A special Guest Post by Master Teacher, Patrick Fraley
Pat Fraley is one of the best teachers of voice acting I know. He is an accomplished performer himself and has garnered a coveted Vanguard award for more than 35 years of excellence in teaching the craft of VO. His website, www.patfraley.com is a treasure trove of information, resources and education for those interested in performing voice over for fun and profit. He teaches a variety of curricula in special one day events as well as at-home courses and private sessions. If you would like to learn more about what he shares in this post, consider joining him at his upcoming event in Seattle, WA. [A transcipt of this audio file is below, should you prefer to read than listen. - MW]
Why you aren't booking -
The dirty little secret, which many teachers and agents don't like to talk about, is that the "auditioning to getting cast system" is broken. Why? Even with more work than ever out there, there are just too many auditions for jobs. Usually it is not your skills that are the issue. I know this because I have so many students and colleagues who are concerned and I'm up against the same dilemma you are as a performer. So how to you cut through the competition? Both have to do with out thinking them.
First, find ways of skirting the blind audition. Find events, clubs, conventions where you can get face to face with casting people, producers and directors. It is all about presence of mind. You want them to have you come to mind when they are casting.
Second, get really smart about the construction your auditions. You will never be able to out-perform the competition. Don't think that being the best will get you hired. Be good and different. Actors are not big thinkers. That's not where good acting comes from. Out-think the competition when you construct your auditions. Begin with establishing, line by line, what choices most actors will do. Then, construct your audition differently than the hoard.
Quick example - Say you have a Video Game Audition. With many Video Game Audition Scripts, you will have a few lines pulled from various places in the game. That is so the casting people can see if you have range and fulfill the various emotional aspects of a character.
Say the first line is, “I told you not to go in there!” and there's a note by the line, “angry.” The second line is, “This is what I get for trusting the King,” and the note by that line is, “remorseful.” Most actors will bellow the first line because there's an exclamation mark at the end. Don't. Think of the person you are talking to, even if a guess, and rather than yelling at them, think about making them feel bad - diminish them - and hiss the line passionately but quietly.
THEN, when you get to the second line, instead of being quiet and remorseful, show some contrast and be louder on the line, as if to the gods out of frustration with “This is what I get for trusting the King!”
If this kind of approach, of constructing auditions with interesting and competition-cutting choices interests you, consider my Animation and Video Game Audition Technique event, November 21 in Seattle.
This is the Mick Wingert Website. The blog is by Mick unless otherwise specified. Mick's Bio can be found here.