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Saturday September 26

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Monthly Audition Contest!

Archived contests

Contest ending Monday, August 31

Contest Title:

Crabtree & Evelyn

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated commercial audition for Crabtree and Evelyn:  We are seeking a soothing tone with a spirited and engaging persona to pair with the launch of this year's holiday season spots, promoting our new luxury body care line, airing November 3 through January 2. We want our audience to feel as if they are at a spa speaking with someone who is excited about our products. Slate C&E, Holiday Audition, 2020, first name, last name initial (for this simulated audition, you can substitute your username in place of your first name and last name initial if you're more comfortable).

Script:

Give comfort and joy. Little luxuries make life sweeter. Holiday gifts, candles, fragrance, body and bath care. Crabtree & Evelyn. Everyday luxuries. Beautiful gifts.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, nadiaverde, BrookeLonegan, and FredVO.   Faced with a script that posed several interesting challenges, our winners got into the spirit of making this Holidays spot as personal as it should be. We had some good also-rans, too.  Here are some tips to help you raise your performance level along with the holiday spirit.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
Practice listing items distinctly, yet making them all flow.  This script consists of many words and short phrases isolated by commas and periods. This typically prompts voice actors to pause between each item. But in everyday conversation (the vocal style requested by the Director), people naturally connect list items.  Many people had difficulty with this as they either sounded choppy because they paused between the list items, or they ran the list items together without necessary clarification of each item.  

To properly highlight each item, one option is to communicate the comma by adding variety to each item in "Holiday gifts, candles, fragrance, body and bath care."  In fact, you can use this technique for the entire spot.  Treat each phrase as a different type of statement, calling for a different emotion in your voice (even if subtle).  If you take this route, you may modify your script to look like this: 
  •  Give comfort and joy.     Thoughtful, caring
  • Little luxuries make life sweeter.   Humor, spirited
  • Crabtree & Evelyn.     Proud, with a smile
  • Everyday luxuries.    Rich, engaging
  • Beautiful gifts.       Feeling Generous
These are just examples. You may have other choices, even better ones.
Another option is to change your pitch on each item.
Whatever option you use, this is a time to use your stylistic "ammo." 

EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
 
Take care to enunciate. Yet sound natural.  In everyday conversation, some people articulate their words, others tend to mumble. And when we rush, we are likely to drop sounds or mumble even more.  That's okay in conversation – people can ask you to repeat.  And although it's never good, in long narration the listener might get the sense from context or repeated use of the word.  But in a short commercial like this, not communicating clearly will be deadly.  Here are some examples from this month's reads:
  • Is it "Eve-lyn" or "Ev-lyn" or "Eveh-lyn"?  Mispronouncing it might not cost you the audition, since if they select you, the client can set you straight. But showing familiarity with the client and their product could be helpful.  How can you know? Well, you could call them up and listen to their outgoing telephone message, or ask the receptionist. Or search "Crabtree and Evelyn commercial" on Google or YouTube and learn from their advertising.  We checked this and heard one British commercial, where they pronounce Evelyn differently (Eve-lyn).  We also found that a lot of their videos have no sound, because they are actually demonstrations of the company's digital signage. But, aha, we also found some American English commercials that say "Eveh-Lyn."  So you should have, too.
  • Say "gifts" not "gifs."  This is even more a potential problem with some other subjects, since image GIFs are a thing.
  • Pronounce the T's in "2020," don't say "twenny-twenny."  It could be confusing, but in any case, it sounds sloppy. Slow down just a smidge if necessary and take care to pronounce the "T".  If the result sounds too loud or contrived, then lower the volume a bit on that sound. (Things like this are yet another reason to practice your reading and software skills daily.)
  • For "C&E" say "C and E," not "C-N-E."  It's the client's name, so get it right. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
Slate as directed.   When there is no slating direction, the decision as to whether to slate, how and when is up to you.  But when the audition direction includes slating instructions as detailed as this one does, you MUST slate exactly as directed. Otherwise, the client may consider you unable to take direction, or not yet a professional, or not respectful of their time.  Many people did not slate as directed. 
 
In addition to our three winners, here are some honorable mentions that you can learn from…
 
trev93   Overall, his pacing is good, his enunciation is good, and he has a dynamite voice.  Technically, he didn't pronounce the "Ts" in "2020" nor the "T" in the first "gifts."   He sped up a little on "Crabtree and Evelyn." If anything, the client's name should be a bit slower, to make sure it sticks.  Maybe harder to fix, the lack of spirit and engagement. It doesn't sound like he's speaking naturally to someone, and as excited as the client requested.  His recording quality is very good.  
 
aarnett  He has a terrific voice, and hit all the directives.  Well, except that he loses the smile on the last few words (and loses the T in "gifts"), which is a downer.  Remember to stay in character. (If you tend to lose energy at the end of sentences or the end of the script, sometimes it helps to lengthen the script with a few more words. Just be sure to delete them before sending the audition/job to your client.) At the beginning, too, he gives a bad impression, by extending the slate ("Hi there"), and compounding that faux pas by omitting the rest of the requested slate.   Then he adds the words "This year" to the beginning of the script.  None of this is good.  In fact, it's very bad, but as we said, much of it is rather easily corrected.  Recording quality is good.
 
ilana612  The middle of her read is nice. It's spirited, conversational, and natural sounding.  But her slate sounds like "C-N-E." Also, she misses the "T"s in "2020" and the first "gifts."  She's also too melodramatic on the opening and closing sentences.  Recording quality is acceptable.

1st place winner: nadiaverde

310 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear nadiaverde's recording

By the second sentence, she finds her stride, and it's excellent. She hit all the directives (engaging, excited, spirited).  But entry into the script falls short. The first word ("Give") is fast enough that listeners likely won't decipher it, especially once mixed with music. Remember that the listener to a commercial is not hanging on for the next word, let alone necessarily paying attention as you begin.  And then the first sentence lacks enough enthusiasm.  She should have used a "lead-in" (a few words that might logically be said before the script's first line) as a warm-up, rather than warming up on the first sentence of the script. And, alas, she misses the "T" sound in both "gifts."   Recording quality is somewhat okay, but there's a bit of noise. This includes mouth noise, because she is a bit too close to the mic.  None of these are major technical faults, but collectively they cause an audition reviewer to have concerns.   

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/NVerde C&E.mp3

2nd place winner: FredVO

244 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear FredVO's recording

He hit the qualities prescribed in the Director's Notes: engaging, natural, and spirited. But the client's abbreviated name in the slate (C and E) sounds like "C-N-E."  He's also missing the "T" sound in many words (for example, "gifts," "2020," and "comfort"), and runs through the first sentence too quickly.  Recording quality is okay.

Free webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/edge 200807.mp3

3rd place winner: BrookeLeslie

191 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear BrookeLeslie's recording

She met all the directives, but her vocal delivery is a bit too perfect, causing the tone to be slightly less than conversational.  If she had ad-libbed her way through it by adding some extra dialog (with clean breaks), then deleted the ad-libs, she probably would have tied first place.  Oh, and she, too, made "C & E" sound like C-N-E.   Recording quality is good. 

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/BrookeLonegan_August.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Monday, August 31 click below

Contest ending Friday, July 31

Contest Title:

Stained Glass

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a documentary series on Tiffany Stained Glass Windows. We are looking for a smooth, easy read with few pauses. Imagine the vibrant colors and intricate details of the stained glass as you read. Please slate with either your first and last name or username at the beginning.

