4 Tips to Focus Your Voiceover Career This Fall, Part 2

4 Tips to Focus Your Voiceover Career This Fall, Part 2

Welcome to fall and Part 2 of our Fall Focus series. Here are four more tips to keep yourself on track this season.

1. Focus. This month, focus on how to cope with cold readings. You almost never get the voiceover copy in advance of an audition, so you’ve got to be ready to sight read on the spot under pressure. Even if you get to your audition 10–15 minutes early to go over the copy, we casting directors often throw some new lines at you. We expect you to quickly read over and then deliver hirable, fantastic reads in a very short amount of time. If you have a question about how to pronounce the brand name, ask us! But if it’s a well-known word, please don’t embarrass yourself. Use Google, or a dictionary app that says the word for you, and figure it out by yourself. There’s nothing less appealing than an actor who does not know how to take the extra step to prepare. 

2. Accumulate. Gather and accumulate your skills for cold reads. How? Start by reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes. My sixth grade teacher, Ms. Donovan, encouraged us to read the dictionary every single day. We were required to keep a dictionary on our desks and every day we opened them to a random page. I still read from the dictionary every day. You can also read the cereal box, the first paragraphs of every article on the front page of The New York Times, or open up “The Hunger Games.” I don’t care what you read out loud, but do it. And listen to yourself. Are you a good reader, or a slow reader? Seriously. Read out loud. 

3. Listen. Listen to what I ask you to do in the voiceover booth. I want to endorse you to the clients and creative team so they will hire you for the job. So if I suggest you pick up the pace, don’t argue and read it faster. If we tell you to pull it back, act less and try something more natural and casual in your read. If you are not a good listener and can’t process what I say to you at your voiceover audition, how on earth can I send you to the recording session? 

4. Learn. How to sell everything. Seriously. Toothpaste, toilet paper, McDonalds, Advil, cereal. If you can convince us to buy these products through your smart, natural and warm voiceover reads, you’ll continue to work in this very competitive industry. 

That’s all for now. Now go out and buy your Halloween costume, then go home and read!

Jen Rudin is an award-winning casting director and author of “Confessions of a Casting Director: Help Actors Land Any Role with Secrets from Inside the Audition Room.” (Harper Collins/It Books, 2013). Visit www.jenrudin.com and follow @RudinJen.

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