Multiple Voices in an Internet Audition

Auditions are a way of life for the voice actor. Most auditions are for single voice copy and don't present any problems. However there will be times when you are asked to audition for one or more characters in a multi-voice scripts.

Lynne Magnavite sent in this question on multi-voice script auditions: "I love your newsletters! They are chock full of great advice and information. I have a question on auditions. I am new to the industry. I have several out of state agents so I do much of my auditioning from home. The agents email me audition copy and I then record an MP3 and send it back. How do I audition for a scene? I have received several auditions for scenes in which I am supposed to read one character. How do I record this audition? Do I just read the parts of the character I am up for or do I enlist another person to read the other part? I fear if I have another voice on my audition that it would take the attention away from my audition. Can you shed any light on this? Also how do agents/clients audition scenes - do they pair voiceover talent up or do you read alone?"

Here's my response:

There are basically only two ways that auditions are handled: 1) in person at an audition facility, agent's office, or other location, and 2) via the Internet. Let's take the Internet first: There are basically two ways in which voice talent are asked to audition for dialog or multiple voice scripts over the Internet. In some cases, the client is specifically interested in the interaction between characters, so they will request that the audition arrive as a completed dialog with two voice actors. Fortunately this is fairly rare. Most voice talent who answer email or Internet auditions are working from their home computer and do not have the luxury of having access to a second voice actor to run dialog with them. Of course, it is often possible to bring in a friend or family member to run lines. If you are auditioning for a specific role, the inexperience of the other voice is generally not a concern for several reasons: 1) you're not recording for a final product, so the second voice does not need to even be on mic, 2) the audition you are sending is for your performance for your character, and not for the other role(s), and 3) in your audition slate you will mention the character for which you are auditioning, and that the other lines are being done by someone else so you can present your best possible performance. I don't recommend doing a dialog audition with two voice actors unless that is specifically requested.

The second, and most common method of requesting an Internet audition for a dialog script is where the client specifies which character they are seeking to cast. In this case, as a voice actor, you simply audition only the lines of the character which are either requested of you, or which are appropriate for you as a voice actor. If you feel competent at playing different roles in the script, you should prepare a separate audition for each role - but only performing the lines for one character at a time. This type of audition is typical of animation and video game auditions in which the script includes ONLY the lines for one character. If you're auditioning for a dialog commercial or narration script, you will usually have the advantage of receiving the entire script. Having the complete script gives you the ability to understand the entire story. And even more important - by knowing the lines of copy for the other characters, you will be able to more accurately determine the proper response necessary to create a believable dialog.

In the case of in-person auditions for a dialog script, it is common to audition for multiple roles in a script, one at a time. Most of the time, lines for the other character(s) will be run by the person handling the audition. However, occasionally, the audition producer may want to team up certain actors to get a feel for the interaction of voices and characters.

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