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Laying Down The Perfect Slate

Hey there!

I’ve gotten several questions and comments about the way I talk about slating – and I wanted to let you in on my personal slating approach.

Remember…this is your one chance to make a great first impression. And your slate is one of the most overlooked, thrown-away, yet important pieces of your audition real estate.

Here’s how to make your slates world-class awesome.


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Hope this helps!

David

All Episodes

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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I’ve gotten several questions and
comments about the way I talk about
slating the way I love slating the way I
really think that slating is one of the
most important and overlooked pieces of
our auditions and how it can make or
break how people feel about us and I
have some personal slighting approaches
that I want to share with you remember
this when you’re slating this is your
one chance to make a first impression
maybe the casting director has heard you
before but this time she you know didn’t
remember that or or it’s the first time
she’s heard you you want to make sure
that your slate is just as awesome just
as world-class as your actual audition
so you want it to be friendly you want
it to be helpful you want to come off as
nice and great to work with
honest to god I know it doesn’t sound
like iLike it’s just a slate come on
David but the truth is it’s really
really important so let’s talk about a
couple of basics number one if you are
the only role in the production say
you’re the announcer in a commercial and
there’s no other parts then all you have
to do is say hi this is David H Lawrence
217th and that’s it you don’t have to
say the role you don’t have to say as
your announcer or as your voice-over
talent or you know I use this product
and I’m really excited to audition for
you don’t don’t do that if you’re
auditioning for more than one role then
add the role to your slate in each one
of the auditions that you send out like
hi this is David H Lawrence 17th as your
announcer or hi this is David H Lawrence
17th as sales person number two or
whatever it is but make sure you slate
in your actual slate and again be
friendly be nice always right now if
you’re auditioning for a production in
which there is more than one role that
might be cast as your agender or could
be cast as your gender then also add the
role to your slate even if you’re not
auditioning for more than one
for instance if you’re a woman and there
are three roles for women – for men then
make sure to say which role your
audition is for in that way right at the
top the casting director can tell
whether or not she wants to listen to
what you have to say and of course
unless they ask you to never include
more than one take in an audition
without telling them so in the slate hi
this is David H Lawrence 17th and I’ve
got three takes for you as the salesman
if they ask you to do that if they ask
you to ABC it you don’t have to say I’ve
got three takes but if they don’t and
you want to do it anyway and that is a
really risky move because what you want
to show is that you have decision-making
capabilities when it comes to how you
tell stories you don’t want to leave
that decision up to a casting director
and you don’t want to give them
additional work right so don’t do that
don’t unless they say give me a one two
three or an ABC or give me three takes
don’t do that now when you’re
auditioning for animation or a video
game and you’re anti you’re auditioning
for a character don’t slate entirely in
that character if you’re playing a
grizzled old general don’t say hi there
this is David H lumber 17th is your
announcer an omni or general you know
don’t don’t don’t that that screams I
don’t really want to work with that
person he may be crazy you just don’t
want to do that which you can do though
to kind of show you know you’re fun to
work with you’re nice hi this is David H
Lawrence the 17th is your grizzled old
general and then move right into it
you can also tail-slate right if they
happen to be one of those pay to play
sites that say don’t put a slate on
there well you okay don’t put a slate on
there start right into what you’re doing
and then at the very end say hi this is
David H Lawrence the 17th
just like that just offer it just in
case because the whole point is you want
the person that’s going to be doing the
casting to know who you are and to know
that you’re friendly and to know that
you’re helpful you know no matter what
the audition is for no matter whether
it’s a happy audition a serious audition
a dark audition comical a luxury read
whatever it is your slate doesn’t match
shouldn’t match your read if it’s a dark
angry read you don’t want to say hi this
is David H Lawrence the 17th no it’s not
going to help you in fact it will show
off your skill at being an actor if you
can say hi this is David H Lawrence the
17th and I’m your announcer
you don’t want to die do you you know
there’s there’s a way to show sort of
the contrast of you being you the normal
person that you are and you being the
actor that they’re looking for for their
production so it is your first
impression there’s no way around that
and you want to use your slate to let
them know that you’d be a dream to work
with
that you’re a nice person you’re not
surly you’re not entitled you’re not
arrogant you didn’t just take that
moment and throw it away because you had
to do it so okay hi this David H
Lawrence 17th give them every
opportunity to say yes to booking you
use your slate is that first step to do
that I know right who thought who would
have thought that there’s so much you
could get out of a slate tell me what
you think if you’re watching this
anywhere but on VOD go go comm go over
go over to excuse me
vo to go go calm that’s all the good
stuff is anyway and under the video
there’s a place for comments just let me
know what you think
how do you do slates what are your tips
and tricks have you thought about this
before is it something that makes a
difference in your life
and let me know let me know what’s
what’s going on if you want to subscribe
to my youtube channel I have a youtube
channel go ahead and click on my head
there if there’s no head look for a
subscribe button somewhere below this
video you want to see the latest video
I’ve done click on that frame and
YouTube will play it for you I’m David H
Lawrence xvii thanks so much for
watching and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

5 Responses to Laying Down The Perfect Slate

  1. Stuart Gauffi April 7, 2019 at 6:48 am #

    Good to see you this morning!

    I guess that’s the takeaway here, too–we always want the CD to be glad to see us. I have been guilty of not getting into that mindset before slating, and then realizing that the resulting pro-forma delivery was pretty close to depressing.Thanks to David, I try to imagine working with someone I’ve enjoyed working with before (or the actual client, if I have enjoyed working with them before) in order to get my head right for slating. It works!

  2. Nina April 7, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

    Thank you for this! I’ve always felt a little robotic in slating my VOs, but like on-camera slating, it seems best to simply relax and be yourself (your helpful, kind and fun self). ;) This really helps, like all your videos!

  3. Mike Russo April 7, 2019 at 7:18 pm #

    This is something Karen-Eileen has emphasized with me when I’ve worked with her. It seems to be helping, because I’m getting more auditions lately.

  4. Carla Parkes April 13, 2019 at 8:41 am #

    This is so helpful! Thanks so much!

  5. Craig Burnett April 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

    When I’m wearing my producer hat and casting on behalf of a client, I ABHOR all the cutesy little slate crap that comes in. It’s a colossal waste of time, and I’m not in the business of wondering whether the person is easy to work with, or happy, or friendly, etc. I want to know if they have the voice that my client wants. I even get slates when I specifically say, “If you slate your audition, it will not be heard.”

    Sadly, I think sometimes when you give talent a slating inch, they’ll take a yard, and it becomes “[Name] auditioning for the role of announcer, I’ve given you three takes, the first is really what I think you need, the second and third are kind of, uh, my takes on what I think would sound great, hope you like it, I’m really looking forward to working with you.”

    My suggestion is, if you’re going to slate, do it the way David suggests. Do NOT give the client your life story in the slate. The last thing you want to do is p*ss them off before they even get to hear your audition.

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