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.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

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
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.

Leave a Reply