Voiceover Casting: How the Process Works
You’re well-trained, you have the talent, and you’ve invested in professional recording equipment. That's just the first step! Now it’s time to land that audition. But how exactly does the casting world work for voiceover artists? Not surprisingly, the voiceover casting process is quite similar to on-camera casting.
The audition process generally comes in two ways: demo submissions or in-person auditions. So, how does it work?
Much like an on-screen actor is expected to have headshots and a reel, a voiceover artist is expected the same. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for producers and casting directors to cast you without one. Your reel helps showcase exactly who you are and what you bring to the table.
What makes a good demo reel? Think of the kind of work you want to attract and develop a script before you start recording. A good demo reel reflects that work. Your voiceover demo can be used to get jobs in narration, commercials, announcements, and even the educational and corporate fields. So… what voice do you want to convey?
Now that you’ve curated a great demo, how does the casting process work? Generally speaking, producers and casting directors will list their job posting calling for demo reels first. Depending on the budget, timeline, and demands from production, talent can be cast directly off their demos. In other cases, this is simply your initial submission. Your demo acts as your credibility. So, without your demo, there’s a chance you won’t even be considered. This is where all casting begins.
From there, a casting director will - most likely - reach out with sides. In this situation, they’re asking for you to read the lines that they provide you. The majority of voiceover auditions are recorded on one’s own recording setup in the comfort of their own home. Therefore, make sure that you have a quiet space to record. The casting director will also ask you to clearly slate yourself at the beginning of your reel. Unless noted otherwise, slate yourself in the beginning (first and last name and what role you’re auditioning for) and read your lines twice.
On CastingDepot.com, adding voiceover demos to your profile will help you land your next gig.
Although in-person voiceover auditions seem like a thing of the past, there are still many talent agencies (although limited) that do this.
While having a demo is the first step towards being noticed, many casting directors and talent agents act as the messenger between production studios and networks. In this case, it’s because those production studios and networks specialize in voiceover actors (such as animation studios or AD agencies) and will only hold live auditions after the initial self-taped auditions and demo reel submissions.
After the Audition...
So what’s next? Callbacks are generally not handled in the same way on-camera auditions are. In fact, they’re nearly nonexistent. This doesn’t mean it never happens, as callbacks do happen from time to time. Generally speaking, you either booked the gig or you didn’t. Also note that you will most likely not receive feedback from the studio.
How long do you wait to hear back? Similarly to on-camera auditions, you may hear back within a few hours or a few weeks if you booked the gig. For something like animation, it can actually be months before you’re hired. Again, it depends on the type of role you auditioned for.