Three Steps To Improving Your Voiceover Audition Technique

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Now that we all seem to be connected via social media, everyone is pouring their hearts out online about the frustrating process of auditioning for voiceover work. For years, I used to share the feeling until one day, in 2003, I turned a corner on the whole matter. Since then my Audition Conversion Metric (ACM) has tripled, and I also get way more FIGs (Found-Gigs, where they just called and booked without any audition) than I used to.

What happened on that fateful summer day in 2003? I made these three changes of attitude:

1) I decided, once and for all, that NONE of this business is about me!

Instead, I began to look at myself as a highly-trained professional capable of doing whatever it is the producer or writer is asking without balking, flinching, wincing, or whining. In the case of auditions, the written direction and the direction from your agent(or room producer), are the only things you have to go by and you must trust them completely.

2) I treat each audition as seriously as I treat a regular VO job.

I discovered that it helps dramatically if you can get as much “back story” about the company: their market share, their quarterly earnings, their product/service pipeline, their weaknesses, strengths, competition, and so forth, as possible.

I decided, once and for all, that NONE of this business is about me!

Then, do your best to distill that data into a nice thesis by which you can translate the direction provided by the writer. Everything you can learn will ultimately help you be the race-horse that can win it for the company and help them achieve their ad campaign objectives. This approach is very powerful, and it can be heard and felt in your audition performance.

3) Do not, under any circumstances, look back at the audition once it leaves your lips or your studio.

Stop wondering or worrying about whether you’ll get the job. The old adage here is really very true: A watched pot never boils. Simply put, you approached the audition with selfless confidence, an abundance of knowledge, and an ever-improving skillset, and you did the absolute best job you could do. Now, forget about it, and move on to the next audition.

I truly believe that if you shed the typical ironic duality of narcissism/insecurity we as actors seem to drag around with us, you will discover who you really are behind the mic. It will shine through, and your ACM and FIG numbers will climb sky-high.

Dick Ervasti
is the founder and CEO of ALO Capital, a private equity firm.

Dick is also one of the world's most recognized promo/trailer voices. He has appeared in 62 wide-release trailers and HE spots, including We're the Millers, The Great Gatsby, Les Miserables, Star Wars-Clone Wars, Lord of The Rings, and Spiderman 3.

On national television, Dick has done segment narration for NFL Films. He has also been the primary network voice for Spike TV and the promo voice of Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN. He's appeared on national NFL and College football Verizon Wireless campaigns.

Outside the realm of sports, Dick has been the voice of both the MTV Video & Music Awards. For 5 years, Dick was the in-show announcer on America's Most Wanted, and voiced numerous promo campaigns for CBS, ESPN, ABC, NBC and FOX.

National commercial campaigns include Gander Mountain, Sears Craftsmen riding mowers, Mobil One oil, Ford, Cadillac, Time Warner Cable, Dave & Busters, Kellogg's, Ford Parts & Service radio, Dinty Moore Stew television, Hefty garbage bags, and TV and radio spots for Verizon.

- Abrams Artists Agency, Los Angeles, CA +1 310-859-0625
- Abrams Artists Agency, New York, NY +1 646-486-4600 ext. 243
- Moore Creative Talent, Minneapolis, MN +1 612-827-3823
- NV Talent, Chicago, IL +1 312-563-0136