Script:

By 1888, there was a good dollop of whimsy in the creative world. And when it came to designing decorative glass, like this extraordinary pane of Tiffany opalescent glass, it was easy to extend the quest for realism into the realm of animal forms.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, sarahannan, tomnunes, and barbarafaison@yahoo.com.   They did a great job of doing nothing special … so to speak. As many a voice actor knows, that's harder than it sounds. The Director's Notes said the client wants, "a smooth, easy read with few pauses."  In other words, the script should be read casually, not dramatically.  Read the way people calmly talk, without any special drama or artificiality.  What does that mean?  Listen to your friends in conversation.  With most of them, you'll probably note that they pause much less often then a budding voice actor is likely to do.  If you can master the basics of VO (like clarity, understanding the script, and technical quality), this "naturalness" ability gets you 90% of the way to a great read.  Here are some tips on how to get that quality, and some of the other 10%. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
Understand the script.  Do you have a good handle on what you're talking about?  Not really knowing what you are saying is often what leads you to miss the mark. For example, many people read in a choppy manner (even though the Director's Notes explicitly specified "smooth.) Some read with a sing-song style.  Yet others got too theatrical.  
 
So before you start, think it through. Maybe even Google the subject.  You'll usually find helpful clues in just a few minutes. It's important for many reasons:
 
1. Knowing what you are saying tells you what thoughts and words to hit.  For example, many people emphasized the word "world." But why? Think about the two key reasons for emphasizing a word or short phrase: a) It spotlights what the text is about (such as a key point or product name), or b) It contrasts the word with some other word before or after it.  Does "world" fit this pattern? No.  Better candidates for emphasis would be "whimsy" (what the script is about), or "creative" (contrasting the creative world with, say, the scientific world).  
 
2. It's about confidence.  This is where understanding the overall script comes in – how is "whimsy" relevant? At first glance, it would seem contradictory, since at the end, the script is talking about "realism."  Aren't "whimsicality" and "realism" opposites?  So part of your job is to figure this out. 
 
We're not art historians, but it seems the most logical explanation is that the author means "whimsy" not as "unrealistic," but in the sense of "unrestricted inventiveness" or "originality." The Tiffany artists were masters of representing floral and scenic shapes with colored glass. With these artists' experience at trying new things, it would be easy for them to do the same with animal shapes. Bingo!  Now you're ready to talk smoothly and effortlessly, as if you know what you're talking about. Because you do.
 
3. When you know what you're saying, you can talk from the heart. This helps make you sound more interesting.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
 
Another thing you should do before you start reading: Relax.  Relax your mind. Relax your body.  Relax your throat.  Tension of any sort comes across in your voice, keeping you from achieving the "easy," vocally free sound that this Director wants.  In fact, most casting professionals listen for this, although usually they don't tell you in their directive.  It's just something a professional voice actor should know how to do.  It will take some practice, but understanding the goal is a major start.  Follow through by feeling confident in your ability to communicate. (See Tip #1.) To help relax your body, you might learn the basics of various techniques, such as yoga, Pilates, or the Alexander Technique.  To help relax your voice, learn how to avoid vocal fry and glottal stops.  
 
These pages are good places to start:
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
Be sure your speech is technically correct.  Take care to enunciate every sound that is normally pronounced, without exaggerating.  Practice at that, record and play it for a trusted (honest) friend.  Did they understand every word correctly? Did any spots sound awkward or not like normal speech?  
 
And this part is harder, but also important: Did you pronounce everything correctly?  For example, even some of our winners mispronounced "opalescent." This, too, is sometimes a result of not really knowing what you're talking about. "Opalescent" is not about opulence. It's about appearance; it looks like an opal.  So the "O" sound is long.
 
Many authoritative sites provide clickable pronunciation recordings.  Below are some good links.  Beware of YouTube videos (one actually says "OHple sent"!) and crowd-sourced answers.  Also watch out for differences between British and American English accents and usages. And beware of robotic voices.  Check more than one source. We favor all on this list.  And, of course, there's the old fashioned way: Read a dictionary's phonetic pronunciation: oh-puh-les-uhnt

1st place winner: sarahannan

327 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear sarahannan's recording

 A very good performance. She has an exceptionally natural manner. It's easy, yet confident, suggesting that she fully understands the subject, and is simply telling us what she knows and we do not.  And she adds some variety in her pacing, without exaggeration or undue hesitation.  She's just talking, with a hint of friendly smile in her voice, especially on "good dollop," which is – after all – kind of a fun phrase.  Recording quality is good.

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $275 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/HannanJulyAuditionContest.mp3

2nd place winner: tomnunes

255 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear tomnunes's recording

He's very good, and delivers the very "easy" read that the Director asked for.  Only a few rough spots:  His slight hesitation after "whimsy" is unnecessary, and, coming right after a longer pause after "1888," it signals a certain choppiness.  His pauses later in the read are not uncommon in narration, but could be minimized or one of them omitted, to give the read even more of the requested "smooth, easy" quality. His mispronunciation of "opalescent" is easily fixed once pointed out by the client … but what if the client doesn't notice?   Recording quality is good.

Free webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Tiffany Stained Glass - Tom Nunes.mp3

3rd place winner: barbarafaison@yahoo.com

220 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear barbarafaison@yahoo.com's recording

Very good, in that she delivered what was requested.  But she should have left a smidge more space at the comma after "like this extraordinary pane of Tiffany opalescent glass."  One reason is to set the thought apart for the listener, as suggested by the commas. Another reason is to let the engineer insert some more space there, if necessary to sync the video and audio.  But we do like the natural way she said it.   She mispronounced "opalescent," and the last syllable of "animal" is a little rushed and light, and once covered with sound effects and or music (which are likely to be the case), it may sound like "anim forms." Recording quality is good, except for a bit of noise (probably electronic noise, possibly from low-end equipment or improper settings) that becomes more apparent since it is gated out with a quick "on" setting rather than a smoother release time.

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Edge studio Contest - Barbara Faison 7.25.20.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Friday, July 31 click below

Contest ending Tuesday, June 30

Contest Title:

General Mills On Hold

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for General Mill's main phone line. We are looking for a fun, hype personality, one that is recognizable, will generate smile, and excitement, and hunger. One take only, slate first initial and last name OR username at the end.

Script:

Thank you for calling General Mills. While we connect you with someone who can help, let's talk about Cheerios and fruit!... Yeah you heard that right!, fruit, REAL fruit! It's Berry Burst Cheerios. Wish you had some while on-hold? 

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, lanedj, kellycoalsonvo, and RiverSpeaks.  This week was especially interesting for our casting team.  Of the many entries, we narrowed it down to six finalists.  All six had good qualities, but none of the six reads was perfect.  Some of the downside moments were specific to the directives given for this script, but some of the errors were classics.  So we'll diverge from our usual format and look in detail at all six, with tips based on both their strengths and weakness.  Heeding these tips will improve your chances of making more shortlists yourself.

First a note about the casting process. The process of selecting a voice actor is both technical and artistic.  Often a casting person will overlook a minor flaw if the performance indicates that the person will be able to correct it.  In such cases, part of the process is the overall impression.   

