The Funny Frustrations of Mixed Signals

I’ve done quite a few auditions for voice over work since August, and even though I haven’t booked anything huge yet, I’ve learned from each read and found humor in the direction, feedback and lines given by voice seekers.

You know an audition is going to either be a hoot or a pain when the description of what the voice seeker wants is so mixed-up it seems en-cryptic. “We want the voice to sound young and hip but mature.” “The voice needs to be excited and energetic but still serious.” “Please sound business-like but conversational and casual.” This is like saying “you need to meow like a cat but also sound like a moose.” Cat moose. Got it!

Sometimes, the script provided for the audition is in itself a contradiction to the directions. All too many times the instructions say something like “Don’t sound like an announcer. We want a natural, conversational sound, like your chatting with a friend.” Easy enough, right? Well, it is until you see the script looks a  lot like something that should include a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man:

Probably the most mysterious  aspect of auditions is the feedback. Sometimes, you will feel like you rocked the crap out of an audition, and you will get bad feedback. Other times, you’ll think you sucked, but it will be the one to get you booked (or at least get you decent feedback). Finally, in the online audition world, I often get no feedback at all. Seekers will either listen to the recording and say nothing or never listen in the first place. I have mixed feelings about this mixed feedback. As a noob to the voice over world, I want feedback, so I can improve. But, bad feedback scores lower my status on Voice123, so if the seeker was going to give me anything lower than a maybe, I would prefer it be blank. Besides, the seekers can’t give notes back, just a score. Still, the ambiguity kills me!

This is why in any creative field, from writing to acting to art to vo (Heck, job hunting is the same, too) you have to just throw out the audition/query and move-on. You can’t dwell on bad or lacking feedback. Just do your best, learn as much from the experience as possible and start working on the next project. You can’t just wait for success to reply while letting opportunities pass you by.

About purrrentice

Fantastic Voiceover? How About PRENTASTIC VOICEOVER?!?! I'm Prentice Osborne, a full-time, freelance voiceover talent out of Atlanta. My specialty is Millennial, teen and everything in between, and I work in multiple genres of VO, from e-learning to games to cartoons to radio and TV ads. I love the entire VO process, from pen to paper, mouth to mic, cursor to waveform. It's totally Prentabulous! Need some voice work? Bring it on, World! Freelance Prentice is here to blow your mind with laughs, creative magic, mad skills, and a little bit of razzle dazzle!
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