A question I often get asked is: How long should it take me to complete and submit a single audition?
Well, first let me say… If you’re brand spanking new at the auditioning process – it isn’t gonna be quick! First you’re reading/interpreting the script, then voicing it several times. Is your mic on? Is it set at a proper level? Did you shut the AC off?! After recording you’re listening back, selecting your keepers, cleaning them up, and lastly submitting… Yeah. It’s easy to get caught up in overthinking the direction. It’s also easy to obsess and overanalyze your performance. And when no one is there to stop you – you may end up reading any given audition script dozens of times!
DON’T DO IT! Your performance will lose all of its spontaneity and special sauce! The read will start to sound too slick – too polished. Remember that word ‘conversational’ we hear every day of our VO lives?? Well, it means imperfect. Genuine. Authentic. Real. Non-announcery. Your imperfection IS your perfection. Let your instincts guide you. There is so much magic living in your first three reads. This is why we work so hard on our craft in workshops. This is why listening to your peers read and coaches direct is so priceless. You gain the valuable insight of how to self-direct… Your ear becomes in tune with the expectations of the people who are hiring you!
Are you guilty of being a Franken-chopper? Mmmm-Hmmm. This is when you spend a ridiculous amount of time editing your audition takes… You like the first line from take 1, the middle section of take 2, the last line of take 3, and so on… And you chop it all up and Frankenstein your “keeper take” together. This can get way out of hand. Fast. And in many cases… The end result will sound manufactured. It’ll lose flow. Especially if you’re new at editing. It’ll lose that imperfect-perfection in the overall read… That authenticity that everyone is listening for… So do yourself a favor, and do good, consistent work in workshops! Put in the time and do the work. So when you are at home auditioning you will feel solid. Confident. Sure you’re on the right track. And here’s another thing you should know… ALL of us think ‘we could have done it better.’ Don’t get caught up in that mind-game either. We’re creative people and want to give our very best. Of course. We should care to submit quality audio and stellar performances, but you have to also say, okay. This audition is done. Hit send. Bless and release that audition. Put good thoughts, vibes and sparkles on it. Because guess what? You’ve got like 10 more auditions waiting in your inbox that you get to do next! 😉
Your goal should be, in time, 15 minutes per audition. 5 minutes’ish of interpreting/reading. 5 minutes’ish editing. 5 minutes’ish submitting. Done is better than perfect. I use this number loosely… It might take you 10 or 20… Please just don’t spend two hours on a single audition. You’ll drive yourself crazy. And ya know what else? Perfect is NOT attainable in our business. And the question is perfect to who? You? The person casting? Your dog? Your goldfish? 😉 It’s a subjective, selective business. Do you. Give your best. Submit and forget. Move on to the next audition. And each time you go through this process you will gain confidence, become more efficient, and hopefully have fun with it! You never want to take yourself so seriously that you forget to have fun!
Maybe you haven’t started auditioning yet. That’s okay! Everyone is in a different place on their journey! You’ll get there in time. Maybe you tuck this blog post away as a reminder for when you do BEGIN auditioning. Do the work. Build solid voice acting chops. AND solid editing skills. Trust your gut. Have fun.
You’ve got this.