Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Auditioning Tips From Voices.com Project Managers

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

March 5, 2013

Comments (24)

February 2013, Professional Services Team at Voices.com

When you're auditioning, the more you know about what a client is looking for, the better!

Voices.com offers Professional Services to clients who want some extra TLC when posting their jobs and working with talent. Perhaps you've had the opportunity to audition for one or more of our dedicated project managers!

In today's VOX Daily, you'll get a chance to meet the wonderful people on our Professional Services team, find out what they love to hear in auditions, discover their pet peeves and learn how you can audition to the best of your ability when working with Voices.com's project managers.

Professional Services at Voices.com

Did you know that we have an entire sales team dedicated to bringing new business to the site?

Although Voices.com ranks well in the search engines, we cannot rely upon web traffic alone to bring us business. Like any other company, we pick up the phone and call out to other businesses with the goal of introducing our service and what we can do to help them achieve their audio production goals, specifically in terms of voice-over recordings.

This capable team comprises of Business Development Specialists, Project Managers and a Project Administrator. Thanks to these superstars, we are getting the brand out and into the ears of people who would not have otherwise found us or posted their job at the site.

Ben Jackson, Grant Thomas, Melissa Kelman, Jeremy Eichler of Voices.com, serious picture


These business clients tend to be too busy to manage their own projects or would appreciate having a set of trained ears to aid them in the process. Voices.com Project Managers hold auditions for their clients and help narrow down the responses received, presenting clients with a great selection of voices that match the job's specific requirements and realize their brand vision.

This area of our business is growing significantly and we're excited to see what the future holds for our Professional Services team.

If you're a subscriber of Voices.com, you may have come across auditions held by Voices.com Project Managers before. In a recent meeting, I had a chance to talk to them about their role at Voices.com, how they work and gleaned some valuable tips for voice talent using the site so far as auditioning goes.

Melissa Kelman

Melissa Kelman, Professional Services, Voices.com Project ManagerAudition Bliss: I love it when a voice gives me goosebumps, not only nailing artistic direction, but when you can hear the passion and love for what they do.

Audition Pet Peeve: A pet peeve would be asking for funds to be released before client approval. I picture a car ride with a bunch of little ones asking "are we there yet?"

Why I Love My Job: I love working with creative, free spirits. I am motivated because each day is a surprise, every project, every actor are all individual and deserve to be treated as such.

You keep me on my toes!

E.J. Debenham

E.J. Debenham, Professional Services, Voices.com Project ManagerAudition Bliss: For auditions I prefer clean professional reads with name slated at the beginning not extra talking or communication. Do not say my name or the job number or about anything else besides the script. I also do not like to hear any generic auditions when I have posted a sample script and asked for a custom read.

Audition Pet Peeve: One pet peeve I have is when a client has a set budget and someone auditions but quotes higher then what has been budgeted. The client has set the budget for a reason. Any talent that does send in a generic demo or an audition that is over budget will never be considered for the job.

Why I Love My Job: Voices.com is the best place I have ever worked and it is the most enjoyable position I have ever held. I really love coming to work and working with all of our creative and talented members. This job is very rewarding, helping our voices find the right jobs and helping clients get that perfect voice for their projects. Helping our talent find that next job and finding clients that I can introduce to our site and our talent is what keeps me motivated and smiling everyday at work.

Grant Thomas

Grant Thomas, Professional Services, Voices.com Project ManagerAudition Bliss: I get excited when I hear talent nail the artistic direction! Sending a line up of pitch perfect recordings really sends the message that Voices.com has an amazing talent pool... which we do!

Audition Pet Peeve: Bleeping watermarks OR creepy background whispering "This is my audition" watermarks. It's an outdated practice that is very distracting to the client. (Use music or modify the script if you want to protect your content.)

Why I love my job: The projects are always interesting and the talent never fail to impress. Seriously, how could I not love doing this?

Jeremy Eichler

Jeremy Eichler, Professional Services, Project Manager at Voices.comAudition Bliss: I love when the audition sounds EXACTLY how I described in the posting!!!

Audition Pet Peeve: Very long tag intros - I just want to hear your voice, not your resume. Put this in your proposal.

Why I Love My Job: We have the most amazing Talent!!! It makes my job of bringing in new clients all that much easier. Nothing gives me a work smile more than listening to an audition from a Talent I have never worked with, and they knock it out of the park. You guys ROCK!!!

