My client Bill Sarkisian writes:
“David…you have a very short, 1 sentence reply you use for [audition submission notes for] all jobs, right? Something like, “Hi, This is David, I’m an actor, play scary guys on TV.” Would you do a tip on that? I want to make mine short and succinct as well.”
I think one of the biggest mistakes voice talent, and performers in general, make when auditioning for a job on a site like Voice123, Voices, ACX and the like, is talking (writing) too much.
I mean, I get it.
We talk for a living, right? We can’t help ourselves.
But here, it’s important to be 4 things in your writing: brief, useful, spare and potent.
To go on and on and on about how great the project sounds and that it’s going to be super successful, and how you’ve got just the right voice for the project because other casting people have told you so, and how you couldn’t believe how much the writing really sings to you, how you’ve been a teacher most of your life and that will make this e-learning course so much fun for you, and how you’ve got a background in technology so narrating this software manual’s going to be a snap…I have a question.
Why would you make your potential employer read through all that desperate, redundant, useless junk – potentially giving them more than a number of reasons to say “no way?”
“You wouldn’t,” is the right answer.
So when typing anything in the Audition Notes box, be brief, and be useful. Be spare and be potent.
Let them know something about your professionalism and your easy going way of making things happen. Something that isn’t already listed
Bill’s right. Here’s what I usually say:
“I can do the job within your budget, deliver on time, in exactly the format you want, and I’m a creepy, evil villain. Thanks for listening.”
Facts, a bit of humor, and a thank you. No long, drawn out, hat-in-hand begging for the job.
Just something short and sweet. And useful.
Then get the eff off the stage so they can go listen to your audition. Don’t be played off the stage by the orchestra.
This works for me. It just might work for you.
I’ve got a lot more advice for you in the VO2GoGo vClass on Managing Clients and Projects. You might give it a shot.
Hope this helps.
Interesting, David. Because of being “burned” by lack of expectations in the past, I’m pretty thorough in my responses. Nothing cutesy or irritating, just the facts. example:
I’ve got all of the requirements in my home studio and can have this to you within a 2 business day turnaround for the first proof pass, or can record at an LA area studio of your choosing.
Please check my commercial demo for what my voice sounds like fully mastered and set to music. For this project, you’re probably going to want to pay specific attention to:
[insert list of spots and their TIME STAMP to save reader time and show them you’re on-brand with their project]
For your rate of XXX, you will receive my multi-part process:
– unedited mp3 for “proofing”, which you can approve or have the chance to vocally redirect. Any changes to the script itself will incur an extra half-session fee
– one final file (your choice of format and delivery method) with necessary redirection, which will also have all of the pops & clicks removed*
– this rate does not include music, sfx or any use in broadcast (tv or radio; web is fine)
* one file is included. if required, each additional file will incur a charge of $10.
Having this much verbiage has helped me immensely in the past. People don’t expect take after take after back and forth blah blah. If it’s a project with multiple files, I’m not expected to provide that free of charge – it shouldn’t be – it takes time and energy — i.e. work ;)
So, what you’ve laid out here is the very conversation I have with the client the moment I get booked, or if they ask as they are making up their minds. I’ve drawn this as a parallel to what happens in any sale situation, and what happens when we go in for on-camera auditions: we simply don’t discuss business before the client has even expressed interest in doing so.
I am glad this works for you – thanks for commenting!
;-) Thanks, pal! I now use:
Hi, I’m a TV/Film/Voice actor and I can do the job within your budget, deliver on time, in exactly the format you want, and I play good guys and BAD guys, (naughty villains are my favorite!)
Thanks for listening, let me know if I can help you.
PS: I updated my acting reels…if anyone needs a break from cat videos!
I can do the job within your budget, deliver on time, in exactly the format you want. Meantime, I’ll whipping up delectible morsels and standing on my head. Thanks for listening.”
Brilliant, David! As I often say to my bride “Don’t you get tired of being right ALL THE TIME?”
This is pretty interesting, and a little challenging. I’m definitely used to having to persuade folks with a “cover letter” of sorts.
Do you think your suggestion for brief and useful is also beneficial on freelance sites (e.g. upwork, peopleperhour, etc)?