Which brings us to the flaws in this audition.  There are many to mention.  We're not just nitpicking.  In real casting sessions everywhere and everyday, errors like these lose voice actors the job. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:

Make certain your read meets EVERY creative requirement.  The direction for this script included the requirements:   Fun.  Check; all our finalists sounded like they were excited by the product.  Hype. Sometimes hype means super-salesy. But probably not in this instance. Here the client likely wanted a little extra energy.  Recognizable. Almost surely this doesn't mean to imitate someone famous. Rather the client meant they're seeking a voice actor who has a voice type and/or a voice delivery that is unique enough that customers will immediately associate it with their company.  Generate smile. Here the client wants a voice actor who gets customers smiling. Draw in the listener, get them smiling, even get them slightly chuckling.  Excitement. This is kind of a combination of some of the above, which means this quality is very important to the client.  And Hunger. See next points.
 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:  

Learn the basics of VO, and remember that the casting team assumes you'll incorporate them into your delivery - so the audition instructions might not mention them. When busy at work (which is usually the case), a casting professional is likely to look for errors or weak moments in auditions as reasons to cast marginal people out. 

Many (almost all) voice actors in this audition had these errors:

  • Pronounce final consonants. Even among our finalists, MANY people failed at this.  A major example is the word "fruit." It often sounded like "froo."  Suppose you're a casual listener, not knowing what the subject is, and someone starts talking about "froo."  Every moment you spend wondering, "Froo?  What's froo?" is time that you're not absorbing the client's message. Then, once you catch on, continually hearing "froo" can even become unintentionally comical.  Or worse – you might misunderstand the voice actor altogether.  Can you spot the missing "T" sound in this statement? "I could drive really well if it weren't for my head lice."

    Likewise, nearly all voice actors missed the "T" on "burst." Thus the product sounded like "Berry Burse."

    The word "hold" often sounded like "whole."

    And "help" often sounded like "hell."

    How can a client trust a voice actor who, in a 15-second passage, is so unclear?  So review your recordings before submitting them to clients. Make sure your words will be clear listeners who haven't seen the script (so their brains don't tell them what to hear). Then make sure key words are even more clear if music and sound effects may be mixed over them.

  •  Slate EXACTLY as instructed.  This week's directions were very specific: AFTER your read, slate your FIRST INITIAL and last name, or your username. All our finalists got the first-initial or username thing right, but -- like half a dozen other entrants -- several of them slated BEFORE their read. THIS IS NOT A MINOR MATTER! Yours is not to second-guess the client's reason, but here's a bit of insight.  One of the ways we compared reads was to compare one sentence at a time, by clicking on the recording's wave form. When the person slated first, that messed up our procedure. It's not nice to mess up the casting screener. There are at least half a dozen other reasons why it matters. One of them is that if you can't follow such a simple instruction, you may be a hassle on the actual job.
 
  • Check your volume.   THREE of these finalists had very low volume.  Rather than constantly change the volume back and forth, which is annoying and in a forgetful moment could damage our ears or our speakers, we made a special effort to bring their volume into an acceptable range.  If you know the tech part of this, a volume of -25 dB is too low for an audition (unless the instructions specify).  Auditions typically peak at -5 dB. Some consider -3 dB or even -1 dB as a competitive edge. In any case, NEVER go over 0 (that is, never go into the red), at any point of your process.  This is not super technical – anyone running a home studio should take the few minutes to learn about this.  But another way to judge is simply to listen.  Find a recording that you know is recorded at a professional level.  Play that file on your computer, using whatever player you like. Then play your audition, without adjusting your speakers' volume.  Is your recording in the same range of volume?  Great!  If not, find out where your volume went wrong, and either start over or raise your recording's volume to suit. 
 
  •  Be accurate.  Don't change the script. Don't add to your slate anything that's not requested.  And "proof-listen" when you're done. That is, listen word-for-word as you follow the script. Did you leave out a word? Or mispronounce one?  For example, some people, instead of saying "General Mills" said "General Miles."  Others said, "General Meals."  
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:  

Among those who didn't make our shortlist, there were other issues. Here are a few that they, and anyone, should be able to correct or improve.

Either too lackluster (boring) or way over the top.  Adding energy to your read takes practice, maybe also some coaching as to what to practice on. But here are two things that help: Care about what you're talking about.  You can boost your physical energy a bit by wiggling a bit before you start reading. Or hop once or twice. (Before your read, not during it.) Or use a lead-in.  And, if appropriate to the script, smile!

As for "over the top," that line is sometimes hard to draw.  It's important to stand out from the crowd. But how much is "too much"?  The answer to this often lies in the answer to "is it real"?  

Make it real.  That's why it's called voice acting.  Try to avoid stereotypes and fake emotions.  When you smile, make it a real smile – really feel it.  You may require some help, study, and feedback.  But you can start by playing your recording for a trusted, candid friend. Does your read really sound like you would sound in the script situation?  Or did you turn into an announcer, crazy person or quiet nebbish?  

The bottom line to all this is, of course, did the read interest us and make us hungry to try Berry Burst Cheerios? 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

brandonhausen   His read was too fast. So fast, in fact, that "while we connect you" sounds like "why we connect you" and "who can help" sounds like "who can hell."  Almost unintentionally comically, he never put the "T" on "fruit."  Rather, sometimes he ended the word with a glottal stop (a sudden closing of the airway), or it sounded simply like "froo."   Another downer was that he extended the slate by adding the word "audition."  We can't imagine the purpose in that, and when slating instructions are even so specific as to ask for only the talent's first initial instead of first name, taking such a liberty can be annoying.   And, most annoying of all, although the audio was clear, it was very low in volume (about -24 dB). 
 
Ryan Duncan A Voice  He's pretty stilted in the beginning. But as we were about to stop listening, and move on to the next recording, he opened up and spoke more naturally.  Only slightly stilted, he had the fun, variety, personality, and other engaging qualities we wanted. We are especially pleased with the way he punched "fruit" – including the T sound, without overdoing it. But at a couple points, he sounds like he's holding back, which gives his enthusiasm something of an artificial quality. Overall, if he stops thinking about what he's doing and instead just naturally enjoys talking about the subject -- he'll sound even better.   His recording volume is inconsistent. The audio quality otherwise is fine.

Sheldon Roberts  He slates at the beginning, not as directed.  So right away, his presentation is off to a bad start.  The read itself is nice.  His personality emerges further as the spot goes on.  We really like the chuckle at the end. But we don't understand why he hit the word "that." It suggests he doesn't really get the point of what he's saying (see article above).  Although he does finish the word "fruit" with a slight T sound in all cases (acceptably), there's no "T" on "Burst."  Hey! That's the brand name – very important to get it right. Recording quality is good.

arwilliamsvo   A bit slow at the start, her personality picks up as she goes.   But she is missing many of the ending consonants, such as the T on "fruit."  There are other examples: "hold" sounds like "hole."  "Help" sounds like "hell." The recording is clear but very "flangy" – distorted.  A look at the wave form suggests that either it was badly compressed or very much over-modulated.  The result is excessive sibilance, which isn't good. 

nadiaverde   She conveys sufficient personality with her pleasant manner.   We like that she sounds comfortable when reading … not stilted, not contrived, doesn't sound like she is over-thinking every move.  The result is a nice, natural feel.  But there's no "T" on "burst."  Her recording is clear, but significantly low in level, almost as low as some others.  

1st place winner: lanedj

420 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear lanedj's recording

A very good performance, that we suspect he can improve with direction. While he hits all the characteristics requested, he's too fast on the first word ("Thank you").  Also, there's no "t" on "fruit," but somehow his timing allows the listener to catch his drift.   After the greeting, he goes into an interesting, almost confidential, whisper.  It adds terrific character and interest in an appealing way.  But he stays in that whisper too long (dragging it out a bit too long). All in all, it seems that in a new take he could sound more "normal" yet still excited. Recording quality is very good.

