Thursday, August 15, 2013

The eye of the beholder

When submitting an audition, manuscript, or any project, I want to put my best foot forward so I can get the job, sell the book, earn money and feel productive.  But everyone else in the pool wants the work also, and is doing his or her best.  Which leaves the client in the fortunate position to choose who he or she thinks suits the project at hand. 

Our product may be great.  But it may not catch the eye and ear of the beholder.  They may already hear a voice in their heads they want to match, or envision someone older, younger, taller, or with different hair.

Perhaps another  sample of our work would’ve done the trick,  or another picture. Nowadays more demos and clips are the norm for actors.  A general narration demo may not suffice when others have eLearning, medical, technical, audiobook and/or promo demos, too.   A single on-camera reel may be all you can put together with the clips you’ve been able to accumulate.  Many talent now have separate dramatic and comedy reels.  At some point, I’d also like to offer hosting and commercial reels.

Occasionally I’m asked to audition for an actual historical figure, celebrity, fictional character or to create the voice of a mascot.  Usually they include a link to a sound bite of the person or at least what they have in mind.  I listen carefully to every nuance. 
Can I match the timbre and inflection?  It may sound great when I’m recording, but not so great when I play it back in my headphones.  How can I match the sound?  Or if I’m creating a voice to go with a picture or drawing, will my imagination harmonize with the client’s? 
For today's casino game audition, I'm pretty sure I got the requested character's laugh down.  Pacing, too.  The nasal quality - check.  But there's a certain roundness to her tone I'm not as sure about. 
As with any audition, I can't dwell on the outcome, over which I have no control.  Onto the next....

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