Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Why Doesn't Voices.com Have an Auditions Rating System?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 9, 2009

Comments (14)

Feedback ratingsReceiving feedback (when in context) can be a wonderful thing, however, in the world of applying for work it is rarely given if at all!

Many voice talent have asked why feedback is only limited to Ratings and Reviews for work that's booked at Voices.com.

In this article, I'll explain why this is the case and also give you some perspective on how we came to make this decision.

Why Can't Clients Rate Auditions at Voices.com?

One reason why we do not allow clients to rate auditions is because we feel that the ratings should only be given by people who have actually done business with you.

Years ago we tried a star rating system that allowed clients to rate your demos and auditions but found that clients were using the stars as a way to sort talent, not give them actual feedback on their voice or performance.

As a result, the ratings were out of context and irrelevant, and for some people, turned out to be harmful and unfounded. Even if you had auditioned well, sent in clean audio and so on, if a client didn't think you were the right person for the job, they'd give you a lower ranking (I think you'll agree that this would be unfair and out of context) which would then affect your overall statistics.

Also, some talent were abusing the system and having people (friends, family, etc.) rate them to boost their rankings. This didn't bode well. There were also some concerns that other talent may have been trying to sabotage their competitors by giving their demos a lower ranking.

I trust you can appreciate why we decided that this form of giving feedback wasn't the best way to go! This is why we only allow feedback based upon a transaction at Voices.com in a rating and reviews manner.

Clients may email you at their discretion should they wish to share any personal feedback regarding your auditions. While many are too busy to do this, some do show their appreciation or positive response to your audition by adding talent to their Favorites list to reference in the future for work opportunities.

The ultimate feedback you can receive from a client is booking the job. Auditioning is prospecting, as prominent Scottish voice over talent Philip Banks would say. There is no greater affirmation of your audition in a client's eyes than being selected to record for their project.

Some parting advice?

Once you audition, forget about it! Treat each audition as an opportunity to promote your voice. Remember that it is all about selection and not rejection. Putting yourself through the ringer isn't worth the fuss and aggravation.

How do you let go of auditions?

Comment and share your strategies for moving on!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Robyn Mackenzie

Related Topics: feedback, ratings, reviews, SurePay, transactions, voice overs, Voices.com


Comments


    Well, so far, I have been auditioning here at Voices.com for several months, had two prospective clients express interest, had one private audition, but have yet to land a job. How do I keep from becoming discouraged and move on? Keep auditioning! Realistically, I know that the profile that I've listed is going to appeal to certain jobs, and there is already a great deal of competition for those jobs. I do keep in mind that, throughout my broadcasting career, it wasn't just luck that got me jobs, it's talent AND luck, and being in the right place at the right time. So, for me, the best strategy is to stay confident, keep auditioning and know that at some point what I have to offer will meet the needs of the person who is looking for my voice.

    Dan Deslaurier
    Bryn Mawr, PA

    Posted by:

      "As a result, the ratings were out of context and irrelevant, and for some people, turned out to be harmful and unfounded. Even if you had auditioned well, sent in clean audio and so on, if a client didn't think you were the right person for the job, they'd give you a lower ranking (I think you'll agree that this would be unfair and out of context) which would then affect your overall statistics."

      I am so thankful that you see this! This is exactly what happens on the site that does use this feedback system, and then their system of deciding who to send out auditions to factors in these unfounded rankings. It really is hated by all talent I've talked to. I'm not sure why any talent would be asking you to implement it!!

      "Also, some talent were abusing the system and having people (friends, family, etc.) rate them to boost their rankings. This didn't bode well. There were also some concerns that other talent may have been trying to sabotage their competitors by giving their demos a lower ranking."

      I, personally, experienced this type of sabotage and it was easy to tell by whom.

      My advice on auditions is to do the best audition you can and then forget about it! If you want to check yourself later, go back and listen to the audition on another day, through your headphones or speakers - the opposite of what you used when you created it, too. You may be surprised at how you sounded compared with what you thought you had done! Maybe you were tired or not quite up to your best game or maybe you sounded great. You can get a better perspective by listening to yourself with a fresh set of ears.

      Posted by:

        Whenever I've seen this topic come up on the various VO message boards, I've never been able to understand it.

        I realize that we all like to get feedback as a way to improve our craft. However, like Philip Banks, the only feedback I'm that interested in is from the clients who hire me.

        I learned a number of years ago, to just keep moving forward on the auditions. Before I submit an audition, I check to be sure it's the best I can do. When I'm happy with what I have, I submit and don't think about it again unless and until I'm hired from that audition.

        For those who feel like a feedback system would help them improve, I'd suggest that instead they seek a qualified VO coach who can truly work with them to improve.

        Posted by:

          The "feedback system" is a joke, and I'm glad you've discerned that it's really just a client's system for sorting auditions. How many times my "feedback" had been either HIRING and I never got the job, or the equivalent of "would never consider" and the audition itself was quite strong.

          Neither rating had any bearing on my actual, in-booth performance, my timely arrival, friendly, give-them-better-than-they-asked-for performance and customer service, my choice recording studio, ability to interpret copy and take direction...nada.

          At first, my esteem would go down a notch - "would never consider"? Seriously, THAT bad? And on the other hand, "why didn't they call me?" How disorienting.

          And for what reason? Does it help ALL clients, or just the ONE client for whom it is merely an audition?

          Perhaps a system that did TWO things would be useful: one, an internal rating system for the client to rate auditions, and two, a public rating system whereby a client can leave feedback for an actually-hired talent. I'd assuming something like this is going on behind the scenes at Voices.com...si?