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/lanedj_audition_contest_june.mp3

2nd place winner: kellycoalsonvo

358 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear kellycoalsonvo's recording

Fun personality, creative, variety. All good stuff. She does something unusual with the phrase "let's talk about Cheerios and fruit." Slowing down on "let's talk about, then a micro-pause before hitting "and fruit!" really punches the fruit angle. It's different, and sometimes this is good. She says "Cheerios" as if it's been mentioned before … which, in this phone message, of course it has not. But then she nicely sells the fruit aspect, so, okay. There's no "T" on "burst." We weren't too pleased with her closing line. It seemed too quick and sort of fell flat. Then we realized -- she left out the word "while"! It even changes the meaning. Her recording is clear but way too low in level (-20 to -24 dB and sometimes even quieter). In some real audition situations, such a low level might not even merit a listen. Even if heard, if the client needs the job recorded from talent's own studio, can her technical skills be trusted to get it right?

Free DAW webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/GeneralMills_BBC_kellycoalsonvo.mp3

3rd place winner: RiverSpeaks

374 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear RiverSpeaks's recording

Good in some ways, not in others.  He pleasantly delivers a lots of personality. But he sounds aggravated in "Yeah, you heard that right, fruit."  Ordinarily this alone might have cost him this win, because it is likely NOT the personality a client wants to convey, but this tone was only used for a moment.  He admirably pronounces the "T" on "fruit." But he misses the "T" on "Burst" in the product name.  But suddenly all is redeemed by what comes next -- he scores VERY high for eating cereal: brilliant, personality, unique, superb. So okay, he squeaked in.  But even then, his recording gets iffy … He's a bit too close to the mic, causing some distortion.   And then the really annoying technical faux pas is his slate.  It was separately recorded, off-mic, either with reverb added or a resonant room, and there's a clunk in it.  Did he forget to slate and add it at the last minute?  Is this his usual practice (aka, "branding")? Clearly he can produce better, since he added the crunches well.  Not only does the unconventional, technically deficient slate open several cans of worms, a conventional slate would have let him convey a bit more of his personality, perhaps demonstrating that he doesn't always sound so cynical. 

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/berryburstcherios_01.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Tuesday, June 30 click below

Contest ending Friday, May 29

Contest Title:

Acadia National Park

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a local tourism board.  We're seeking a conversational read - it should sound like you are describing the night sky to a friend or family member.  We do NOT want an announcer.  Yet our goal is to increase the number tourists, thus your delivery needs to intrigue and convey someone to visit our website to learn more.

 

Script:

Here, among the many aspects of natural beauty in Acadia National Park, is the legendary view of the starry night sky, which provides stunning views of the Milky Way to thousands.  Visit Acadiamagic.com to learn more.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, thomas@wtdunn.com, Rich Summers, and Fleece.  The Director's Notes called for a conversational read – no announcing – and they delivered.  Here are some tips on how to improve your read and make it more "one-to-one" even when, like the Milky Way, you are actually reaching people by the thousands.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
Think about your point of view.  Where are you, and who are you talking to?   By behaving as if you are actually talking to the listener, you'll help maintain the intended energy in your delivery, without making it seem artificial.  By comparison, many people sounded listless, while others sounded theatrical.  Either extreme hurts the sense of reality.  And overdoing the sense of awe sounded like the listener couldn't see the sky for themselves.  
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
Let your personality come through.  Here at EdgeStudio.com, we've long said "Nobody sounds exactly like you."  Well, what's true of your voice is also true of your personality.  You can change personality by acting, but your own personal personality is ready-made! And like your voice, it's pretty unique. 
 
So … let your guard down. Speak the way you really feel about stars, the heavens, or any infinitely awesome things or events – whatever in life makes you feel the way you would feel while looking at "stunning views of the Milky Way."  For further inspiration, you can find a photo or two online.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
Read smoothly, not choppily.  Choppiness is a major reason for rejecting an audition.  Why? Because amateurs tend to pause too often, or unnecessarily, or illogically.  As a result, the read sounds artificial.  In fact, it sounds like reading, not conversation. For example, the first word of the script: "Here,".   Yes, there's a comma after it, and commas generally indicate that the writer intended a pause.  But a pro knows to consider two other, uh, considerations.  
1) Many people pause unnecessarily after the first word, whether there's a comma or not. That's a bad habit – to build listener attention and interest, usually it's best to read without pausing there. Wait till you've voiced a complete thought. (For example, "Chicago is not very hilly" is a complete thought. You wouldn't pause after "Chicago.")  So, even though there's a comma after "Here," the pause should be very short, or no pause at all.  
2) The other consideration is, "What kind of comma is it?" In this case, there are two possibilities. It may just be grammatical, setting off the prepositional phrase. Indeed, it is.  
So take a good breath and read straight through to the word "Park." 
 
NOTE: Sometimes a scriptwriter will include pause points so that the audio can be easily synchronized with the video.  The Director's Notes don't say whether this is a TV commercial, or a radio commercial, or a web or YouTube video, or what. But the nature of the words suggests that there is a video element. It will probably be a stunning view of the night sky. But it's very unlikely that the writer intends to show a long establishing shot accompanied by the lackluster word "Here…".
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #4:
When auditioning, take care to follow professional standards.  Is your audio level (the volume of your recording) correct?  Several recordings were way too quiet. To check your level, play back a commercial recording on your system, then – without changing any settings – play yours.  If yours is a lot softer, re-create the file after setting a proper audio level. And next time you record, check your level at every step of the recording and post-recording process.
 
Another error made by at least one person was the addition of music.  Unless specifically requested by the audition directions, do not add music or sound effects to your audition.  It's very unprofessional, and could inconvenience the casting team.  Suppose they want to play their own music behind your read? 
 
This time, slating was hard to get wrong, because the Director's Notes didn't say whether or not to slate. In that case, the decision to slate is up to the talent. So is the issue of whether to slate at the start, or at the end. At the start, it could distract the audition screener from your read.  But maybe you want to be sure they have your name, not just your username.  In that case, we suggest slating at the end, and keeping it simple: just your name.  No ad libs, no happy talk, no titles, etc. The client knows what you're auditioning for.  That said, when audition instruction is given, you should slate exactly as instructed.

1st place winner: thomas@wtdunn.com

554 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear thomas@wtdunn.com's recording

He nailed it, sounding very natural. It really sounds like he's talking naturally, rather than reading a script. In fact, the -- the cracks in his voice (for example, the word "thousands") contribute a "real person" effect.  He seems personally excited about it, and is compelling to others.  Granted, he does pause after the first word ("Here,"), and above, we just explained why that might not be the best choice, BUT a) he reads the rest of the spot smoothly, pausing only at commas, yet without sounding rushed; and, b) he says "here" in quirky way.  This makes it sound both personal and interesting, and that makes all the difference.  There are two mishaps:  He swallows the "c" at the end of the domain name, making it sound like "Acadiamagih-dot-com" (The solution to this is to say the "K" sound so that it releases the slightest bit of air …  NOT so much that it sounds like "magikuh.") The other thing is that he doesn't resolve the last phrase ("to learn more"). That is, it sounds like there was more to the last sentence, or another sentence to follow, and he cut it off.   The recording's technical quality is good.  

