As a professional voice actor and coach, I’ve seen the industry evolve greatly, even in the past few years. As actors and voice actors we have two choices: Work direct with clients, or through an agency. The obvious difference is that all agencies take 15% for their efforts in landing the job, (that is of course after a successful audition). Booking direct means no commission and you keep all that money! The challenge is finding the direct work. But lets talk about the audition process. As most clients don’t want invest in a pro studio and engineer to audition anymore, we the talent, are expected to audition from home. I’ve covered good auditioning techniques in my 'Auditioning From Home Tips' blog.
AGENCY AUDITIONS: When auditioning through your agent, you will always slate our name (there are exceptions) but in general, slate name, (agency in slate is optional, but they sometimes ask for it). If you are doing an animation audition through your agent, slate name and character. For example I’d say “Brent Halfyard, reading for Grumpy old man”. Personally I’d also do my slate in character (with intent) then go right into the read.
TIP: When auditioning for animation, DON’T OVER EDIT! This means try to get as fluid a performance as possible, leaving in breaths where it’s a part of the expression and acting of the character. Too much editing makes casting people wonder about your ability as an actor to carry a scene without constant pickups and editing. Commercial auditions can be edited more clean, just edit with good headphones and make your edits as smooth an natural sounding as possible.
Always follow file naming requirements from the agent. If there are none, I default to :Brent_Halfyard_Client.mp3.
Make sure its MONO, listen for errors, then send away!
ONLINE AUDITIONS: Never slate! Yes this is an important distinction from agencies. Simply go right into the read, the exception is, if you have two versions in one audition, slate “Take one of two”, then go right into the read, followed by read #2. For animation, simply dive into the character head on! Same rules apply for animation: don’t over edit! With online auditions (I won’t name ‘pay to play’ sites but there are two main ones) Name your file by name and job#. IE: Brent_Halfyard_234876. This is how clients identify your read and you can easily locate the job later by number if hired. You need only do 20-30 seconds for online auditions, but it is a numbers game, the more auditions you do, the better the odds of getting booked! That said, I better get off and do some auditions myself! I hope this helps you understand the differences between auditions for agencies and online. If you’re looking to get voice coaching, help with auditions or get your demo going, contact Halfyard Studios!
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