10 Tips for a Successful Home Audition

Tips for successfully auditioning from home.

These days, you usually submit a recording, rather than visit the client. So no worries about the mechanics of signing in and how to behave at a commercial studio that your client sends you to.  More than ever, winning the audition depends on your ability to self-direct. But there are still other ways to boost your chances.  Are you doing all these things right?


Don't sound like everyone else.

This is easier than it might seem, but requires study, thought, practice and maybe some coaching to explore the many ways you can make your read distinctive, yet still "you" and on-target.

Don't read too fast.

Your listener can't see the script. They have to mentally process what they hear. If there's a video component, that's even more to take in.  So speak naturally, but give them time to absorb.

Don't rush the first word(s).

In many genres (not just commercials), your listener's mind is on whatever came just before, be it a conversation, or personal thought, or previous presentation, whatever. Help them in that moment to catch up and get in synch with you. Be sure your first words are especially clear.

Don't automatically pause after the first short phrase.

To an experienced audition screener, pausing unnecessarily signals that maybe you just speak in patterns, not really thinking about what you're saying. Speak in complete thoughts. If a pause is appropriate, use it. If there's no punctuation or reason to pause there, don't.


Watch your volume level.

If the audition instructions include volume specifications, meet them.  Otherwise, low volume makes you sound weak. Very low volume makes you sound unprofessional.  And if it's way too low, the screener might not even listen.  Ideally, aim for -3 dB peak volume, never going into the red.


Submit promptly.

Even if the audition deadline is days away, get to it immediately and send it as soon as you have a read you're proud of.  You may be competing with many other submissions, and busy clients sometimes choose from the first auditions that come in.

Slate properly.

If slating instructions are given, follow them precisely. Otherwise, should you slate at the start,  the end, or even slate at all? Opinions and situations differ.  For example, in an automated online audition, the client sees your name in the system, so some people feel a slate is unnecessary – get right to the read.  One thing is sure: a bad slate is bad for your chances. Slate only your name, clearly and confidently yet pleasantly. Remember, your slate is your one chance to get your name in front of a new client.

Make your file names distinctive and clear

You can't know how the client will store the file or where they'll send it. So unless you’re given specific file naming instructions, include your name in the file name, and the title or product, and date – enough to uniquely identify your file without having to listen. Only as long as that. For example, Pat Hartsman-Dell TV-2018-07-10


Develop audition skills

Even top professional athletes and musicians must continually practice. One way to learn audition skills and practice them under pressure is to practice with us. Edge Studio offers various audition classes for talent at all experience levels, including classes that simulate the actual audition experience. 

You can also learn by entering and following our Monthly Audition Contest, and by submitting your recordings to our Feedback Forum. Also check the articles below.

Work with a director

Consider hiring a commercial studio for important auditions. For example, we supply an experienced VO engineer and director, recording you at our location or remotely at yours.  It's an especially good approach if the job is a major client or you're still getting a feel for auditioning. Our audition clients have a very good success rate.

Do you have a comment or suggestion? Please send to Marketing@EdgeStudio.com.



Audition classes and resources at Edge Studio

18 Reasons Why You Lose Auditions 

6 Easy ways to blow a recorded audition

How to Prepare for a Voice Over Audition; A Few Dos and Don’ts 


Keep up the good work

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Fantastic! Thanks

Tips for Home Audition

These tips are fantastic. I especially like the first tip: Don't sound like everyone else. I'd say take it one step further. Be confident in who you are. Tell yourself that you've go this. Don't try and think about what you think they want to hear. Instead just relax and say it how you would normally say it as if the thought was yours. There are so many people trying to be someone else in voice over. There is no one else out there just like you. Be more like you in every audition.
Professional British Voice Over

Tips for Home Audition

Hi Edge Studio,

Here are some tips to make your taped auditions soar!

