailing my audition or driving 2 hours to the recording studio. No question in my mind - I chose face time! Although I didn't get the gig, I know they liked me, because they said so, emphatically. I left with a good feeling and still have that good feeling. I'll definitely be keeping in touch with them and have no regrets about investing that 4 1/2 hours!

Definitely, if you have the choice of showing up or phoning it in, a live audition can be a great thing.

jessespringer said...

Wow, I HIGHLY agree with you! I thrive off of direction and personal contact. I perform SO much better and more genuinely, and have booked more than half my in-person auditions.

Auditioning and recording from home, however, usually gets me feeling alone, bored, energy-less, and frustrated.

Thanks for the thoughts.

God Is Love-
-Jesse

Kara Edwards said...

Mary,

I agree- the in-person audition is the best way to go. I love face to face conversation.

Thank you for your comment and story! I have no doubt the studio loved you!

Jesse,

Thank you for your comments!

-Kara

Greg Houser said...

I'm late to the party with this one, but there's another downside to sending in auditions from a home studio. Especially when you're using either low-end or boutique equipment, there's a fair chance that what you sound like from home is not going to be what you sound like in a studio.

For the most part, this won't be an issue, but in the past year I've heard two separate casting directors make the same statement. What they heard from an e-mailed audition turned out to be different than what they got in the studio (just required a bit of work on the engineer's part, but took additional time).

While this probably isn't a big deal for most people, if you're using equipment that's not mainstream for the type of work that you do, you might want to either mention it on your Webpage, or to think about migrating to something more in line with the industry.

This is another reason to make the effort to audition in person... they'll know from the start what they're getting.

Having said that, I've no intention of using my home studio and my personal collection less, but I do keep a wary eye on what I'm doing when I am asked to audition from home.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Kara Edwards said...

Greg- your never too late to join in! Welcome! Great comments- I hadn't thought of it that way, but you are absolutely correct!

Thank you!
Kara