I get a lot of questions about what it’s like to be a voice over artist. I hope I can answer a lot of them as I go through the process of blogging, but today I want to answer the following FAQ: How does one get a voice over job?
The answer to that is simple: auditions, auditions, and more auditions!!
Most voice over artists I know probably spend more time going through the audition process than they do actually getting paid to work (and for those who have the opposite experience, I WANT YOUR LIFE!! hahahahaha). It is a reality of the industry that once you have the building blocks of what it takes to be a VO artist (talent, ability to take direction, etc etc, that is for another post!!), booking a job is a numbers game; the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you create, and the better the chance is that one of them will stick.
Most of my auditions are done at my agency’s office. Most of the time, I drive to the office in Beverly Hills, and wait in the lobby with many of my other colleagues until my agents hand each of us our “copy.” Copy is the industry jargon for “script.” I’ll take whatever time I need to create the sound I think works best for each piece of copy, and then it’s into the booth to record my audition! After the audition is over, my agents send out all the reads to the client. After I finish an audition, I completely forget about it. I have that once chance to make my audition the best that I can, and then I just let it go, and hope I stand out among all the other very talented voice over artists, and the client chooses to hire me. But once I’m done with the audition, it’s out of my hands, and I just need to move on to the next opportunity. If you put any energy into thinking about somethign you have already done, that is no longer in your control, you will drive yourself crazy, and that kind of energy is destructive to your next audition.
Sometimes I record my auditions myself in my home studio. This is my favorite way to record animation auditions myself because I can take as much time as I want to play with different characters. There are no other voice over artists waiting for their time in the booth. so I can go nuts with different reads and really let myself experiment. I do wonder what the neighbors think about what I’m doing over here though! One negative aspect to recording yourself at home is the objectivity needed to judge a read. I am my own worst critic, and sometimes I can get so carried away with making something sound “perfect” that I lose all sense of my personality in the read. I believe there is a “sweet spot” for myself where I feel like my personality is really coming through and my read feels genuine. Each voice is unique, and when that uniqueness is really shining through, that’s exactly the spot I want to be when I aim my voice towards that microphone! The trick is learning to recognize how that feels in your body, and that just takes experience.
So that is a little bit about the audition process. I hope there was some interesting information and advice in here.