1. Technical Expectations
During a recent Q&A with my students, the renowned television director David Semel (“Homeland,” “American Horror Story,” “House M.D.”) described what he expects technically from a taped audition (aside from great acting). He said, “It’s important you’re well-lit and that I can hear you.” We’re dealing with industry professionals with extremely demanding jobs. If they click on your footage, and the sound is too low or they can’t see you well, they might adjust the settings on their computer or they might just as likely click to the footage of the next actor.

2. What You Need
Here’s the basic equipment needed to properly self-tape and audition: A quality camera (a no-frills digital camera with a good built-in microphone is all you need), basic tripod, even lighting (natural works great!), a solid color background that is not distracting or shiny, and a reader. Before you begin your performance, do a test to check the lighting and sound. Say a few lines for the camera, record, and then review the footage. Does the lighting look blown out? If so, adjust. How does your shirt look against the background? Inviting and appropriate to the character or unflattering and amateurish? Can you be easily heard on a laptop computer with the volume at a normal level?

This step may take some experimentation to get the lighting, the colors of your wardrobe, and the sound just right. That’s OK. This first step is crucial in creating a solid foundation for you to record your audition and to ensure that industry professionals don’t click away in the first three seconds.

3. Acting
Check out one of my recent articles on this one!

4. The Script
Those lines must be as down-cold as the alphabet when walking into any prepared audition scenario. Though fully memorized, you must keep that script in one hand for two reasons. The first (only applies to in-person auditions), so a casting director never needs to worry if they have to feed you a line. Second, and most important, is that your performance looks like a “work in progress.” Having the script in your hand lends a subtle cue to the director and producers that you’re still flexible, adaptable and more importantly directable with your performance and that you’re not married to a particular take or reading of the character.

5. Don’t Slate
Unless specifically instructed to, a rookie mistake is to always slate for a self-taped audition. It’s an understandable error as it’s pretty much standard before every live audition in a casting office. When the frequency of video auditions started taking off last year, my celebrity clients always refused to attach a slate to their tapes. When I asked why, the reason was always the same, “I don’t want this to look like every other audition they receive.”

6. The Instructions
Most self-tape requests come with very specific, seemingly anal, instructions from the casting office—some with very strong warnings that if even one small step is overlooked the tape will be automatically rejected. These instructions pertain to lighting, framing, sound, file names, and your reader. It’s extremely important you read and follow all instructions for taping and sending. Triple check them. You don’t want your audition to be eliminated for a silly reason like not following some office’s fantasy of precision and competency.

7. Your Reader
Your reader should be as close to you as possible while being off-camera, positioned just right or just left of the camera. It’s perfectly fine if your reader is the opposite gender to the character he/she is playing. It has never made a difference in an actor booking the role off the tape.

8. Framing
You should be in the center of the frame with the bottom of the frame at the center of your chest and the top of the frame slightly above the top of your head.

9. Sitting or Standing
Ideally, the camera should remain in one position throughout the scene otherwise you risk distracting your viewer (producer or casting director) from the main event: you. Don’t let the person behind the camera try any artsy or fancy camera movements. Chances are, it will just look off-putting and clumsy.

Listen carefully to the start of the piece and make a choice whether you’re sitting or standing throughout the scene.

10. Shooting
Unless instructed, shoot every scene separately—they can all be edited together afterward. Getting to put your best performance on tape is an awesome opportunity! You no longer have to deal with those awkward transitions between scenes that you can’t escape in a live audition. It can be tough in an in-person audition to go from the scene where you’re begging for your life from the lunatic gunman to rattling off highly technical data as an engineer for robots in space.

Taped auditions allow you to shut off the camera and take as much time as you need to jump into a new scene, allowing you to truly capture and record examples of your best work ever.


Tips for Home Audition

Such a nice article you shared regarding home auditions but I want to suggest you that these are very basic tips, please share some more professional tips which help the voice over artists as well. I have a voice over agency and hiring for professional voice over talent. So, if you'll share the professional voice over artist's tips then I think it will be more helpful for hiring talented voice over artists. You can check my site for more information: https://voiceovers.com/.

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