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Why Submitting Auditions Isn't Always a Race To The Finish

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 23, 2010

Comments (11)

Two jockeys racing thoroughbred horsesDo you get deterred whenever a job you're interested in gets more than 20 replies?

How often have you decided not to pursue an opportunity based upon the assumption that the client will never review more than a certain number of auditions?

My friends, if any of the above resonates with you, you're about to get some surprising and liberating news!

Today's VOX Daily contains the proof you need to dispel these misconceptions and give you the encouragement you need to go for the gold.

Want to know more? Read on!

Should I Even Bother?

Yesterday I spent a goodly amount of time reviewing someone's profile who has decades of experience in the industry. After taking a number of notes, none of which are included here, I moved on to listen and review her auditions. This is part of the process.

When taking a gander, I noticed that for one job she auditioned for, she was the 78th person out of 99 respondents. At this point, you might be wondering if she should have even bothered answering at all. You might also be thinking, "Why even go to the lengths of recording a custom demo when you're #78?"

Get this... her audition, even at #78, was listened to.

A quirk, perhaps? "Maybe this client was particularly generous with their time," you might think.

Okay, Let's Take Another Look

The same talent auditioned for a job that received 212 responses. That's right, you read correctly. She was the 187th audition respondent. Was she listened to? YES!

Never think that clients won't listen to auditions after a certain number. Some review them all!

Show Me The Money

When I shared this information via our Voices.com Facebook fan page, I received a question that asked whether people whose budgets were higher (say over $500) were more likely to review auditions because more was riding on the choice. While I could see where he was coming from, I also know that clients cast for the most part based upon the voice, not the quote, therefore the calibre of talent and their interpretation of the script is going to outweigh any other factor. I was also able to provide proof that dispelled the notion that clients who are spending more money on the voice over are pickier and listen to each and every audition before hiring.

My answer, with regard to this question and casting, was as follows:

"It really depends on the client and if they are making the decision to listen to all the auditions. Some do as a matter of principle whereas others go with the first bang on voice and interpretation that they hear. One audition put this talent at 50 some odd out of 80 some odd responses. The budget was over $1000. Their audition has not yet been reviewed, so you can't assume that the higher the budget, the greater the odds that the client will listen to every single submission. Regardless of how they come to the decision, they are certainly aware of how greatly the choice can impact the overall outcome of the project and its goal."

What Some Real Voice Pros Think

Come take your place around our virtual water cooler for a moment and hear what some of your peers are up to and how they perceive auditions. The following comments were shared in response to what I posted earlier in this article.

"Just because it's later and you may have liked some of the first ones you listened to -- doesn't mean there won't be a gem later down the list."

-- Michael J. Schoen

"I've definitely been hired for things that I was way down the list in auditions for. Getting there first and being great may set the bar high, but it doesn't always guarantee a hiring!"

-- Dana Detrick-Clark

"I never look at that number, especially because I have had several clients specifically tell me that they listened to all of the auditions and I was number 155 or something like that. Bottom line is that if you feel you are right for a job, you owe it to yourself to try."

-- Scott Fortney

"Thanks so much for that tidbit. I can't tell you how many times I hit "delete" because it seems like I'm never one of the first 20 to even open the audition. I'll change my ways now!"

-- Laura Branch Mireles

"My very first project for Voices.com, I was selected for a role as #88 from a total of 201 applicants--an excellent illustration of how this business works, and an invaluable lesson for me in terms of what I could expect from the process."

-- Dan Deslaurier

"That has happened to me as well. I always look at any script or opportunity as practice anyway!"

-- Robin Wolf

Always Audition Wisely For Opportunities You Can Commit To

Don't base your decision to audition upon a number. As you've come to learn in today's post, some clients listen to every audition they receive. In your line of work, there is often more promotion and auditioning than bookings straight off of your demo. I thought you'd enjoy hearing about this and hope you are encouraged by what you read and possibly discovered today.

Keep up the great work!

If you have a similar story or would like to share your thoughts, feel free to comment below and join the conversation.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Thomas Sylvaine

Related Topics: acting, Auditions, bookings, hired, industry, jobs, rankings, voice talent, voiceovers, Voices.com


Comments


    My guess would be this hinges on whether the hiring agent's role is decision maker or selector of prospects for the client to review.

    As the selector, I'd listen to 5-10 seconds of each audition and go until I found a capable talent meeting the criteria. Then I'd listen to a few more until I was convinced I'd selected the best prospect in the time I was willing to dedicate.