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Thomas Dunn-Acadia National Park.mp3

2nd place winner: Rich Summers

425 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Rich Summers's recording

Another very natural read.  In fact, his hushed tone makes him sound like he's showing someone the sights, and speaking at low volume to avoid disturbing the nature around them.  Or maybe he's at a campsite, telling a story.  Or maybe he always sounds like this.  In any case, it works.  But his pauses are too long, and he failed to voice the first word ("Here,") altogether!  He, too, didn't voice the "K" sound at the end of the domain name ("magic").  It would likely be lost once mixed with music.   Recording quality is good.   

Free DAW webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/AcadiaMagic_RichSummers.mp3

3rd place winner: Fleece

324 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Fleece's recording

A very natural read. We like it because it's unpresuming, rather humble, not at all like an announcer.  In tone, it might be that of a matter-of-fact librarian or scientist.  But the downside of that is that it's not very intriguing. Librarians and scientists are allowed to enjoy their subjects!  So wear a smile, and heed our advice (above) about spontaneity.  It's also slightly disjointed at times. For example, she hesitates after "beauty," pauses after "view," pauses again after "Way" and yet again after ".com".  And, like our other winners, she buries the hard C sound at the end of "magic."   Recording quality is good. 

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Fleece audition Acadia National Park.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Friday, May 29 click below

Contest ending Thursday, April 30

Contest Title:

International Reading Association

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a PSA: We are looking for a smooth, conversational, and confident read. Channel your favorite teacher or librarian who genuinely believes in the importance of early literacy and universal education rights for children. 

 

Script:

Children have a right to appropriate early reading instruction based on their individual needs. International Reading Association – making a difference means making it different.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, Grainne, e.mariecox , and aoatley.  No read was perfect, but all our winners showed something special, yet different, so there's much to learn in this article on where, when and how to strengthen your reads.
 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
Convey precisely the persona that the client requests. The Director's Notes said to sound "genuine." Generally this means speaking in your natural voice, at natural volume, in a natural way.  In contrast, many people missed some element of "naturalness."  Some were over-the-top dramatic, which in voice-over might mean they're simply trying too hard, but in the real world would sound very insincere, or sarcastic, or just odd.  Some people went to the other extreme and sounded so casual and carefree, it was as if they didn't care about the point they are making. Yet others spoke so slowly that they sounded condescending.  
 
To get a feeling for "real," try this: Just talk with a friend and (with their knowledge) record a bit of the conversation. Make it long enough that you both forget this is an experiment, and you have an actual conversation. Don't wear headphones, don't work the mic, none of that. The point is to talk as you normally do. Is that how your VO recording sounds? In this case, it should.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
Think about how you feel. The Director's Notes said to "channel your favorite teacher or librarian," who is "smooth, conversational, and confident."  The word "channel" doesn't always mean to imitate or effect a voice that's not your own. There's no call for a "character voice" in that sense.  Here, your "character" is more of a mindset, the way you express emotions. After all, the way we convey emotions in everyday life helps defines our individual character. What is the mindset of a librarian or teacher, as opposed to your own at a microphone? How can you feel like them, and convey feelings as they would?

Some entrants worked hard at disguising their natural voice to sound like a stereotypical teacher or librarian. They sounded unnatural. And they acted themselves out of this audition.  
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
Analyze the script to determine the message(s) the client wants conveyed ... and ensure it is conveyed.  In this case, the tag line is your first clue: "Making a difference means making it different."  That's a nice play of words, comparing and contrasting "difference" and "different." But what does it mean?  Aha, earlier there is the phrase "based on their individual needs." That is the core of the message. Some people sped through one or both of these phrases as if they didn't know what they were saying.  Others didn't take care to be sure the listener would catch every word.  Either way, the message was not prominently conveyed to listeners. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #4:
 
Do your best to sound – and be – professional.  We recognize that this contest is not a real audition situation, that some of our entrants are novices, and that this is also a coaching situation, so we listen to every entry.  In a real audition, where the casting pro could have hundreds of submissions to screen, each recording may get just a few seconds before deciding whether or not to move on. And, if at any point in the recording you sound like you'd be extra work for them, they're likely to click the "Next!" button.  So, these reminders:
  • Slate as instructed. If no slating instruction is given, a slate may not be necessary, or you might put it at the end. Keep it simple. In an online environment, your name will do.
  • Improve your audio.  It doesn't cost much these days to set yourself up with basic broadcast-quality equipment, and there are easy ways to improve the acoustics of any space.  To get up to speed on what you will need, consider taking our Home Studio 101 webinar. [https://www.edgestudio.com/voice-over-home-studio-101 ]  This page in our blog files will also be helpful: 10 Tips for a Successful Home Audition.  [ https://www.edgestudio.com/blogs/10-tips-for-successful-home-audition ]
  • Don't submit multiple takes that sound similar, and don't add music or special effects.  If you have equally impressive reads that are very different from each other, it may make sense to include both.  (Precede your first read with "Two takes," or the second take may never be noticed.) Don't describe them; they will speak for themselves. What wastes casting teams' time is hearing two very similar reads – it suggests that the voice actor doesn't have range, can't make a professional decision, or doesn't hear how alike they are. As for unrequested music and sound effects, they do not belong in an audition.

 

1st place winner: Grainne

470 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Grainne's recording

A pleasant read.  In our American environment, her British accent may have a bit of "unfair advantage," in that many Americans subconsciously associate the accent with education. But much more important, she sounds very natural and genuine. At times she sounds a little stiff, but a teacher or librarian might sound like that. We especially like the way she spoke the tag line with clarity and understanding. But she rushed the first word of the client name ("International"). Client and product names are always super-important.  Recording quality is good.

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/EdgeStudioContest_GrainneNoel.mp3

2nd place winner: e.mariecox

399 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear e.mariecox's recording

She has a nice, bright happiness in her manner, with nice variety, too. She sounds like a librarian who is enthusiastic about this.  But she spoke too fast throughout, and especially in the last line, so that the words "difference" and "different" sounded … the same. On the technical side, her recording space has too much resonance. We hear some popping. And the audio signal isn't clean, which could be due to a low-end microphone, or maybe she was not positioned on-axis with the mic, or her post-processing settings were wrong. Three audio-quality technicalities would possibly lose her the job.

Free DAW webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/ErinCoxContestPSA.mp3

3rd place winner: aoatley

374 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear aoatley's recording

He sounds like a librarian – not pushy or presumptuous, but rather quiet, almost as if he's talking next to the "Sh-h-h" sign.  But this causes him to lack the other requested quality – confidence. And it keeps him from sounding totally conversational. He read "International Reading Association" exactly as he had said the previous sentence, so it would not be apparent to a listener (who has no script) that this is the advertiser, not the start of another sentence. Just a bit more energy, more smile and hitting the word "Reading" instead of "International" would help fix that. (After all, this about "reading," no?) In contrast, he did a good job of clearly contrasting the words "difference" and "different." Otherwise, his pronunciations need attention, being a tad slurry at times.  Recording quality is good. 

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Audition International reading assoc 2.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Thursday, April 30 click below

Contest ending Tuesday, March 31

Contest Title:

Six Flags Great Adventure

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated TV commercial audition for Six Flags Great Adventure. Keep in mind this is a family adventure theme park, so the music will be thrilling and the visuals will be of exhilarating and exciting rides and more.  Slate name or username after the read. 

Script:

Kids hate the word NO. As in NO you can’t borrow the car. NO you can't stay up late. NO, NO, NO! Well isn’t it time for a YES?  We think so.  Six Flags Great Adventure. Yes! 