Today's Takeaways

Auditioning Do's:

  • Sending a custom demo
  • Quoting within the stated budget range
  • Following artistic direction
  • Affirming that you can meet technical requirements in your proposal (i.e. ISDN, etc.)
  • Being professional
  • Keeping the recording to the point (slate, read the copy)

Auditioning Don'ts:

  • Sending a generic demo
  • Submitting if you know you're not the right fit
  • Disregarding artistic direction
  • Having a conversation in the audio recording
  • Quoting significantly higher than the budget
  • Blatant self-promotion

Our team knows how to ham it up a bit too so be sure to join us on our newest webinar offering, Insider Tips With Voices.com Project Managers!

Ben Jackson, Grant Thomas, Melissa Kelman, Jeremy Eichler of Voices.com, silly picture

Insider Tips with Voices.com Project Managers (Webinar)

Date: Thursday March 7th, 2013
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)

Want a client's perspective on how they review auditions at Voices.com? Join Voices.com Project Managers, Grant Thomas and Jeremy Eichler, on our webinar, "Insider Tips with Voices.com Project Managers." In this webinar, you will learn the ins and outs of auditioning, hear common feedback from clients and best practices on how to audition for success. You'll also be given a live, guided demo of how a client reviews auditions when casting via Voices.com. It's time to see the auditioning world through your client's eyes!

Click on the following link to signup for the Insider Tips webinar.

Note: Attendance for the webinar is limited to 100 people. It's a first come, first served opportunity! The webinar will be recorded as well, so if you are unable to attend the live webinar, you can watch it after the fact by subscribing to the Voices.com YouTube channel. Subscribe here: http://www.youtube.com/user/voicesdotcom

Did You Appreciate This Article?

Be sure to comment and let me know!

Best wishes,
Stephanie

Related Topics: how to, ISDN, SAG, watermark, whispering, YouTube


Comments


    GREAT article! I love this feedback! I do have a question about EJ's pet peeve.... does the client's budget range include the Voices.com escrow fee? Meaning if their budget is $250-$500, do they assume the talent's fee will fall below that cap to bring the total within $500? Thanks!

    Posted by:

      Hi Shelley,

      Thank you for your comment and question! I'm glad you found this article to be useful :)

      I just spoke with Jeremy and he shared the following:

      If the client has a HARD budget, that is their budget for the project. On hard budgets, we do not incorporate the additional escrow fee. If the posting is a range, we will include auditions that are over budget, if they are over budget based on the escrow fee.

      I believe @EJ Debenham's pet peeve was in regards to talent who bid way over they top on a project because they have a self imposed price per word (usually $0.25 per word).

      Hope this helps :)

      ~~

      If anyone would like to hear more about how Professional Services jobs work, please sign up to participate in the webinar. Jeremy and Grant both really liked your question, Shelley, and they will address this on the webinar as well.

      Best wishes,
      Stephanie

      Posted by:

        Great Question!

        Shelley I know this has already been answered by Stephanie but I wanted to make sure I got back to you as well.

        For an example if a client tells me they have a project and they only have $500 to spend, the budget will be a set amount of $500. If they tell me they have a range up to $500 and they do not know exactly what they want, I will post the job from 250-500. Also I do tell the clients there is a 10% escrow fee so they are not surprised to see bids of $550 on a job with a max budget of $500.
        Thanks for your question and if you have any other questions for me, feel free to email me at ej@voices.com
        Thanks
        EJ

        Re: Shelley's comment

        GREAT article! I love this feedback! I do have a question about EJ's pet peeve.... does the client's budget range include the Voices.com escrow fee? Meaning if their budget is $250-$500, do they assume the talent's fee will fall below that cap to bring the total within $500? Thanks!
        Posted by:Shelley Baldiga March 5, 2013 2:32 PM

        Posted by:
        • E.J.
        • March 5, 2013 6:33 PM

          I love you guys. I promise to try harder in 2013. We just sold the house, we are fixing, banging, mending, painting before we move into our new abode and I will create my voice space properly.

          Keep on, you all rock...

          Chris

          Posted by:
          • Chris Grumley
          • March 5, 2013 8:28 PM

            Very insightful article. I hope a lot of the talent have a chance to read and put the advice to practice. The information regarding the budget parameters is especially helpful.

            One of the don't's that is a pet peeve of mine is submission of generic "auditions". More times than I can count, I've seen a new job posting edit and within less than a minute there are already perhaps a half dozen submissions. I'm a quick read, but there is no way I could interpret the copy, fire up Audition, record, edit and submit in that short of a time frame.

