There are times when a client will hire you purely as a result of your demos or a follow up demo recording that you sent his or her way. There are other times when a telephone call is all that stands between you and the next voiceover job. However, often, you will be asked to audition – either in person or via recording. This can be a very stressful time for many VO artists. Even the very experienced professionals can have a case of the butterflies when approaching an audition situation. It is important to stay calm, so you can put your best self forward. Here are a few ways that you can keep your wits about you and stop the shaking.
Be Prepared The most important piece of advice that I can offer is to enter any situation like this with a clear mind. This means being prepared. Get up early and allow yourself extra time to get ready before an audition. Eat a healthy meal and have plenty to drink to lubricate your voice. Read through any materials sent ahead by the potential client. If you get a copy of the script beforehand, create a few sample recordings, so you can tweak little spots and have the best possible reading for the audition. Preparation is the key to staying calm. You will feel much more confident if you know that you are ready to read when you arrive. Be appreciative of live, in-person auditions. They have become a rarity these days!
Focus on the work, not the people in the room It is so easy to get caught up by the new faces in the recording studio, or in the room with you. Of course, this isn’t ever going to be as comfortable as reading in the quiet studio you are accustomed to. Nevertheless, if you are able to stay focused on the project, you can overcome the stress of having others listening in.
Aim to entertain While it is a good idea to focus on the work, once you start reading and get past the worst of the nerves, don’t be afraid to engage your audience a bit. Read for a reaction, when the script calls for it. If you can entertain those in the room, then you know you have a much better chance of entertaining those listening to the finished product.
Set aside the failures Don’t let past failures eat at you when heading in for an audition. You can overanalyze things later. You can worry about what you did- or didn’t do when the audition is done. For the time in the audition space, focus only on what lay before you. Actually, temper that "after audition" thought with the idea of just letting it go... blow it off... and don't allow the experience to eat at you. There's alway the next audition!