Auditioning leads to work. When you audition for a voice-over job, you need to concentrate on what’s being asked of you, how to best convey the purpose and sentiment of a script, and persuade clients as to why they should work with you on their projects.
In the old days, this was a lengthy process that involved many people, locations, and meetings or phone calls. However, now, with online marketplaces replacing the need for agents and studios, auditioning is much more autonomous and streamlined; The process has been made simple, and is designed to help you put your best foot (or voice) forward. Keep in mind, though, that there are specific steps to follow when auditioning in this virtual world. Being an autonomous voice artist who is leveraging the power of the online voice over industry comes with some responsibility.
It is for this that we have assembled some straightforward guidelines for you:
Step 1: Creating an online account
Clients are constantly in need of people who can do voice overs. Wanting to make their jobs easier and their projects more efficient, they engage with online job marketplaces, posting voice over jobs for you to see. These job postings outline requirements and what types of voices are needed. After the job postings have been submitted and approved, you can peruse the listings. But you can only do this if you have an online account.
To create an account, find the audition sites you’re interested in and register. Some online sites where you can find voice-over auditions include Voices.com, Elance.com, and Guru.com. Once you make your decision, you follow along with the directions they give you, and create an account that lets you shine. Feel free to take a look at other accounts on the site for examples and best practices to help you form your own.
Step 2: Locating jobs
You can locate jobs through sites that you are registered for in two ways:
- Perusing job listings on the site
- Clicking through an e-mail link to a job posting’s details
Remember, though, only voice actors who are logged in to their accounts can audition for jobs.
After job postings are submitted and approved to registered sites by clients, e-mail notifications are sent out to the voice actor profiles that match the project requirements. Some of these requirements include language, gender, voice age, and the kind of work needing to be recorded. This is the reason why you should have an account and profile.
Job notification e-mails include a direct link to where you can see the postings, which allows you to glean more information regarding what’s required of you. Also, if you’re clicking through a link in an e-mail, finding jobs is much easier than having to browse listings on your own.
Step 3: Reviewing job postings
When looking at job postings, take every detail into account, particularly where it pertains to areas that the clients have typed in, such as the job description and sample script.
Step 4: Downloading the script
Most jobs have a script attached to them that you can download and review. The script is more often than not the final copy and may contain additional information such as storyboards and sides. Some voice actors read the scripts directly off their computer screens or iPads, and others prefer to print them off and put them on a music stand.
If you’re reading the script on a screen, use the word processing tools to highlight, italicize, or bold anything you need to be aware of. Don’t be afraid to add your own direction and analysis of the script if none has been provided. If you’re working from a print out, grab your pencil and get marking, highlighting the same things you would on screen. Check out Chapter 11 for more help on marking up your script.
Step 5: Replying to a job
Replying to a job is an exciting prospect! Every opportunity you take advantage of could lead to something bigger and greater than you ever imagined. Therefore, taking time to reply is important, as being ready and presenting yourself professionally are key factors in securing a job when you are not representing yourself in person.
As well, remember that being selective with the jobs you reply to can be of great benefit to both yourself and the client who posted the job. If you feel that you’re a wonderful fit and can confidently deliver on all that’s being required after finding a job posting that interests you, go for it! You can reply to the job by submitting an online audition- using an excerpt of the script that is often provided in a posting- that consists of a brief message, your voice-over demo, and a quote for the job.
Step 6: Getting a response
After the client posts a job, they can log in to their account and listen to the audition responses. If your audition is one that catches their interest, a client will contact you directly through the marketplace using the site’s internal messaging system to further discuss the project. After a final selection has been made, the client awards the project to the best voice actor for the job (hopefully, that’s you!). Then, if a payment service is offered on the site, the client makes a deposit to your account to secure your services.
Typically, if the site is like Voices.com, you’ll receive a notification via e-mail stating that you’re the winning candidate. Such an e-mail will include instructions on what you have to do next, and links to where those actions can be taken when logged into your account.
At this point, you may have direct contact with the client and discuss details pertaining to the job. The marketplace may disclose your contact details to client and vice versa to facilitate easier communication between the two of you. After you complete the work in a recording studio, whether a third party one or your own personal one, you upload the file(s) using the site’s guidelines and applications, and await the client’s approval of the work. Their approval should trigger authorization of payment.
Remember that these are the most basic of steps for those new to the virtual world of voice over auditions. The finer points of auditioning online, such as how to protect your work and appropriately quoting for any given job, will come to you over time. To make that process a little easier, we will be covering those topics in our next post. Stay tuned!
About The Authors
Stephanie Ciccarelli and David Ciccarelli are the founders of Voices.com, the largest global web hub for voice actors. Over the past nine years, Stephanie, David, and their team have grown Voices.com from the ground up to become the leader in the industry. This article was originally published in Voice Acting For Dummies and has been republished with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Inc.