How To Be Great At Slating

Hey, there!

When recording an audition, the very first thing you want to lay down is a clear, precise and brief slate. Your slate is there to not only let the casting person know who’s speaking, but also to set the stage for your audition. Oh, and there’s a couple of very important aspects of your slate to always remember.

A couple of rules about slating (that can be altered to taste, but try to follow them when starting out).

If you’re the only role in the production, a simple statement of your name is just fine. Example: “Hi, this is David H. Lawrence XVII.”

If you’re auditioning for more than one role, add the role to your slate. Example: “Hi, this is David H. Lawrence XVII as your announcer,” or “Hi, this is David H. Lawrence XVII as Guy #2.”

If you’re auditioning for a production in which there are more than one roles that are being cast with your gender, then also add the role to your slate. For instance, if you’re a woman, and there are three roles for women and two for men, make sure to say which role your audition is for.

(And, of course, unless they ask you to, never include more than one audition in an MP3 file – they may not know there’s more to listen to after hearing the first audition. If they ask you to, make sure to briefly mention that in your slate: “Hi, this is David H. Lawrence XVII with three takes as Salesman.”)

Advanced tier strategy: when slating for an animation or video game character read, don’t slate completely in character, and don’t slate in your normal voice – rather, try sliding into your character’s voice. Example: “(in normal friendly voice) Hi, this is David H. Lawrence XVII (begin to morph into a grizzled military commander) as General Mordecai Howitzer.”

You can also tail slate (slating at the end of the audition), especially for longer auditions and for auditions where the casting entity warns you not to slate. This is a bit shortsighted on their part, but you want to accomodate. So, launch right into your audition, and at the end, offer this: “I’m David H. Lawrence XVII as your announcer.”

Finally, the most important aspects to remember about your slate: no matter what audition is for, and no matter what the tone of the audition, be it happy, serious, dark, comical, a luxury read, whatever…put a nice smile on your face and make your slate friendly and nice. Your slate is one of the most overlooked, thrown-away, yet important pieces of your audition real estate. It is your first impression, so use your slate to let them know you’ll be a dream to work with, not surly, or entitled, or arrogant. Make your slate friendly and nice, and help them say “yes” to booking you.

Have you given your slates much consideration? Or have they simply been things you had to do before auditioning? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Hope this helps.


7 Responses to How To Be Great At Slating

  1. Kate McGregor-Stewart August 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Very clear, valuable step-by-step description. Just what I needed for my first submission. Im printing it out (so I wont forget anything!) to keep until its all old hat to me :)

  2. David Brit September 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Excellent. To-the-point. This kinda stuff can be overly complicated…. love the simplification.

  3. Mike Brang January 13, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    As voice over artists, we’re always striving to impress. Sometimes this comes across in something as simple as slating. Thankfully, David and keep us pumped with bits of information to keep us focused. Thanks as always for the awesome advise!

  4. Ginny Hayes August 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Great advice. Similarities to slating on camera but I won’t need to off my glasses or do a profile. Lol

  5. Shirley Smallwood August 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Thanks David. See you soon.

  6. David September 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    Great advice as always David! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Christine March 31, 2018 at 8:09 am #

    Thanks, David! Very helpful. I have felt oddly uncomfortable about slates. This is great.

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