    Were I picking voices for the client to choose, I'd be much tougher on evaluation and would have to provide at least a half dozen choices of the best quality - so I would listen deeper into the submissions.

    That's just me. In most of my projects, I pick the talent.

    What happens when I find one I like is that I listen to the audition over & over & over again to be certain I do not tire of the voice. If I tire of the voice after say a dozen reads, I go back to the drawing boards.

    Posted by:
    • steve hammill
    • September 23, 2010 11:15 PM

      Thanks for this article. It's very encouraging. I had begun to delete things if I wasn't in the top 60.

      Posted by:

        In all honesty, I am torn.

        Yesterday, I went shopping for a tie, not really knowing what I was looking for. Anything green would be fine. After looking at the first ten ties, I found the one I never knew I always wanted. No need for me to waste any more time on my tie-search. Mission accomplished. I was ready to move on.

        A while ago, I auditioned for a voices.com job, giving my best David Attenborough impersonation. I'm pretty sure I was almost last in line, and I wasn't at all surprised that I didn't hear back from the voice-seeker.

        However, months after the project had been posted, I was offered the job. I ended up voicing a commercial for "Wings of Paradise," the butterfly conservatory located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

        The only predictable thing about this business is that it's unpredictable. If you can't handle that, perhaps you should consider something nine to five...

        Posted by:

          thank you!!

          Awesome information and shared in such a timely manner.

          Keep the flow ofinfo going ........voices!!!!!

          Posted by:

            Great advice and very encouraging. It really helps to get feedback on the auditioning process from the 'other side'...

            Posted by:

              That's tremendous insight. Thanks!!

              Great timing as yesterday I came home from doing a medical VO at client site in Boston and saw a couple for which I seemed a great fit. But when I glanced over and # of submissions was already over 100, I hit delete. Never again.

              Cheers!

              David

              Posted by:
              • David Cook
              • September 25, 2010 3:18 PM

                Well, that's what must be happening to me! I've had over 300 listens. I've made sure that my auditions all sound good (had them verified with a friend), and after a couple of years, I still haven't had a solid job here! I don't know what the answer is, but after this year, I think I'll move on. It's more about your own marketing anyway, I think.

                SSuekey

                Posted by:
                • Steve Suekey
                • September 25, 2010 3:20 PM

                  Hi Stephanie:

                  Thanks so much for this valuable info. I can't tell you how surprising it was to me! I will definitely stop my self defeating ideas after this insight. Rally do appreciate your tips as they are so helpful. Can't tell you how many jobs I have deleted because of the number of auditions ahead of mine!! Hope to have more time now to audition and to use my head in the process.

                  Thanks again!

                  Carol Hahn

                  Posted by:
                  • Carol Hahn
                  • September 25, 2010 3:21 PM

                    Stephanie, thank you for this - I have recently been discouraged since I can't audition until later in the evening and I've found myself hitting the delete button more and more as I figured it wasn't worth the bother once the numbers creep past 60. No more!

                    When I first joined voices.com over the summer I auditioned for anything and everything as it IS valuable experience and I can hear a clear difference not only in my delivery but also in my technical skills from my first demos to my more recent ones ... but as confirmation that jobs come when you don't expect them, my first voices.com gig came from a job posting looking for a "Phillipine Accent." That one also posted on v123 and got quite a few responses. And no, I'm not even close to Philipino. He just liked my voice. LOL

                    Posted by:

                      I'm not sure if the "Has been reviewed" indicator on the My Audition tab is a good thing or not. I have a day job, so by the time I get home and get recording I'm often in the middle of the pack of auditions. In looking back at month old submissions...they are still "Not been reviewed yet". It's getting discouraging.
                      I can get in quick if I can submit a pre-loaded demo...but 90% of the jobs have a custom script to read...and I can't very well do it at my desk.
                      Any pearls of wisdom?
                      Mike

                      Posted by:

                        Hi Mike,

                        Thank you for writing and for commenting with your question.

                        I see your situation and understand where you are coming from. What I recommend is that you are only auditioning for jobs you are most qualified for, especially when auditioning later in the day. You may already be doing this, and if you are, great!

                        Are you seeking voice over work via other efforts? If you are solely relying on Voices.com to be the source of your opportunities and work, that isn't enough. I don't know you or your business very well but from what I know of business in general, you've got to have many irons in the fire.

                        Don't be overly discouraged by the stats so far in terms of your auditions at Voices.com. I believe there is more that we can do to help. What I recommend is that you request a profile review. Email support@voices.com and say that I sent you :)

                        Best wishes,

                        Stephanie

                        Posted by:

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