Audition Advice: You had to be there!(?)

The voice over and casting industry has changed dramatically over the past decade. The internet, combined with the ability to own "a home studio" (more on that in a future post), has given birth to a whole new ecosystem for those looking to hire voices and those looking to earn a living as a voice actor. It's a big topic, and one I hope to dig deeper into a little further down the road. For now, I want to focus on what I call "traditional voice casting". You know. That thing where your agent tells you to go somewhere and hang out with your peers for a little while!

As a voice actor, you'll often have two choices when it comes to auditioning for a job: self tape or in-person. For busy actors, the ability to record and home and ship off an MP3 has undeniable benefits. It's convenient. You can do more in a shorter period of time. You don't have to take the subway on a hot day. The flip side to that is you're taking a gamble. "How so" you ask?

Here are eight ways opting to self-tape might be hurting your chances of nailing the audition, in no particular order:

1. You're apartment has thin walls, so you're talking extra quiet. The goal is to be heard, and your timid take on the copy could be working against you.

2. You have a cheap mic or you're recording into your phone. That's great in a pinch, but you're competing against people that are recording in a professional studio for the in-person reads. The lo-fi approach isn't helping anyone hear your true voice.

3. Direction! You just knocked out three takes of how you think the copy should be read. If you were at the casting session, the director would be able to clarify intentions after the first take!

4. This one is more for the clients than the actors. When I'm casting, I can tell after a few reads whether or not an actor can take direction. If I say "ok cool- now let's up the energy and brighten this next take up