          In any event, thanks for ditching the misleading feedback system. I'd much rather a client knows I'm reliable on the job than whether or not 500 other clients liked my particular audition on any given day.

          Posted by:
          • Ed Ryan
          • December 10, 2009 1:04 PM

            The best feedback is always a booking. And if I need input on my performance and auditions, I take a VO class or a workout.

            Posted by:
            • Silvia
            • December 10, 2009 1:22 PM

              Hi Ed,

              Thank you for commenting and for sharing your thoughts.

              At Voices.com we have the ratings and reviews that can be given only by clients who have actually hired talent at Voices.com. All feedback is transaction-based.

              From what I gather, you are describing the fields that clients can select at a competing site ("Would never consider..."). I agree, not only is that feedback out of context but it is also demeaning.

              To turn the conversation back over to Voices.com, clients can save you to their Favorites list if they like your voice and offerings (this helps them to find you later should you be the right person for a job down the road) and clients can also remove talent auditions from view to shortlist them, in effect, seeing only the auditions that they are strongly considering for that particular job.

              I'm grateful that you feel the same way.

              Best wishes,

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                As always Stephanie great article, I really don't need feedback from a client unless they are saying "you are the one". If you want an internal feedback system, try what I do. After several auditions and thinking I got it nailed, I have my wife listen to the audition, then she looks at what the client had asked for, then I get my critic. Sometimes I am spot on, others not so much and she says why. I take what she says, rethink what the client asked for, see the mistake and redo the audition...I think this helps keep me out of ruts and hopefully staying fresh....Randy

                Posted by:
                • Randy Anderson
                • December 10, 2009 7:02 PM

                  Your comments are "right-on" when you say that the greatest affirmation of someone's work is when they are granted a booking. Giving clients the ability to rate auditions affords them the opportunity to "make" or "break" a talent without the accountability for explaining why a rating was given. Thanks for writing this very thoughtful article.

                  Bonnie Engel Lee

                  Posted by:
                  • Bonnie Engel Lee
                  • December 11, 2009 9:51 AM

                    Amen to that!

                    Posted by:
                    • Eddie Eagle
                    • December 11, 2009 9:51 AM

                      Hi Stephanie,

                      I couldn’t agree with you more concerning your opinions about the rating system. Continue the great work you do for us, and thanks a lot.

                      Maurice

                      Posted by:
                      • Maurice
                      • December 11, 2009 9:54 AM

                        Stephanie,

                        THANK YOU!

                        There are so many things I love about Voices.com and I appreciate how much you really understand.

                        The range of projects I have been able to work on because of your system has been so much fun. I'm glad you guys are here. :)

                        Lisa

                        Posted by:
                        • Lisa St. Regis
                        • December 11, 2009 9:54 AM

                          Stephanie,

                          How incredibly timely your "Vox Daily" was for me today. I am new to Voices.com and have to give you a plug to say how much I enjoy your set up of auditions. It occurred to me last week that since I have not been hired, as yet, how would I know how I'm doing? Frankly, I was a member of another company and they truly used a poor rating system, much like the one you described in your posting. It didn't allow your "stats" to truly be shown. Often a client would hire me and it would not be reflected in my stats. As we all know, this whole system of auditioning is very subjective, and truly in the "ear" of the beholder. After awhile I started to feel a little down that I wasn't getting more jobs (at the other site) - then one Saturday morning, I got a call from a great lady asking me to accept her job. Whooooowhooooooooooooooo! I was so excited. Just the boost I needed. She and I had a couple of great conversations and in one of them, I shared with her how poorly I was feeling about not being hired recently. She laughed and told me to just hang in there because "your voice rocks!" Greater words I have never heard! So................now when I go for a period of no hires, I truly just audition and consider it training. Sure, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a phone call today.......but it will come. It will come for sure. So, thanks for all of your great info and especially for clarifying why Voices.com does not use a rating system. I hope the article will help some other VO pro feel better about themself, and help them to keep their spirits up during the dry times.

                          Happy holidays,

                          Susan M.

                          Posted by:
                          • Susan M.
                          • December 11, 2009 9:55 AM

                            I have been a member for less than 1 month and have been awarded 2 really nice jobs. At this time, 1 has been completed, paid and rated. The other is so large with over 21 files, I am still waiting for final approval of the work. But I will agree with those of you who say "keep auditioning". I look at this as my job, not a hobby. So, much like a regular job, I sit, wait for the auditions I feel I fit and send in my material. I will say that it requires keeping your head up and realizing that some "seekers" never seem to pick anyone, that's just the way of the biz. You have to keep auditioning over and over, the more you do the more your chances of being retained are. HANG IN THERE! :-)

                            Kevan

                            Posted by:
                            • Kevan Seal
                            • December 18, 2009 8:44 AM

                              Hi Kevan,

                              Thank you very much for commenting and for sharing your thoughts! Congrats on the gigs :)

                              I think your perspective that auditioning is your job is spot on. That mindset is what really differentiates people who take this business seriously from those who are just testing the waters and get frustrated.

                              By the way, I'm pleased to note that clients at Voices.com who come to the site to hire talent have communicated to us via a survey that 94% of all projects seeking voices at Voices.com are successfully completed, hiring a Voices.com talent.

                              Keep up the great work, guys! Auditioning is a reality and a necessity.

                              Best wishes,

                              Stephanie

                              Posted by:

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