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, MikeinGA, jorgensenvocals , and leannedavisvoice.  To borrow a word from this months' script, "Yes!"  We had a lot of nice entries, but these especially stood out. THAT'S  A KEY ELEMENT IN MOST AUDITIONS: TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. Here's what we mean by that, with some tips on how to properly differentiate yourself for a competitive advantage.


EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:

Stand out from the crowd. But how do you do this while providing the client what they requested?  Simple: avoid getting so caught up following the Director's Notes that you forget to demonstrate your natural voice and natural vocal personality -- because everyone is unique. Then, unless the Director specifically requests something specific, have fun, play it up, and avoid what you suspect everyone else will do.

The blunt truth: As an experiment, we randomly took 10 auditions this month, made a recording of them all playing simultaneously, and listened back. At times, the playback sounded like a chorus. What does this mean? It means that most voice actors did the same thing. Most people read much of the script almost exactly the same way, varying only in speed or length of pauses. Especially the "Yes, yes, yes" part.  

Bear in mind that in a real-world audition, a casting screener hears audition after audition, after audition, after ... often more than a hundred of them.  In this monthly contest (which is a simulated audition), we listen to all the entries entirely. But if this were one of Edge Studio's real auditions, we'd do as other professional casting screeners do; if our first impression is, "Eh, nothing special" ... we move on to the next recording.

So absolutely: Stand out -- from the outset of your audition. Think about that first impression.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
Before recording, think about what you want to convey. What emotions can you express? What feeling do you want to elicit? Make it real, whether you are voicing a character, or are a spokesperson. That is, whether your voice and mannerisms are totally realistic, or exaggerated, make them credible. They should be founded in actual behavior and feelings – so that your listener believes them. There are many ways that actors go about this process. For some ideas you can use right away, and a starting point for exploring further, see our article, Method-to-Improv: What are the major acting techniques?  Ultimately, the best process is whatever works for you.

 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
Work up your energy. Many of the reads, although vocally competent, sounded like the person was simply reading. They technically read well. But they still fell flat. The problem? No energy. No emotional foundation. Following Tip #2 will help fix that, but here's a simple trick that will also get you ramped up a bit: Jump up a few times (careful of the mic!). Shake yourself loose. Catch your breath, then launch into the character or persona you have in mind. The reason this works is more than physical. It gets your mind out of "I'm an announcer in a vocal booth" mode.
 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #4:
 
Don't add music or sound effects. Talent screeners want to hear you. As professionals, they can imagine how you will sound with music. In fact, sometimes they might play music while listening to you. 

1st place winner: MikeinGA

431 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear MikeinGA's recording

Great! Everything the Director wanted. He's loose, vocally free, fun, creative, and terrific.  Just a little too fast on "We think so."  The reason for this is that the producer will likely show a "beauty shot" of people enjoying themselves at the park. That shot probably wouldn't begin until the word "Yes," so there needs to be time to establish that scene. An extra second would be helpful.  Recording quality is very good   

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $275 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Mike Tarnow six flags great adventure.mp3

2nd place winner: jorgensenvocals

342 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear jorgensenvocals's recording

He has all the elements the Director requested, except he's too slow. If he let loose and trusted himself, and stopped trying to sound good, this audition would be a-maaay-ziiiing.  One other important thing: the "T" is too light on "Great." Once mixed with music and sound effects, the client name will sound like "Gray Adventure."  Recording quality is very good. 

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See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Six Flags_JeffJorgensen.mp3

3rd place winner: leannedavisvoice

311 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear leannedavisvoice's recording

She has the foundation for a decent read: some variety, some playfulness, a nice range. But her audition often drags, because there are too many short hesitations between words, as well as long hesitations between phrases. These gaps make the flow unnatural, and prompt the listener to lose interest. Also the phrase "Well, isn't it time" is waaaay too fast and slurred; when mixed with music and sound effects (mentioned in the Director's Notes), these words will likely be indecipherable. The technical quality of her recording is generally okay, but very low in level and it has mouth clicks galore – which the audio engineer could remove, but probably would rather not have to. 

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/EdgeStudio Mar 2020.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Tuesday, March 31 click below

Contest ending Friday, February 28

Contest Title:

Crayola Wonder Marker

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a marker company: We are looking for a parent/caregiver figure; someone who is very patient and warm, and wants their children to feel like they can express themselves regardless of the mess. We want a natural sound, like you are giving advice to another parent/caregiver. 

Script:

Crayola Color Wonder Markers color only on special paper. So your kids can express their creativity more often...in more places...with less mess. Crayola Color Wonder. It starts with Crayola.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, Alenda, KristenPaige, and Cwenglowski.  They sounded like nice, friendly spokespeople for this children's play product.  Except there's a problem: The Director's Notes said to have "a natural sound, like you are giving advice to another parent/caregiver."  None of the entrants combined that quality with all the other qualities that casting professionals listen for, so if this were an actual audition, we'd probably post a new casting call. But our contest is also a learning and teaching experience, so let's look at ways to get closer to both marks.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
For each part of the direction, ask yourself, "What might the client really be seeking?" For example, with this audition, what about the "like you are giving advice to another parent/caregiver" stipulation?  It suggests to pretend the other caregiver is with you, in a real life setting, and that you should just say the script like you're talking with them.  Yes the script has a some parts that aren't the way people actually talk. (For example, nobody says "Crayola Color Wonder Markers," or adds a brand-name tag.)  But it's important to stay in character.  So for example, when you get to the brand name, you might point and read it slowly, like you're showing and reading it off the box.   Most entrants in this contest, including our winners, didn't convincingly sound as if they were talking with someone.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
 
Remember the VO basics.  First, there's the technical considerations: Having suggested that you speak like a real person, we should also note that although real people mumble, slur their speech, mispronounce words, sometimes speak too quickly, you should not do these things, unless truly appropriate. Many entrants slurred words, spoke too fast, mispronounced "often" (the dictionary's first option shows the T to be silent), and so on.  And there's the personality considerations: In genuine conversation, people are varied, spontaneous, and unpredictable. Many entrants sounded bored or subdued, paused unnaturally (too often, or after the first words), had the same manner and tone of voice regardless of what they were saying, and so on.  Consider this tip a variation on a classic definition of acting: "Seeming natural in an unnatural situation."  In VO, it's "Seeming natural as you take care to be heard and clearly understood."  
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
Follow the script, and – all our talk about natural delivery notwithstanding -- remember that this is a commercial. So consider what words should be hit and where you should and should not pause. Sometimes a copywriter will type a comma out of habit, or merely according to grammar.  They may use "…" and "—" and "" interchangeably. Or perhaps to each copywriter, they mean different things.  But you should assume the writer put conscious effort into the punctuation and expects you to heed it.  On the other hand, if no words are emphasized in the text, that's where you have choices to make.  For example, in the phrase "special paper," the word "special" is the distinctive point, so it's the word to hit, not "paper." The phrase "in more places" is set out by "…", so pause before and after.  And remember that if you add other pauses in too many places, the read will seem choppy and those specified pauses will lose their effect. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #4:
 
Check your volume. In digital recording, you never want your volume to exceed zero dB (in other words, don't go into the red, above 100%), so people often err slightly on the low side. But if your audition's final volume is very low, it seems, well, less impressive than one that has full volume.  It may also make you seem less professional.  Learn how to adjust volume on your hardware and software, to find the settings that are typically right for you. And do this test: When you make your final file, play it back and – without changing any settings -- compare it to other files that you know were professionally produced. Are the volumes comparable? (While you're at it, is yours centered between both speakers or headphones?) If not, review your procedures. 

