My dear brothers and sisters in voice over,
There comes a time in each person’s life when they need to use their blog to bloviate, purge and otherwise sound-off on urgent pressing matters of state. Today is that day for me and I hope for you too.
And by state I mean the state of voice over auditioning in our world. Too often we are given mixed directions on how to submit auditions by our various talent representatives. From useless cattle call auditions, to slating to file names and so much more, we are forced to suffer the indignities of reading directions and following through.
Suddenly, voice over has become like a real job and this is completely unacceptable. We are sloth-like, we are sleepy, we are….voice talents!
Join my ridiculous crusade to make our lives better and more importantly to make our lives easier when we audition for new voice over jobs.
Sign your name in the comment section of this blog and begin your path to an easier auditioning experience for all!
Dear Voice Over Agents,
On behalf of all voice talents (none of whom know I am writing this letter which will never be mailed) who are pleased to work in partnership with you to deliver sacks of cash to all our front doors, thank you for your efforts on our behalf. It is appreciated!
We would like to address an administrative (thinking of the right word here….challenge, problem, nope…wait) opportunity that we think will help make all our lives (yours and your voice talents) much simpler and certainly more organized.
Following a week long summit of all the world’s voice over talent at a resort in the Poconos, where there were speakers, group meetings, break-out sessions and even a few make-out sessions, the following document was contrived and entitled:
The World-wide Audition Completion Keys Enjoinment (WACKE)
The root of this WACKE idea is to establish universal standards and formatting rules for each and every voice over audition that, once implemented on the professional level (between professional voice talents and professional voice talent agents), will eventually become the standard for every organization requesting voice over auditions from talent (not that we ever get any leads from anyone other than our agents, of course).
Item 1: No More Customized Voice Over Auditions Ever – It was unanimously decided that we as voice talent have either personally produced or paid ridiculously large gobs of money to have produced voice over demos that clearly outline our individual vocal skill sets and that jonesing by a client to hear his/her brand name melodiously uttered by hundreds of voice talents just so the client can ultimately pick his cousin Morty as the voice talent because he/she owes him a favor. This clearly makes customized auditions a fairly antiquated process.
Item 1, Subsection 1: Because we’re all pretty much voice over strumpets, we will agree to do a customized audition…occasionally!
Item 1, Subsection 2: Cattle Call Auditions Terminated – The practice of emailing an audition to every man on an agency roster because the specs include the word “male” (same for female) must immediate cease and desist. Agents are required to know all the voice types on their rosters and request auditions ONLY from the voice types that fairly match the description set forth by the client.
Item 2: Audition Voice Slating: All auditions will require a voice slate identifying the voice talent performing the audition. The current trend where some agents require a slate and some do not needlessly confuses small minded voice talents (which practically describes all of us on our side of the microphone).
Item 2, Subsection 2: It must be universally agreed upon by the agents where to place said slate on the audition’s audio file. Voice talents will not place the slate at the beginning of an audition for some agents and at the end of an audition for others. Front OR back, pick one and ONLY one from this point forward.
Item 2, Subsection 3: The text for every voice over audition voice slate henceforth will be as follows: “For (Agent Name) and (Client Name), this is (Voice Talent Name).” There will be no variations in text as any character names that might be needed can be included in the file name (See Item 3).
Item 3: Audition File Naming: Henceforth, all voice over audition files shall be named thusly: Client Name, Character Name, Agency Name, Voice Talent First Initial_Last Name.
Example: McDonalds, Announcer, All Coast Talent, P_O’CONNELL
Item 4: Audition File Format: The standard file format for all voice over auditions will be MP3 until such time as voice talents reconvene to recognize a new file format industry standard as dictated by advances in audio technology, assuming there are any.
Item 5: Transmission of Audition to Agent: Forthwith all agents will establish one email address for the receipt of all auditions and it will read as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please note that any agent using a public email domain currently (like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com) needs to man-up (or woman-up) and get a professional email domain like most grown-up companies. It’s not that expense…even voice talents have them, THAT’S how cheap email domain extensions are!
Item 5, Subsection 2: Acknowledgment of Receipt of an Audition: Agents will set up an auto-responder that will issue an email back to each voice talent who has submitted an audition to them.
Adopted herein this Twenty-Fifth Day of August in the Year of our Lord two thousand and nine by the undersigned who are silly (and yet hopeful) enough to believe that such specifications could ever be universally agreed to by….anybody!