By Stephanie Ciccarelli
October 2, 2012
How do you determine which jobs you audition for?
With so many auditions flying your way, you need to be able to think on your feet so far as qualifying opportunities that both suit you best and make for a good use of your time and effort.
Voice talent Marc Scott shares his thoughts in this guest blog post on VOX Daily.
By Marc Scott
In the online Voice Casting environment you are your agent. What I mean by this is, you're the one that's going to be sorting through dozens or more jobs on a daily basis and trying to decide which ones you want to audition for. There's nobody filtering them for you. There's no agent sending you opportunities that they know are a perfect fit for your voice or style.
You have complete control.
This can, of course, be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how efficient and tuned your filter is. For example, on an average day between Voices.com and other online casting sites, I'd estimate I see around 50 audition opportunities. It would be unrealistic and a rather colossal waste of time for me to sit and audition for every single one of those jobs. Yet, I know of talents who do it. Their theory is that the more darts they throw the better the odds one will hit the target.
The idea isn't entirely flawed, though, if you're honest, it has flaws. It's true that the more auditions you submit the better your odds are to book something. That's basic math. The law of averages, or something like that. But is it the best way? The most productive way? I don't believe it is. I don't believe that sitting at the computer for hours on end sending demos and proposals out into the online voice casting universe for every job that passes across your screen is the best way to spend your time or get work.
Think about all those darts that don't hit the target. What happens to them? One could argue that it's practice. That theory has merit. The other side of that coin, however, is that it's lost time. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per audition, go through your week and see how many minutes you lost for nothing. The numbers might startle you!
I have a theory. And I don't mean to try and whittle the entire online casting environment down into a cute, simple, cookie cutter solution. There are certainly many factors and variables to consider. I just happen to believe that one carries more weight than the rest. It's simply this. Trust your instincts.
When a new audition comes in quickly read through the job descriptions. Take note of the voice type the client is looking for. Have they provided any direction? Perhaps a voice they want it to sound like. A commercial they want the read to resemble. Have they used descriptive words; Youthful? Authoritative? Friendly? Conversational? Read through all the notes. Then trust your gut.
Recently I wrote my air brakes test for my license renewal. I scored 38/40. Good right? I suppose. But it could have been perfect. I second guessed myself on two questions. Those two questions were the ones I got wrong! Had I gone with my original instinct I would have aced it.
After you've read the instructions your gut is going to tell you yes or no. If it tells you yes, go ahead. Submit that audition. If it tells you no, delete the job immediately. Don't hesitate. Don't rethink it. Don't question yourself and certainly don't try to find a way to justify submitting an audition anyway. Delete it. Forget it. Move on.
Almost every bad ranking I've ever received on an audition has been one that my gut said no to and I didn't listen!
Find your voice. Find your sweet spot. Maybe it's phone systems or training videos or cartoon characters or audiobooks. Once you identity the work you enjoy doing the most and the work you book the most it will help you to maximize your auditioning. You'll submit less and book more! Really, who doesn't want that?! With the time you free up you can focus on other aspects of the business. Learning, promoting, marketing, networking.
I've been doing voice work in various capacities since 1995. My goal with this blog is to share the things I've learned on my journey.
When I'm not recording jobs, sending auditions, working on demos or writing new blog posts, you might find me on a fire truck. I'm proud serve my community as a Volunteer Firefighter.
Editorial picture ©iStockphoto.com/36clicks
Marc Scott headshot via Voices.com