1st place winner: Alenda

484 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Alenda's recording

A nice, friendly read, but not the friend-to-friend approach that the Director's Notes requested.  It sounds as if she's adding a smile to her voice. rather than being naturally happy and letting the smile occur naturally. She should trust that her vocal technique will be on-target, and then let loose, have fun, and enjoy the process.  The first word ("Crayola") is said slow and deliberately, which is generally good at the start of any read, because we need to capture the listener's attention and get their mind up to speed. But then she rushed "Color Wonder Markers" so that the overall effect is unnatural.  Loosening up will help with things like this, too.  The recording is noisy (do we hear the ticking of a mechanical stopwatch?), with mouth noise.

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Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Crayola Color Wonder 3.mp3

2nd place winner: KristenPaige

335 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear KristenPaige's recording

She, too, has a  "happy professional" sound, which doesn't meet the specified call for someone speaking naturally person-to-person, not announcer-to-audience.  To get rid of the rigid feel, she should have confidence in her vocal technique and let loose, having real fun.  When having fun, the smile occurs naturally.  Also, although many people (especially British) pronounce the T in "often," she should leave it silent. Even when the dictionary gives alternative pronunciations (as most do with "often"), the best practice is to use the first pronunciation given, unless there is a specific reason not to.  The recording quality is good, except for lots of popping.   

Free DAW webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Kristen Paige - February Audition Contest.mp3

3rd place winner: cwenglowski@earthlink.net

312 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear cwenglowski@earthlink.net's recording

A pleasant sound, with a nice smile overall (including some reasonably genuine chuckles), and nice variety in the end. But it's not at all person-to-person.  Her opening and closing are both choppy, with the ending much too dramatic.  The Director's Notes didn't say whether or not to slate, so she's not wrong to have included one. When unspecified, slating at the end won't waste the screener's time. But we'll note that with many online audition systems, the talent's name appears on-screen, so a slate may not be needed.  From a technical angle, the recording is muffled.

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Craylola Color Wonder Markers CWenglowski.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Friday, February 28 click below

Contest ending Friday, January 31

Contest Title:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Square

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a chocolate company: We're searching for a voice-talent who is open to having fun, playing it up, being a ham. We'll cast someone who isn't afraid to be creative and take some liberty. Have fun with this one.

Slate name or username after the read.

Script:

Only a Ghirardelli Chocolate Square has the most intense chocolate experience. A heavenly aroma. A smooth texture. And rich flavor. Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners – Bo, russdewolfe, Randy@randyprice.net, and Voice_Overs_by_VeeVee.   Some VO talent would consider this an ideal assignment, as the Director's Notes advised talent to "have fun, play it up, be a ham."  It's often an interesting challenge to take things to extremes,  without going to the same extreme as everyone else, or venturing much too far.  Thing is, this script was not itself very extreme at all.  It's essentially just a list of product attributes, with the claim that only this product has all these qualities.  Our winners did a pretty good job of making more of it.  Each took things to a reasonable extreme, but kept it listenable and flattering to the product.  Some others barely got off the starting line.  Here are some tips on how to take your read further without taking it way too far.  
 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
It's all about energy.  Genuine "energy" is important in most VO genres and especially here. Some people sounded downright bored. You can't ramp up what you don't have to begin with.  So this would be a time to invent a character, to use varying emotions, and be creative. Just be sure that the various personalities sound like they're all coming from the same person. 
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
 
Be appealing.  Remember, this is a commercial – the point is to sell chocolate.  It's not essentially a weird product.  So if you just do a weird voice, it's probably not relevant.  The point is to make the product's attributes (heavenly aroma, smooth texture, rich flavor) seem distinctive AND appealing.  
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
Don't take liberties with the script copy. When you're all given liberty on your performance, it's easy to overlook or inadvertently change words, or even change the script intentionally.  But major clients put a lot of work into writing and vetting a script.  It's generally okay to add non-verbal ad-libs, such as a laugh, "mmmm" or a sigh.  In fact, if done well, non-verbal additions help you stand out in an audition. But anything more could lose you the opportunity.
 
EDGE STUDIO REMINDER #1:
 
If the script has a foreign word, or a word you have not often heard before, look it up.  Some voice actors didn't. In this case, "Ghirardelli" begins with a hard G (as in "headgear") rather than soft (as in "gee whiz").  Further many people messed up the rest of the word, saying (for examples), "Geeradeli" (missing the second R), or "Geerdeli" (missing the AR), or "Geerideli" (an "i" sound instead of AR), or something unintelligible.  To be sure, phone the company and if they don't say their name in the telephony greeting, ask the receptionist. Or check online. It took us just minutes to confirm the pronunciation, by searching for how to pronounce Ghirardelli.  One of the results:
"As it turns out, the San Francisco-based chocolatier has been educating the world on its name since 1852, even going so far as to buy ads to break it down. Let the record show—which has been confirmed by a Ghirardelli spokesperson—that it's geer-ar-delly. "
 
EDGE STUDIO REMINDER #2:
 
Unless multiple characters are requested, it's best to avoid using them. (If the client wanted them, they'd likely specify so.)  Some people, however, used them. And in some cases, they were not even particularly memorable or relevant to the product.

1st place winner: Bo

641 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Bo's recording

This IS fun, because he's having fun.  He is very creative, and nobody sounds quite like him.  It's  exactly what the Director asked for. Plus, he adds vocalisms, and he changes up his delivery with personality changes, emotional changes, and technical variety. What's more, he does all these without sounding theatrical.  In addition, he is VERY loose (vocally-free), and it is this looseness that brings him to the level of awesomeness.  However, we have two small performance concerns:  (1) There's no "st" on "most."  And (2) there are numerous hesitations; the two biggest ones are before the words "intense" and "aroma."  But the engineer could easily delete these gaps.  Speaking of engineering, the recording quality is quite good.  But here, too, we have two concerns:  (1) The beginning of the sniff is cut off, causing it to begin abruptly.  And (2) the slate has a different sound quality to it. It isn't strong, which leaves the screener with a down impression. Worse, if he produces different sound qualities in his studio, we are concerned as to which one we'd get on the actual job.

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Ghirardelli Chocolate Square_0.mp3

2nd place winner: russdewolfe

252 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear russdewolfe's recording

Creative. fun.  But he said "Garadeli," not "Geeradeli."  There's just enough variety in the product attributes to provide a bit of fun, without resorting to different characters or exaggeration.   Technically, the recording is muffled, sounding as if he's off-axis in relation to the mic. Maybe he's doing this to avoid popping and/or sibilance? If so, it would be better to move a bit further away (assuming a properly conditioned space), and aim the mic toward his face.  If he must work close and is using a foam pop filter, switch to using a screen.  

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Russ DeWolfe - Ghirardelli.mp3

3rd place winner: Randy@randyprice.net

355 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Randy@randyprice.net's recording

He is very creative, but may be taking it a bit too far. It will be a toss-up as to whether the client likes the personality type that he's injected. And there's no natural rhythm or flow, which makes the personality a bit disjointed. Oh, and he mispronounced the product name. (See notes above.) His ad-lib (pre-voicing) is a nice touch. It's a common technique for getting up to speed, but usually it's deleted before submitting the take. (It's not optimal to change the first thing the casting team will hear.) On the other hand, it's fun and interesting, and the client will realize they can easily delete an isolated ad-lib from the start. Heck, if it weren't for the deity reference and time it takes, they might even keep it! From a technical angle, he's too close to the mic. This causes some proximity effect (exaggerated low frequencies), and a slightly muffled sound. This effect also makes him sound too much like a "radio" voice. It's not an artificial forced "DJ" voice, but does sound like radio technique. Further, his gating is too abrupt. For instance, the "D" in the word "G-d" in his opening is cut off. Then again, maybe he meant to delete this part of his audition.

