I was installing home equipment for a client recently, and as part of that experience, I led her through how to use Audacity to export an MP3 for submitting as an audition.
She was surprised to find out that I actually care a great deal, and get really picky, about how that audition MP3 file is named.
Here’s the skinny.
I want you to be as useful to the people you audition for as possible.
It’s why I strongly suggest that, no matter what, you slate your auditions. (Because you don’t know how or where the person making the decision will be listening to your stuff.)
I have a very specific format for how you should name your actual MP3 files.
Don’t be lazy, and just name them
Make your audition file name able to convey a great deal of information to the casting director, voice seeker, or client – who may be receiving thousands of auditions per project. And, as an added bonus, you’ll make the filename useful to you for filing purposes.
Included the following items, in this order, divided by hyphens (no need for underscores anymore) in your filename. Then, I’ll show you the format I use, as well as an actual sample, below the list):
1 Your name. You can use your full name, your first initial and last name, your nickname – whatever you like, as long as the receiving party (CD, agent, voice seeker etc) can keep you separate from others. There happen to be 16 other David Lawrences in the business, hence, I use my full name.
2 The date. This should be in YYYYMMDD format. Why? Because it keeps everything in numerical order – if you used the more typical MMDDYY format, next year’s Januarys would follow this year’s Januarys, and precede this year’s February submissions. This way, your files line up in chronological order.
3 The client. A short, one word reference to whoever’s going to be hiring you to do the job. No need for Bank of America when bofa will do the trick.
4 The project. This is the campaign, the product, the new service, the show – whatever’s being advertised. It’s often part of the script title, so choose something that delineates that campaign from others from the same client.
5 The role. This is really important – you may be asked to audition for multiple roles. Alter this part of the file name to reflect what the listener is going to hear. Take the role from the script itself – vo, annc, Man 2, salesman etc.
6 (optional) The version. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to make an adjustment and re-submit your audition. To keep everything straight, and so you don’t send an earlier version by mistake, use this: v2, v3, v4 etc. And, no, you don’t need to add a v1 to every one of your initial auditions.
Here’s an example of the file name I used for an audition I just did the other day for my agent:
So, to break this file name down, you see my name, a YYYYMMDD formatted date, the name of the client (peets), the name of the project (newpods), the role (annc, short for announcer), and because this was the second version I’d sent, v2 (for version 2). And note that I prefer everything to be lower case.
If you do this relentlessly, your list of auditions will be easily searchable, in date order, and your hard drive will be that much more organized. And the people you’re sending them to will thank you for making their job easier.
Hope this helps.