1. Analyze the Script: If the script is available prior to the audition, take time at home to completely analyze it. If it’s a commercial, consider what’s being sold and how. If it’s a video game, you need to know the setting, each character, and the voice required. Of course, you won’t always get the script before arriving to the audition. In this case, arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and start reading through the script.
2. Determine the Tone: Similar to analyzing the script, you’ll need to determine the right tone for the role you’re auditioning for. This may also be impacted by the setting, but you also need to know the type of character it is. If it’s a commercial, the tone may reflect the type of product being sold, it’s benefits, or it’s necessity.
3. Know the Role: Needless to say, you need to know the role you’re auditioning for before the audition, and that includes the aforementioned tone. Not only that, but you need to have an idea of who the character is—their personality. How do they respond? What’s their role in the game? You may have a general idea of the character and their role, but you need to look deeper into the script.
4. Do your homework! This means do your research and know where the show is going to air! Many networks have very different “styles” and audiences for animated content, and knowing where it airs should make a difference in your interpretation of the characters. When it comes to performance, don’t hesitate. Be bold and vibrant, and by all means, color outside the lines with your take on the script. Directors would rather have you go too big with your performance than have you hold back. Remember, it is better to takes risks and show your range than to deliver something that doesn’t have any punch to it. The best way to really get a solid footing with doing character work is to HAVE FUN! You really can’t fake fun, and casting directions can only hear that certain something coming through in your performance if you are genuinely having a ball playing that character. It will leave you exhausted, exhilarated, sweaty and out of breath when you come out of that voice over booth, and although it can be hard work, but it will be the MOST fun you have doing a voice-over!
Before and During the Audition
1. Warm Up: Regardless of whether or not you received the script prior to the audition, you should always arrive early for last minute warm ups, whether in the car or in the waiting room. In warming up, you should read through the script, focus on delivery, and drink plenty of water.
2. Adhere to Directions: Of course, the casting director will typically have some set directions and you should follow them as closely as possible. However, this doesn’t mean you should change your delivery and the tone you’ve determined for the role unless you’re told so. Nothing is more heartbreaking to the casting director than having a talent with the perfect voice and spirit of a character that cannot follow directions. Never walk into an audition and say “I can only do this one way.” In fact, it’s a good idea to always have a second version of your character on hand in case the first attempt is rejected. So be prepared to do something different if the director asks for it. Reflect back on what the director requests. Instead of saying “uh-huh”, actually repeat the director’s instructions to make certain you understand what they are asking. It’s all part of that crazy creative process!
3. Be Physical: When you’re in the booth, you should strive to be physical with your voice acting. Not only will this help you better voice the role, but casting directors actually like to see when a voice artist also has acting skills. Regardless, voice acting is physical. If you bring life to the voice and tie in movement, you’ll set yourself apart from other auditioners.
4. Make the Role Yours: Keep in mind, everyone else at the audition is after the same role. While you should be sure to follow direction, don’t be afraid to make the role yours. Whether it’s being physical like we mentioned above or finding the right tone, own the role. Bring as much of your own personality into the character as possible. Your own unique audio sound effects are great for really adding flavor to the part. Consider laughing, sighing, snorting, squealing, yawning and other verbal expressions of sound as part of you and your character. Only You Can Do You!
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