4 bullseyes

Will This Be The One? – Nailing Your Audition

Getting called for an audition is a wonderful feeling. Sometimes just knowing someone wants you for anything is going to lift your spirits. But that’s only the first part of the picture in nailing your audition.You still need to do what it takes to get the job. If you are doing a large number of auditions but are not getting more work, you may be making some mistakes.

You still need to do what it takes to get the job. If you are doing a large number of auditions but are not getting more work, you may be making some mistakes.

Comparison chart - Auditions to Jobs 4 steps-to-nailing-your-audition

If your conversion rate looks like the chart above, following these 4 steps to nailing your audition could make all the difference.

Get Clear Direction

One thing I see often is voice talent come to the studio and they have no idea what they should do or how they should read for this potential job. They received no or very little input on the angle of the commercial.Getting clear on direction-nailing-your-audition

They have a very vague understanding of what is needed or wanted from the producer or talent agency.

“That’s OK, It’s just an audition” they will say, “I probably won’t even get this job anyway.” And then they proceed to read with very little effort.

Very little energy.

Very little enthusiasm.

It’s painful.

You should get clear direction on which way the read needs to go. As I said, sometimes you might not get any direction.

Don’t just leave it at that! Don’t leave it to chance!

Ask specific questions and get good answers. If you are reading in the direction that the client is looking for, your chances of getting that job are far better than many others reading for that audition.

Take the initiative and find out what they want. It will also be much easier for you than trying to just wing it.

Be Prepared

Don’t pull the script up on your phone for the first time when you step up to the microphone. I know many voice talent who come right in and read cold, but that means it’s going to take you a while to warm up.Be Prepared

You should already have gone over the script a number of times when it comes time to record it, with all the direction that you either got or requested from the producer or the agency.

You want to be comfortable with your performance right from the very first take and it can only get better from there.

If you are working by yourself recording your voice at home, you can run into technical problems that will only get you further from the right mindset if you are not prepared with the read.

When working with a producer or engineer, you might get some feedback before you are ready to hear any while trying to get the gist of the script.

These kinds of things throwing you off your game can easily be avoided by having a clear vision of the concept of the spot before going in.

Your Cell Phone Might Take Great Pictures These Days, But…

You do not want to record your audition with your phone. That is the ultimate definition of phoning it in.

I don’t care what new gadgets are coming out these days, no phone is going to record your voice as well as a large diaphragm condenser microphone. Period.

You should be recording every one of your auditions as if it were a paying job with a producer in the studio.

If you can, go to a studio to do your auditions with an engineer in a professional environment. Maybe you can negotiate a cheaper rate with them so that it’s not breaking your bank. At Speak House Audio we have a $25.00 rate for talent needing to do auditions.

If you think about the possibility that you may be doing a few things the wrong way, having an engineer help you out by doing all the technical work makes it a small price to pay for increasing your chances of nailing your audition.Increase your income

You could come out with a pretty good contract for a long campaign if your work stands out above the rest.

That $25.00 doesn’t seem like such a bad investment, does it? The impression of having your audition coming from a professional studio won’t hurt you either.

But if you are recording at home, do it as if you were getting your best rate for the job. In fact, you should put as much work into it as if you have already been paid.

Already having been paid for a job raises the bar. It brings the best out of you, it would be embarrassing to do anything less.

Create The Best Product You Can

An audition is no different than your demo. You want to put forth the absolute best representation of yourself that you can. That’s what you did for your voice demo, wasn’t it?

You wouldn’t use you phone to record you demo, would you?

Would you voice your demo without putting any real effort into it?

Would you have an attitude that says “I don’t really care if you get this job or not” with your demo?

You wouldn’t send your demo to the agency unedited, would you?

Of course not!

You’re trying to GET jobs.

You’re trying to get MORE work.

You probably had your voice demo produced at a professional facility. Didn’t you want to get the most out of what you paid them for?

That’s how you should be treating your audition. Think of it as if you are going to get the most out of what your fee is going to be after you get the job.

Always send your auditions edited as if they were completed spots. Never send mis-takes in  your audition. Again, you are trying to produce the best product you can.

I have seen some auditions that turned out to be the actual, produced spot. How great is that? You do your audition and the quality is so good, you get hired and you don’t have to go back to a studio and read it again “for real”.

That is what can happen by being prepared ahead of time if you:

  1.  Have a good understanding of the direction of the script
  2.  Are well versed in the script before you start recording
  3.  Are using professional equipment (not in your car recording into your phone)
  4.  Are creating the best product you can as if you have already been paid

You should have a better chance of nailing your audition if you approach it with these 4 steps in mind. You will find that you just might start getting more jobs in relation to the amount of auditions you are doing.


Better comparison chart - 4 steps-to-nailing-your-audition



Let me know if you think you missed out on getting a job because of any of these issues. Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your stories.





This article has 6 Comments

  1. Hi Jim,
    Very interesting article! I want to work from home and I have been told many times that I have a great radio voice.
    I never made an audition but as I read your article I started thinking why not. I was wondering how can someone record a quality audition without physically going to a professional studio? Is it expensive? You’re mentioning your company’s 25$ rate, in what city is your studio?

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for your comment. There are many things you can do from home if you have a few pieces of equipment, but it sounds like you may not have done any kind of setup yet. Now, an audition is different than a demo. I think you might be wondering about a demo. For an audition you are called upon specifically by a producer or talent agency because they may have already heard your demo.

      The audition is kind of like a casting call. You will read a specific script and then a producer will choose who they want voicing that commercial.

      My studio is located in Phoenix, AZ

  2. This is great. My niece is getting ready for her second audition and I will have to tell her about this. Or even better, make her read it herself.

    Thanks for a great article and hoping for more. I am bookmarking your site.


    1. Thank you Marko,

      I hope your niece gets out of it what she needs to nail that audition. Just these few simple steps can make a big difference in the impression you leave on those who are making the big choices. And YES, please have her read it herself!

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