0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 0 Flares ×

medium_150080109It’s a new year and with a new year comes new goals, new motivation, and, for some, new career paths. If you are new to voice acting, welcome! We are so happy to help you succeed in your new adventure. If you are a veteran voice over talent, are you sticking to your goals you set at the beginning of the month? Oh, if you haven’t really sat down and thought about goals yet, it’s not too late! Check out this post from Voice Actor Marc Scott about setting “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for 2014.

Where am I going with this? Many voice actors experience a sense of renewed motivation and enthusiasm this time of year, which is great, but there is such a thing as being “too enthusiastic” in voice over.

Why you shouldn’t audition for everything you can

Of course, it seems like you should audition for anything and everything to increase your chances of being booked. But the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach can be harmful to your voice acting career in so many ways! First, remember that voice seekers on Voice123 will rank your auditions. Too many bad rankings will affect your stats and, ultimately, the projects you will be invited to audition for. Also, voice seekers have a favorite voice actor list that they can save. You want to be on as many of those lists as possible! They also have a “blacklist” that will block auditions from certain voice actors. You do NOT want to be on that list! What you decide NOT to audition for is as important as what you DO. Here’s some advice for maintaining good stats and staying off those “blacklists.”

What you should NOT audition for:

Jobs you don’t meet all the requirements for. Yes, this seems like it would be an obvious one, but we get emails from frustrated clients all the time who go through the casting process (sometimes with THEIR client), choose a voice actor, and then find out that talent can not deliver what was expected of them. We sometimes see this with clients that ask for a phone patch or ISDN. A phone patch is NOT having speakerphone! A phone patch will not only allow the client to listen in on your recording session, but they will also expect you to play back audio via the phone line (not over speakerphone). ISDN is a special line that must be installed in your studio by your phone company.

Jobs that aren’t right for your voice. Know thyself, or in our case, know thy voice. If the client requests a teenage voice and you are not actually a teenager, can you really pull it off? It takes many years of training and practice to really figure out what projects are in your “wheelhouse.” I always tell talents the story of how I just knew I could do funny character voices. Finally, I found a mentor who told me, “Tara, you can’t do characters. Stick with commercials, that’s where your strength is.” Once I quit wasting my time trying to get animation jobs, I found much more success in my commercial voice over career. If you aren’t sure where your “wheelhouse” is, try posting some demos and auditions in our Feedback Forum to get some feedback from other voice actors: http://voice123.com/forum/cat/audio-quality-critiques/.

Jobs with budgets you are not comfortable with. While some clients will be open to a bit of negotiation, keep in mind that many people who post projects are not the ultimate deciders of the budget. They may be posting a project on behalf of their employer or their client. It will do you no good to audition for a job and ask for way more than the posted budget or tell the voice seeker that you are “disgusted” with the low budget in your remarks! If you are so “disgusted,” then don’t audition (Yes, this does actually happen)!

Jobs for voice seekers that make you uncomfortable. So, you’re right for the script and the budget looks okay, but the voice seeker has posted some comments that you are unsure about. It sounds like maybe this client is new to getting voice overs and may not understand how the casting process works. Perhaps they want to pay in a foreign currency. Read between the lines. Check this voice seeker’s history with Voice123. Have they posted projects with us before? Do they listen to all their auditions? You can find more information about a voice seeker near the bottom of the project listing. Click the link that says “learn more about this voice seeker.” Working with new clients is exciting, but if they are new to casting, you may have to help them through the process a bit. They may be demanding, not understand how revisions work, etc. and it may take up more of your time than you expect. If there is something that makes you hesitant about a job listing, think twice before you audition.

Don’t waste your time or a voice seeker’s time

Clients consider their time incredibly valuable and so should you! Why waste your precious time auditioning for jobs that you have very little chance of booking. Focus your energies and talents where your strong points are. You will get discouraged. Even the best in the business get discouraged at times and if you are being careless with your auditioning, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.

Set smart, obtainable goals for your voice over career and set yourself up for success. Want more advice on booking work on Voice123? Check out this recorded webinar:

photo credit: iNkMan_ via photopin cc