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If you’ve ever successfully built furniture from Ikea, first of all, congratulations. I’m pretty sure that propels you into an elite group of individuals roaming the earth. You probably do jigsaw puzzles for fun. In your sleep. With one hand tied behind your back. And no picture on the box to refer to for reference.

Here’s the key to building Ikea furniture. You’ve got to read the instructions.

Thoroughly. All of them. From start to finish. Then you’re ready to start building.

Read The Instructions

I’ve done my share of casting for voice over work, both directly to talent and via sites like voice123.com . In each of those experiences there’s always been one reoccurring theme that never ceases to amaze me. Voice Actors that can’t follow basic instructions and simple directions. Last week I posted a message on Twitter and Facebook.

“If you’re a British Male VO that does explainer video voice over work,

message me with a link to your demo. I’m building a new referral list.”

Simple instructions, right? Evidently not simple enough for some! What I received in the following day was enough to leave me shaking my head… and at times, wanting to beat it off the wall.

Then Follow The Instructions

I’ll say upfront that approximately 80% of the responding voice actors did follow my instructions. A quick note and a link to their demo. Just as I had requested.

However, the other 20% were in a league of their own!

The other 20% included novels. Quite literally novels. In the pages of these novels they included every detail of their professional life nearly dating back to Kindergarten. They named dropped every major client they’ve worked with since birth. They also included sales pitches that would make a used car salesman blush!

And the demos… oh the demos. Most of the 20% included links to every demo they’ve got, no less than six to eight. Some of them, not even including the very demo I asked for… a demo of their explainer video voice over work!

Or Face The Consequences

The individuals in this 20% missed the entire point of the very simple exercise. They tried too hard, and as a result, every last one of them were left off my referral list!

Here’s the thing, if you can’t follow very simple instructions, no client is ever going to want to work with you and no fellow voice actor, myself included, is ever going to refer you. It’s a pain for the client and it makes me as the referrer look like a fool!

If you’re auditioning for every job that comes your way and you’re not seeing any results, perhaps it’s because you’re not following instructions.

On Voice123, read the Project Description thoroughly. Pay attention to the Purpose of the Recording, Recording Length, Language Requirements, Voice Gender and Age and Additional Requirements.

Clients don’t want you to fail. It’s a waste of their time and yours. In many cases they’ll give you the information you need in order to submit a quality audition.

Give them what they ask for. Simple.

Just like building your Ikea furniture, if you read the instructions and follow them you’re going to set yourself up for the potential to book a lot more voice over work.

On the other hand, if you try and wing it or do it your own way, your bookshelf is going to fall apart and you’ll have no income generating work to replace it!