Recently, I wrote a blog post featuring voice actor Ross Huguet, congratulating him on a job well done for a Voice123 voice seeker. I also asked him for some advice for auditioning on Voice123 since he also happens to be one of our top-ranked talents on the site. Many people commented on the blog, thanking him for the tips and congratulating him, so I was a bit surprised to get an email from a Voice123 member that stated “…There weren’t any “Tips” for voice over work in this at all. It just talked about a person who lucked out and got a gig…”. Maybe this particular guy doesn’t dig my writing style or the way I titled the email/blog post and that’s cool, but to say Ross “lucked out and got a gig”, that is the part I cannot let slide.
Why getting voice over work is not “luck”
I believe there is an art to auditioning and it’s about more than just being “in the right place at the right time.” In fact, with both my career in voice over and my non-voiceover jobs, I cannot think of one time where I was hired due to blind luck.
Getting lucky by being one of the first
Does being one of the first auditions in the inbox help your chances? Yes. Is that the only factor? Of course not. Most Voice123 voice seekers request 50 auditions and, on average, they listen to about 20. However, there plenty of voice seekers that listen to all of them before selecting a voice actor. How do you decide if it’s worth auditioning? Pay close attention to this part of the project page:
You can see this voice seeker requested a total of 80 auditions, has received 43 of them and has only listened to 20. If you audition at this point, they will need to go through another 23 auditions before finding yours. You can also check their deadline. If it’s only got another day to go, you can probably assume they’ve already selected their winner. It’s a tough call on this one, but I would probably pass unless I really, really felt in my heart of hearts that this project suited my voice perfectly…which leads me to the next topic…
Getting lucky by auditioning for the right jobs
It’s taken many years of coaching and auditioning, plus lots of listening to other voice actors, to determine where I think my voice falls in the huge spectrum of voice work out there (and sometimes it changes from month to month!). It’s all about being honest with yourself. I can’t do characters. There. I said it. And…my voice is sounding a bit too old these days to really fit that “young female” request too. I can admit it. I was a radio broadcaster for a decade and that’s where my strength lies. My wheelhouse is the good ol’ radio/tv commercial read. Yes, I’ve done audiobooks, phone systems, and other work, but I know when I see a commercial script that I can nail naturally. If you find yourself forcing an audition, really struggling to sound the way you know the voice seeker wants it, pass. Move on to the next. Your time is valuable; don’t waste it forcing a read that just ain’t happening.
TIP: (courtesy of Ross Huguet) Give two takes. The first, following the direction provided by the voice seeker, the second, your way. The client may fall in love with your interpretation of the script.
Getting lucky by being a nice guy (or gal!)
You know that “remarks” box on the audition form? Yeah, voice seekers (a.k.a. your potential best clients) actually read the message you type there. Another tip from Ross: “the comments should be brief. Your contact info, your redo policy, your turn around time, your commitment to 100% client satisfaction.” Seems obvious right? I’ve actually seen voice actors criticize the script, make fun of the project, insult the voice seeker claiming the budget is too low, etc. Pretend this is a first date, a first date with the man or woman of your dreams because they could actually turn out to be Pixar or MTV or anyone (just ask Javier Fernandez-Peña who got the job as Spanish Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3 through Voice123)!
Getting lucky by upgrading to premium membership
Okay, not going to get all “salesy” on you here but, honestly, premium members get more voiceover work on Voice123. With a premium membership, not only do you get invited to audition for SmartCast projects, but your profile will also appear in our search results when a voice seeker enters info that matches your voice description. Here’s more info on standard vs. premium membership.
What do you think? How much is luck and how much is skill when it comes to getting that gig on Voice123?