            Posted by:
            • Dennis Allen
            • March 5, 2013 9:01 PM

              Nice points from the "other side" . We need more of this kind of feedback from those who listen . I much rather do custom auditions than send anything generic. It gives the client & project manager a much better match to the sound in his/her head for that particular script/style.

              Posted by:

                Thanks for the helpful tips. I also am looking forward to the WEBINAR.

                I must say, I find it unusual to send in an audition to be cast for a project and then be "filtered" by someone other than the client. In the over 35 years as a voice actor, providing demos for casting agents all over the world each week…..the casting agent has never made a decision FOR the client….only gathered the talent and demos to be listened by the CLIENT. Also, I have provided auditions many times for all the Voices.com project managers and have found at times my demo has never been reviewed….even when providing the demo within say the first 25 responses. Why? Are you working for the client AND the voice actor or just the client? If you are working for the voice talent too, then things like “slates” and “overpricing” should not keep you from sending on a demo that fits the client’s needs. Why not send a message to the voice actor indicating you found the demo in line with the client’s expectations and will need the talent to re-send the demo with a slate and/or adjust the fee? That’s service. Or indicate in the posting that you require “slates” and the fee to be within the posted range. I would also like to see a BIO on the project managers. Thanks! James

                Posted by:

                  Thanks for your responses to my question! I've always wondered how the voice seeker interprets that budget range when creating the job. I imagine not everyone is the same. Sometimes the range just barely fits with what is required of the talent, and I wonder if bidding at the top offends the voice seeker before they even open your audition. I spell out my fee vs escrow fee in the proposal, but do they even get that far if the total figure (with escrow) pushes it above their range? Your perspective helps a lot. Thanks!

                  Posted by:

                    Great feature, folks! It's always insightful to hear how YOU want things....and will hopfully help US book more!

                    Posted by:
                    • jc haze
                    • March 6, 2013 9:54 AM

                      I appreciate the majority of services I receive from Voices.com. I have had tremendous success with you over the past four years. However, "professional services" was never a favorite service for me. There is no transparency with these jobs. Not that there is with any audition, but at least with a public posting, I know what to expect. I hate to make it sound like a conspiracy, but it is just to easy for you to award these jobs to your premiere or annual subscribers, or give preferential treatment. I say this only because I have auditioned for "professional services" jobs and the audition was never listened to. You can't operate this service fairly or effectively if ALL submissions are not going to be heard. I know I have mentioned this to you in prior communications, and the response was that this would be corrected, but it still doesn't give a warm fuzzy feeling about it going forward. But kudos to you and the company for taking care of your clients and bringing in new business, which ultimately helps your paying customers (talents) enjoy more success with your company.

                      Posted by:

                        Hello All,

                        How nice to put a face with a name. Glad to meet the crew. I loved the subject matter and feel so good that my auditions are the way they should be. Keep 'em comin' !!!

                        Debbie Feldman

                        Posted by:

                          Very interesting article as this seems to be a growing area for you....

                          Does Voices.com get paid for this service?
                          If the answer is yes, then in these situations you are representing both the buyer and the seller?

                          Looking forward to the webinar, where I'm sure to learn more!

                          Thanks,
                          Debbie

                          Posted by:
                          • Debbie
                          • March 6, 2013 1:33 PM

                            Hi Keith,

                            Thank you for your response. Part of the webinar will be spent on this as it is important. Just to address your initial concerns, I can assure you that our team does not have a favorites list.

                            We each will send an array of talent options regardless of membership status. To be honest, I don't even get to see what type of membership level a talent has when reviewing auditions. I do however try to send the best list up regardless of star rating. It's always nice to be able to send a quality audio from someone who has never received a rating yet.

                            Our methodology for selecting a shortlist for the client is purely based on the clients request. For some clients it is budget over audio quality, and for others artistic vision and hearing voices that capture their artistic direction. Every client is different.

                            With regard to your concern about an audition not being listened to, our process is to review auditions after the job has hit its deadline. Most auditions are not listened to until a job has closed. That being said, sometimes clients will request that samples are sent to them earlier than their deadline in which case we do listen to auditions before the job officially closes. In this scenario, it is possible to not get to listen to all of the auditions that are submitted should the client want to move ahead before their deadline has passed for receiving auditions. We are determined to listen to every single audition submitted, but as you have noticed, there may be exceptions. In the cases when a rushed client asks for the lineup earlier, we sometimes don't get screen the line up at all. It would be then be the client who didn't listen in that situation. The auditions in particular that you brought to Stephanie's attention before happened to have been submitted in an irregular scenario such as the one described above (jobs posted by a rushed client).

