World-wide Audition Completion Keys Enjoinment

audio'connell_WACKE

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!

Thank you!

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: auditions@agencydomain.suffix . 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!

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31 Responses to “World-wide Audition Completion Keys Enjoinment

  1. I would like to add my name to the list, but I am too lazy and slothful to do that…

    Consider me possibly or somewhat agreeing… but then again, I think I said that before.

  2. Let me get back to you on this some time later.

  3. yep.

  4. Peter, I thought we were going to ratify the Poconos meeting minutes at the upcoming Voice Actor Challenges in Auditions and New Technology (VACANT) Symposium before we made a decision about the date that we would convene to plan the discussion about finalizing the WACKE Audition standards. Did I miss something?

    On second thought, don’t tell me.

  5. Karen, no worries!

    We discussed it all at the Consortium of Highly Entertaining Artist Peeps (CHEAP) break-out/sub-section committee meeting. It’s all good!

    Oh and Peter – Seconded!

  6. […] Peter K. O’Connell wrote an interesting post today onvoxmarketising – the audio'connell blog and podcastHere’s a quick excerpt […]

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  8. Go get ’em!

  9. Liz, was that CHEAP meeting before or after the Luscious Audio Means Everything (LAME) forum? I can’t recall much of what happened that day….er, night….whatever…

  10. Nice…. I have read and considered all points thoroughly. Can I get back to my cappucino and cake now? 😀

  11. Dude – sign me up! I’ll put my John Hancock on that manifesto any day of the week.

  12. Screw the treatise. I wanna know about the make-out sessions!

  13. @Frank your slothfulness is legendary and something I aspire to in my voiceover career (you know, once I have one…a voiceover career, I mean)

    @GregP your delay is noted and impressive

    @Eddie I am awe by the energy of your brevity

    @Karen, unfortunately the VACANT Symposium was tabled because Philip Banks, who was supposed to make the reservations was busy walking his dog on the beach again. By the time he returned, it was time for his nap and well you know the rest. We may try and combine it later next year with the Voice Artists Performing In Drag (VAPID) event.

    @Liz, at the CHEAP event, did the motion to start charging member dues get voted down again or was there a quorum problem again because of higher than normal Greyhound bus fees?

    @Chris, you’re MUCH to energetic in your responses. For voice talents, exclamation points are the devils work! Eeek, see there I did it, oh my.

    @Justin, based on the web photos from the LAME meeting, your boxer shorts are still on the hotel flag pole.

    @Stefania, remember the voice talent’s motto – All for Cake and Cake for All!

    @Adam, we tried to write a manifesto at first but it just sounded so heavy and so much like work that we all decided to nap instead, it was less work.

    @Dan, I would be glad to share details of the make-out sessions but, alas, I was never invited.

  14. i’m getting something “yes-ey” with sort of a “no-ish” aftertaste … so i’m definitely, emphatically forgenst it!

  15. So let’s get this clear; you actually audition in order to get Voice Over work? Interesting idea but I can’t see it ever catching on.

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  17. Wow! Talk about saying what needs to be said!! For YEARS we’ve worked to get clients to select voices from demos (based on our recommendations and vetting). There will always be that one segment of producer who wants to hear every possible option first.

    We like to say “time is money” folks! Why make people spin their wheels.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tim Keenan/Creative Media Recording

  18. Seems well thought out. Most items appear to be very reasonable. I’m told it takes two to tango. Let’s hope the agents are wearing their Black Latin Patents.

  19. Yes, yes, and yes. That was from all of my characters!

  20. Peter,
    I thought long and hard about your recommendations, and I’ve completely forgotten what they were.

    Hope this helps,
    Miss Jamee

  21. Hear, hear! And there, and there, and waaaaaay over there as well. There were make-out sessions? I gotta start attending these things; they sound more “interesting” than the library conferences I usually attend.

  22. Due to the continental time difference, the Canadian Recording Announcers Panel (CRAP) is only now weighing in. We agree, but only if it is polite to do so, eh?

    dD

  23. We cast voice actors all the time. We always do custom castings as each script is unique in its nuances that only a custom read can deliver. The agency producers are almost always disappointed when they are forced to choose a voice from a reel as are their clients. I do not see custom voice casting for high end spots ever going away. We may have to drop the price we charge but the need will never die. We always slate the actors name at the head of the take and never torture talent in a casting session. 2-3 reads is enough to see if the actors voice and understanding of the role is right.

    However I too would like to hear the details of the makeout session as i am sure there would be fantastic lip smacks, umms and ahs to entertain us all.

  24. Yes, I mean no,…err what was the question again???

    I’ll take a decaf sugar free mocha latte, please.

  25. I second the motion.

  26. I fell asleep half way through trying to read this tome. The only thing I remember is something about lattes and cake. As long as the cake is chocolate count me in.

  27. @Todd “forgenst it” is hereby declared the official slogan for 2010

    @Philip auditioning is less an idea and more of dream-like state in which most auditioners don’t really know what they are doing so no harm is really done.

    @Tim Voice talent rarely spin their wheels…that’s too much like exercise

    @Jim just the idea of having to dance at all with some of my agents makes me dizzy

    @Dana you are all welcome

    @Jamee Sing with me “I’m forgettable….that’s what I issssss”

    @Rachel Actually, the librarians were the one’s leading the make-out sessions

    @Doug CRAP has always heavily influenced the attitudes of voice talents world wide so we truly value your polite CRAP

    @Roy your points are too logical and sensible to be understood by our WACKE supporters. Plus Martha Stewart is on and she’s doing unspeakable things with a chocolate fondue so we’re distracted. We will however try to remember to send you the audio from the make-out sessions

    @Gregory so then there’s your answer. Would you like your mocha chocha fandimonium card punch? With 10 punches you get a free scone

    @Bobbin, that motion was tabled and that table is now in the corner of the room to add to the feng shui of the vocal booth

    @Christina Funny, that’s the same thing I told my wife about our wedding

    Best always,
    – Peter

  28. What a clever, funny bunch!
    From Master P’s manifesto (I’m in, btw) thru every hilarious comment, I’ve been grinning from ear to ear!
    Screw being a voice talent – I think we have all the makings for a hit comedy series brewing…

  29. Someone told me there was bacon in here. There’s not. Can anyone point me to it, please? I’m hungry.

  30. Hi Deb!

    You can be the series head writer!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  31. Officially ignored.

    NEXT!

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