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Randy Price Chocolate Square 2.mp3

3rd place winner: Victoria Vahedy

282 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Victoria Vahedy's recording

Hers is an interesting  delivery: She starts speaking in an ordinary manner – nothing "creative" about that, so in real-world casting, a screener might immediately move on. But then, gradually, she becomes, uh, "excited" about chocolate in a very unusual way.  She gets very theatrical, but if she were more realistic, it might be too risqué.  Would the client take a chance on this? Who knows.  They might at least remember her as inventive.  But she starts off with a mark against her: the Director's Notes said to slate at the end, and she slates at the start. The technical quality is much too resonant, and there is 1.5 seconds of silence before she begins.  

Pick a prize based on your current skill level and needs!

Appy your $25 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/GhirardelliChocolateSquare_VictoriaSokoloff.mp3

To view all entries from
Contest ending Friday, January 31 click below

Contest ending Friday, January 3

Contest Title:

Holiday Variety Special

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for a special holiday variety program featuring surprise musical acts. Sound festive and bring excitement. The spot itself will be a full production, with music, glimpses of special performances, and holiday-time scenery. No slate.

Script:

NBC Saturday at 7pm Eastern. An all new Holiday Variety Special to thrill the entire family. Including exciting scenes from holidays past. NBC Saturday at 7pm.

Remember to check Archived Contests at the beginning of each month to see the winners as well as feedback and tips from Edge Studio instructors.

Results

Edge Studio Tips and Feedback:

Congratulations to our winners, Jabroni, Jaykacik, and Chris Koprowski. Their combination of energy, clarity and a personable tone promoted them to winner status. Although the Director's Notes didn't explicitly say this was a "promo" audition, the script made it obvious.  Like all VO genres, Promotion work has some special requirements of its own.  It is one of the few genres where a little extra "push" beyond naturalness may be warranted (depending on the personality of the channel and program).  In any case, it calls for infectious energy. After all, you have just a few seconds to be noticed, inspire your listener, and be sure they catch the place, day and time.  Here are some tips to help casting pros make note of you.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #1:
 
Before you record, think – how do you feel about this event? That will help gather up your energy.  Many people weren't energetic enough.  One way to amp it up is to sound "hype-y." But that runs the risk of sounding artificial, even offensive to the ear … not the best approach for Christmastime.  Furthermore, if you overdo the hype, you begin to sound like a radio DJ.  Casting people generally don't want that, and it's easily imitated.   Instead, generate personal excitement; imagine that you're personally recommending the program to a friend. You'll need to move it along quickly, hit the key words, and somehow make a rather stilted script sound like you're saying it off the top of your head, but with practice, that can be done. The special sauce that only you can add is your enthusiasm and even a bit of your personality.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #2:
 
Heed the mechanics of voice-over.  In particular, speak exceptionally clearly, and hit the right words. This will be mixed with music and possibly other sounds.  Your voice must be understood above them. So be careful not to drop consonants, and watch your vowels. (For example, many people said "fer" when they should have said "for," or "teh" instead of "to.") You might even want to exaggerate just a little, by slowing or isolating syllables that might otherwise get lost. (For example, for "entire," say "en-tie-yer" not "entahr.")  Now, as to what to hit.  Obviously, the day and time are important. But is "NBC"? Some people dragged it out as if the listener had never heard of the network before.  That's going too far. (On the other hand, see our Third Place comment.) Treat it as a single thought, not three letters. In fact, you might even include it with Saturday (that is, say "NBC Saturday", with no pause before "Saturday"), as a stylistic thing that you could use in all promos.  Again, even though this is basic VO mechanics, it also requires some forethought.
 
EDGE STUDIO TIP #3:
 
It's an audition – take advantage of your options.  Unlike a real promotion job, this script had no time limit!  Yet, many people rushed it.  Some took as little as 11 seconds.  Maybe they sped up to provide energy, maybe they assumed it was a 10- or 15-second spot, maybe they just did it … whatever the reason, they shortchanged themselves by not taking a bit more time.  Fifteen seconds is sensible, but if it comes to 16 or 17, and is a great read, this time that's okay. (If a length is stipulated, that's different!)  In an audition, you should give a professional quality read, but also give yourself a chance to shine.  Maybe slow just a bit. Or reading one phrase a bit slower, for a reason.  Or take the opportunity to s-t-r-e-t-c-h slightly on a special word.  What will be your "hook"?  

1st place winner: Jabroni

504 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Jabroni's recording

He sounds festive with just the right measure of excitement. He also articulates well, with good word emphasis and clarity.  Very nice. Yet there are two areas for improvement:  First, the opening "NBC" is too fast. Being the first word the listener will hear, and considering that it will be mixed with exciting music and exciting visuals, the viewer's brain will not yet be up to speed.  Second, there's an unnecessary glottal stop before "all new". (A glottal stop is a momentary closing of the windpipe before an initial vowel.)  Ordinary people often do that to express excitement or emphasis, but in VO it also increases vocal tension and makes the read sound choppy.  Other than this hesitation, his performance is nice and smooth.  The recording itself is crisp and clear, except for slight popping (a minimal concern, because it can easily be equalized out), and his room has slap-back resonance. Technically, that's a much bigger problem.   

Free One-Hour Audition-Workout with David Goldberg.

Book your Free One-Hour Audition Workout with David Goldberg valued at $240 now! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/edgeStudio _NBC_december2019.mp3

2nd place winner: jaykacik

314 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear jaykacik's recording

Wonderful excitement and variety. Well done.  But some concerns.  His voice is slurry through much of it.  Also, the words "thrill" and "entire" could have had a bit more excitement.  And the last word of the script ends with an exhale  ("7pm-uh").  Technically, the recording is very good.   

Free DAW webinar!

Appy your $50 credit towards the purchase of any Edge Studio product or service! Contact your Edge Studio Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343)

See prize details below.

If you have won any place (1st place, 2nd place...) in the six months (6 months), you are not eligible to win any place in this week’s contest. Why? To reward other entrants who have improved in that time. But we encourage you to enter nevertheless, for practice and to demonstrate your capability. You are still eligible for the Participation Prize.

This offer cannot be applied toward any services already purchased, nor to any service in which you are already enrolled.

Prize is to be used by you only, not transferable.

Claim your prize by calling your Education Advisor at 888-321-EDGE (3343).

/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Jay Kacik-Holiday Variety Special-12-20-19.mp3

3rd place winner: Chris Koprowski

294 people have played this

Recording:

Click to hear Chris Koprowski's recording

We like the clarity in his voice. To take full advantage of this,  he could use a bit more excitement -- especially on some of the descriptive words.  Another concern is that both instances of "NBC" are spoken too quickly.  As we say in the article above, it's possible to stretch it too much. But between too long and too short, there's a sweet spot he needs to hit.  It's essential to give listeners time to hear the key words, especially when it's the first word. Also needing tidying are two unnecessary pauses: after "Special" and after the second "Saturday."   Recording quality is very good.    

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/sites/default/files/script-recordings/user-[uid]/Holiday Variety Special-ChrisKoprowski.mp3

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