                            Thank you again for your questions. I hope my answers have helped you.

                            Grant Thomas

                            Posted by:

                              Hi Debbie,

                              Thank you for your comment and question.

                              Voices.com makes 10% through the escrow service and an additional fee if the clients require post production work.

                              My team represents both parties in various ways. We help the clients achieve their project goals and support them until the job is complete. The goal is to make it easy for them so they keep coming back. We also help the talent in matters of conflict resolution and project support and mediate if need be should there be any confusion or unreasonable requests on either side of the relationship.

                              Some examples: When clients push to have infinite script revisions recorded, we let them know that it's unacceptable to be wasting your time without paying the talent for their additional time and effort. We would ask the talent what they would need to move forward. Other areas where are representing both is during conflict resolutions. If the client has paid, but later moved the project in "another direction," we will inform them that the talent's services in this new area need to and will be paid for.

                              Thank you again Debbie for your question.

                              Grant Thomas

                              Posted by:
                              • Grant Thomas, Voices.com Project Manager
                              • March 6, 2013 2:53 PM

                                Hi Shelley,

                                This is a perfect example of something that will be covered in the webinar. Jeremy and I address the various scenarios and give recommendations on how to navigate each of them.

                                Thank you!
                                Grant Thomas

                                Posted by:

                                  Hi James,

                                  Thank you for your comment and questions. To answer your first question, the Project Management team will never make the final decision on a client’s behalf. Instead, we will compile the list of the auditions we received that fit the job description, removing the generic demos and demos that are not a fit based on the posting (sound quality, technical requirements listed in your proposal, and in some cases, budget). We each will then send that list talent options based on the client’s request, to the client for them to make the decision.

                                  To reiterate what Grant said in an earlier comment, for some clients it is budget over audio quality and for others artistic vision and hearing voices that capture their artistic direction. Every client is different.

                                  To answer your question about bios, Ashley will read our bios aloud on the webinar tomorrow.

                                  Thank you again for commenting. We hope you enjoy the webinar tomorrow!

                                  Jeremy Eichler

                                  Posted by:

                                    Hello Everyone,
                                    First of all, it was really nice to See your faces! I'm very much hoping to attend the webinar tomorrow. EJ, you said you won't consider auditions that are not "custom." I generally record custom auditions, but there have been occasions where I've been away from my home studio, and in an environment Not conducive to recording w/ the app. On such occasions I find a related audio file (I have Thousands), and provide a short explanation in my proposal. Is this under no circumstance, permissible?

                                    Posted by:
                                    • Matilda Novak
                                    • March 6, 2013 11:21 PM

                                      Hi Matilda,

                                      Thank you very much for your question. I'm sure the project managers will answer this on the webinar today. I hope you're able to join in!

                                      Best wishes,
                                      Stephanie

                                      Posted by:

                                        Putting us in the mind of the listener is invaluable. Thank you for creating this forum. As someone new, strategies, do's and don't s, and words from current professionals are invaluable. I also highly recommend coaches for new talent. Thank you for this "spot-on" advice.

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Kathy Fraser
                                        • March 11, 2013 11:41 AM

                                          Hi,

                                          I enjoyed the article/missed the webinar! Maybe this has already been answered, BUT...just to clarify; Prof. Svcs. is screening ONLY the jobs which are listed by Prof. Svcs....OR are they pre-screening and making submission decisions on the other job postings we see (with producer names at the bottom) as well? Thanks for an answer!

                                          Alan Baxter

                                          Posted by:

                                            Great article! Much clarity! Found it helpful!

                                            Posted by:

                                              Hi Alan,

                                              Thank you for commenting and for your question!

                                              The only jobs where Project Managers assist clients in this way are Professional Services jobs.

                                              Take care,
                                              Stephanie

                                              Posted by:

                                                Hey Stephanie, great article!
                                                But I'm still wondering why I can't find this webinar 2 months later, on YouTube!
                                                Please advice! I was told it should have been posted a couple of weeks after it was aired, and now it's over eight weeks and it still isn't there.
                                                Could you please help me?
                                                Thanks, and have a great day!

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Hi Richard,

                                                  I am replying on Stephanie's behalf. We're glad you enjoyed this article! The webinar is taking a little bit longer than expected as there is some additional work to be done in post-production. We will let you know as soon as it becomes available.

                                                  Thanks for commenting!

                                                  Lin

                                                  Posted by:

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