You want to audition a lot. But how long should it take you to complete and submit a single audition?
Well, if you’re brand-spanking new to the auditioning process, it ain’t gonna be quick! And that’s normal!
First, you’re reading and interpreting the script, then voicing it several times. Then come the questions: Is your mic on? Is it set at a proper level? Did you shut the AC off? Is there any other background noise that could ruin your recording? Dogs barking? Kids yelling? (Wait…did you shut the AC off?!)
Then, after recording, you’re listening back, selecting your best takes, cleaning them up, and lastly, submitting.
And then come more questions: “Did I title my file correctly? Was it an MP3 and not a WAV file? Did it actually send? Let me check…Okay, did I spell the producer’s name right? Did I turn that AC off?!”
Yeeeeaaaah. It’s easy to overthink it and get caught up in the details when you first start auditioning. It’s also easy to obsess and overanalyze your performance. And when no one is there to stop you, you may read any given audition script dozens of times!
Or maybe you’re a “Franken-chopper.” 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 then you chop it all up and Frankenstein your takes 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.
If you’re a Franken-chopper, or an overthinker, or an obsessive performance analyzer when you audition, we’re here to tell you:
Hold your horses! DON’T DO IT! Your performances will lose all of their spontaneity if you read them over and over and over and over and if you over-edit them. The read will 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. That’s where you want to be.
Let your instincts guide you. There is so much magic living in your first three reads. This is why we work so hard at our craft in workshops. This is why listening to your peers read and coaches direct them 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!
Your goal should be, in time, 15 minutes per audition:
• 5 minutes of interpreting and reading
• 5 minutes editing
• 5 minutes submitting
Done! Done is better than perfect. And you know what? Perfect is NOT attainable in our business. Because really, what does “perfect” even mean? And perfect to whom? You? The person casting you? Your dog? Your goldfish? (Man, maybe your goldfish is an insufferable perfectionist—you can’t possibly please him, so why bother?)