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13 Things NOT To Do In Your Audition


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 2, 2011

Comments (17)

woman-giving-presentation.jpgAre your auditions really putting your best foot forward?

Do you wonder if something you may be doing could be holding you back from getting the gig?

Deb Munro shares 13 things to avoid when auditioning whether in person or online through the voice over marketplace.

13 Things NOT To Do In Your Audition

By Deb Munro

1. Don't direct.
2. Don't re-write the copy.
3. Don't point out any mistakes unless you have worked with this client in the past and know it's safe to do so.
Each of these traits are taking away someone else's job and putting you in charge. You are in charge of the choices you make but ultimately it's the clients/directors who are in charge - so know your place in the room.
4. Don't come in with only one choice prepared - always have a back up plan.
5. Don't ask to redo something if they are saying they are fine with what you did.
6. Don't apologize - a big pet peeve among directors - in fact they bet on how many times an actor apologizes in an audition.
7. Don't come in close minded and not willing to make different adjustments or choices.
8. Don't ask what they want with this character - that's your job and you're suppose to know. After all, you're the expert.
9. Don't show up late or point out that you were late - they may not know it.
10. Don't draw attention or point out your mistakes....just make them in character, have fun with them, laugh them off and keep on going. If you need to pick it up again and redo it if it was a very obvious mistake etc.
12. Don't worry about all you have to do when the engineer is trying to adjust your mic.
13. Don't be too chatty or a distraction - make sure you are there and focused and paying close attention.

About Deb Munro

Debbie MunroBy employing over a dozen years wisdom in voicing and acting, Deb Munro puts her talents to work to meet the challenging demands of today's fast paced voice market. Tired of not receiving constructive feedback on how to improve her craft, Deb Munro set out to make a difference for actors by creating, The MIC & ME Workshop Series. Keeping focused on the Global Freelance market, Deb has combined her extensive Voice Over, Acting and Off Camera training into a series of practical, exciting workshops that will take you to that next step, no matter what your level.

Do You Have Any Dos and Don'ts To Share?

If you have any tips or comments you'd like to add about the art of auditioning, be sure to comment here on this post!

Best wishes,


©iStockphoto.com/Factoria Singular

Related Topics: auditioning, Debbie Munro, dos and don'ts, how to, tips, voice acting, Voices.com


    ...very good list--needs to be posted where you can see it all the time...

    Posted by:

      I agree, great list, and the amazing thing is, by taking on these simple rules, it will go along way in helping you to have a busy & successful career in voice over.
      Also, never make the audition or job about you, and listen... your ears are one of the most important tools in voice work.

      Posted by:

        14. Don't share ideas or past unless they ask you too! Stay focused to the script only.

        Posted by:

          These audition tips are focused on going into a casting studio/agents office, in person, with a director, engineer, etc. present. How many of us actually audition this way anymore??? I NEVER do! If you're in LA, NYC, or Chicago, then perhaps these tips would apply sometimes. But if you're auditioning from your home studio, by yourself, with some copy in front of you, and only yourself to direct your read, then these really are not offering much real advice on creating a competitive audition and booking a job.

          Posted by:

            3. Don't point out any mistakes...

            ...unless you really know what you're talking about and you do it respectfully. Instead of coming across as a know-it-all, ask if you could "make a suggestion".

            Here's an example:

            I often work with scripts translated from English into Dutch or German. Some clients cut corners by using a less than reputable translation service and they get what they pay for: ridiculous robotic word substitution. Of course the client has no idea how bad things are because they do not speak Dutch or German. I do.

            If were to go ahead and record the script as is and it would reach the Netherlands or Germany, my voice would forever be associated with claptrap. That's a no-no for me.

            To save the client the embarrassment and damage to his brand and reputation, I tactfully point out the blunders and offer to help rewrite the script. This has become one of my Unique Selling Points.

            Returning clients know they can rely on me for translations as well as for their voice-overs.

            Second example:

            I had been brought in to record the male part in a Dutch project. The female role had been previously recorded. As soon as the tape started rolling, I noticed that the actress was from Belgium because she spoke with a distinct Flemish accent.

            Dutch and Flemish are related, but non-native speakers have a hard time telling them apart. Furthermore, Flemish actors often promote themselves as Dutch speakers. That would be similar to someone form Portugal telling the world he was Brazilian.

            Of course I had to speak up and let everybody know what was going on. As a result, they had to recast the female lead.

            Sometimes it can be a big mistake not to point out mistakes!

            Posted by:

              Don't apologize for ANY artistic choice you make. Laugh at yourself intstead.

              Posted by:
              • Matt Burke
              • August 11, 2011 1:48 PM

                Don't attempt an accent that you can't pull off for the entire read. I speaky from bad experience! ;)

                Posted by:
                • Robin Owen
                • August 11, 2011 1:49 PM

                  DO NOT OVER ACT. LESS IS MORE

                  Posted by:
                  • Andre' Dubois Bordeaux
                  • August 11, 2011 1:50 PM

                    Excellent points.

                    I always do an audition "as is" but in actual recording I am not afraid to say, for example, "isn't there a word missing in the third sentence.?" Invariably, they will say, good catch - thanks!

                    Dave C.

                    Posted by:

                      Excellent advice Deb! Thanks!

                      David Van Sise

                      Posted by:
                      • David Van Sise
                      • August 18, 2011 4:39 PM

                        Thanks for the list, Deb! Very useful info... But what is number 11?

                        Posted by:
                        • Michael Brian Montgomery
                        • August 30, 2011 2:10 AM

                          As someone who casts based on recorded auditions on this site, I'll add a point. (I hire mainly for technical training materials.)

                          If you are unable to record a sample using my script, say so, I'll understand. But please do not send me a car commercial with background music or something similar. I can't tell enough about what your voice sounds like.

                          Posted by:
                          • Jenny Nilsson
                          • August 31, 2011 1:04 PM

                            When submitting auditions:

                            1) Don't lead in with a pitch, or greetings, or anything except your name. Say your name, then read the script.

                            2) Don't label your audition file with only the project name. Use YOUR name to distinguish your mp3 from all the others.

                            Posted by:
                            • Don Veinish
                            • August 31, 2011 1:48 PM

                              Recently posted a job on Voices.com and had a submission where the talent did a TOTALLY inappropriate music bed and what was supposed to be a Bright Cheerful read turned out sounding like a horror movie! - Very frightening. This indicated to me that they had little to no experience at reading direction OR copy. NEVER do post production unless specifically hired to do so - it's just not done.

                              Posted by:

                                I agree with Dave C. If there's a mistake in the copy, incorrect syntax, or something that just isn't right, I'll usually "stumble" on purpose, and then go through the problem section in a lower volume "testing different options, trying to make sense of this" voice. Then I'll ask 'em, "Um...shouldn't this be (x) instead, maybe? Or am I just not getting the copy?"

                                Yes, it's all about tact. But as a voice actor, you are part of the creative team. I always make sure they know I just want their project to be great; and I've never had a bad experience when making a valid suggestion.

                                Posted by:
                                • Todd McLaren
                                • November 3, 2011 5:18 PM

                                  Yes,....Don't audition unless it's absolutely necessary. Try to land the gig based on your demos. This tactic works more often than not, for me anyway.

                                  Posted by:

                                    I just learned more by reading these comments than I have by taking some of those so called "webinars."

                                    Posted by:

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