Last week I was talking to my friend Carin Gilfry about slating auditions. The topic arose because respected coach Paul Liberti talked about it at a Teach-a-Thon that Carin recently hosted. It also came up in a recent voiceover Facebook Group discussion.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with slating, it’s when you state or “slate” your name either before or after you audition so the voice seeker knows who they are listening to. Sometimes you say the name of the agency who sent you the audition, the role you’re auditioning for, and the name of the city you live in. It depends on what the voice seeker wants. It’s my understanding that most, if not all of the time, you slate for union auditions. In my experience, whether and how you slate for non-union auditions varies wildly.
Here’s my twelve cents on slating:
In-Person Auditions: When you go to an in-person voiceover audition, most of the time the audition is recorded and most of the time you are asked to slate. Usually they ask you to slate your name and then dive into the audition. I don’t do it in character or try to do anything clever or memorable. I just say my name and then audition. As far as I can tell it has had no effect on my performance or made any particular impression either positive or negative on the voice seeker. I’m pretty sure I’ve never gotten cast or passed over because of my slating.
Online Auditions: In the 21st century, I think online slating is unnecessary. Most of the time you’re asked to include your name on the sound file. Even if it isn’t, your name is probably on a list in front of the voice seeker so they know who’s who when they’re listening. If they don’t know who you are when you are auditioning, either it’s because the casting service is keeping the talents’ names a secret (so the voice seeker doesn’t go behind the casting service’s back and cast the talent directly to avoid paying the commission) or somebody made a mistake. Regardless, I only slate when it’s absolutely necessary because frankly, I think it’s dumb. It can pull you out of character or you have to try to do it in character and I don’t see the point. It’s just one more thing to screw up.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Don’t sweat slating. I don’t think that slating or not slating or how you do it has any effect on whether you’ll get the part or not. If a voice seeker takes your slate into consideration, they’re focusing on the wrong things and I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway. Just say whatever they want you to say and then do the audition. If you’d like you can “pre-record” your slate and then paste it in anytime slating is called for. That way you don’t have to worry about being pulled out of character (if that’s even a thing) so you can focus on your performance.
Honestly, and I say this with a smile :), I think this is a stupid subject that comes up with frightening regularity. There are hundreds of voice talent who enter the industry every day with the same questions that have been answered ad nauseam on the Internet but can’t be bothered with doing any actual research. Focus on being a good storyteller and a good human. The rest is out there in a blog, article, or forum if you take the time to look.
NEWS AND NOTES
Here’s another great tool to help your voiceover business: Edge Studio’s Words To Time Calculator!
Voice over talent, scriptwriters, and directors need to know the exact length of a finished script recording for invoicing voice over jobs. It can be time-consuming to read an exceptionally long script, and difficult to put together an accurate estimate. The WORDS-TO-TIME CALCULATOR gives you a variety of ways to help you analyze your script. You can input specific details like word count, page count, words per page, words per line, or just cut-and-paste the entire script. Instantly, you will receive a breakdown of the length of time it will take to give a professional reading of your script—down to the second. For busy professionals in all areas of the voice-over industry, it’s a useful tool that you will want to bookmark. Click here to check it out!
This week’s Audio Book Memory Lane title is “Safe Harbor”.
This is a lovely tale about two childhood friends who reunited after decades and fell in love. Here’s a video of me being interviewed by the fabulous author Judith Arnold:
NOW until August 30th: Did you miss the amazing Voiceover Intensity eLearning workshop with Christi Bowen? Here’s your chance to see it! From now until August 30th you can download all six modules. Just click on this link.
Thursday, August 23rd @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “4 Words That Will Kill Your Marketing” We’re going to talk about the power of words and how they affect your Systems of Thought as well as your marketing. Click here to sign up.
November 9-11: In anticipation of MAVO 2018, I did this quick little video to let you know what I’ll be teaching there. There are still tickets left! Click here to register.