Dee Bradley Baker's "All to Know About Going Pro in V.O."

Auditioning from Home (Alone)

I believe the single most challenging thing to do well as a voice actor is to audition from home. It is a lynchpin capacity, because you get one shot. It’s tough because you are self-directing and no amount of talent can overcome a poor audition.

An audition is your one shot at booking the gig and each can be its own lasting impression of your talent. In a proper studio, with a booth director or casting director’s input, you at least have a partner in triangulating a good read. But when you audition from home alone, as we usually do now, you are on your own director, talent, editor and crew.

The stakes with an audition are high and deserve your best effort.

With auditions, you’ve one swing to connect with that ball coming over the plate, no more. Your swing has to connect too, since it is rare to be cast by producers willing to take a chance on directing you into what they need. And callbacks are not that common.

Your audition either delivers a perfect choice or it is a no-go. Bullseye or nothing.

To add to the stakes, though a great audition might not book the gig, it may stick in the casting director’s or producer’s mind and could lead to other auditions or work later on. Consistently good auditions, even if they don’t book, will add to your reputation with your agent and casting folks. This is part of why you always want to give an audition your best effort, no matter how humble the project may seem.

So how do you audition well when home alone?

You are creating something. It’s about giving not getting. Wanting to give, not take.

Slate: -energy and at least some essence of the spot

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Freedoms available to apply or change:

Word emphasis

Silence – fill with meaning

Listen as you talk

Foot on accelerator for pace, volume

Pre life addition

Rewrite fitting variation

Riff

If animation or game

what reference in show/game?

actor, character?

If commercial

what is point of persuasion?

who are you trying to convince?

who is listening?

-who does your voice need to be to fulfill this?

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Interrogation:

Target audience

What tone does this imply?

Any switch up of target scene partner implied in the script?

Questions? Ask agent or casting director

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Listen back:

performance

pace

do you like it, love it, iffy?

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After you send it, try to get feed back.

Can you compare who was cast to your audition?

not always cast on talent or performance. There may be other variables at work.

© Dee Bradley Baker 2021

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