tips, tricks and advice from the pros

I listen for Musicality. I love when an actor understands how to give a varied pace and tone to the read. The ability to give the read one, two or even three different emotions, rhythms and intensities in one line really impresses me. Those tend to be the most interesting reads and the the most interesting voice actors.

 

Try not to apologize during an audition or a session. It's not necessary and takes time from the session that you could use to try different things. Everyone should be trying new and different things for the character, and when you're pushing, there are things that may or may not work. Each misstep takes us closer to something better and it's all part of the process. Don't be sorry for your willingness to try different things and risk failing. Just keep on rolling and trying different takes. Be willing to risk looking foolish. If you're not, you probably aren't ready for this line of work yet.

 

Don’t overthink whether what you’re doing is right for the character or what “they” want to hear – just make sure you showcase your strengths as a performer and make it a great audition for you. The casting director listening is never just thinking about one role.

 

My advice to anyone auditioning for a vo role is to not submit anything that is too difficult to execute over and over, or something that in any way hurts your voice, or could cause long term vocal damage. I know that seems obvious, but I’ve had producers choose auditions and then when we start the full script recording, the actor can’t sustain the performance.  

 

I love when an actor has seriously prepared.  That preparation shows up when, for example, we ask for three takes and the actor gives two that are on point and one that is unique and shows a more nuanced interpretation of the line.  It reflects well on the actor and grabs everyone's attention.

 

Think outside the box, don’t be afraid to take chances and own the character before it’s yours! 

 

Don’t confuse Loyalty with Stagnancy.  Remember once success comes, your agents saw your potential long before those booking and money came rolling in, so stay loyal and always recognize your agents potential in return. 

 

Be creative in self-promoting, write personal letters, create unique demos, stand out.  There is no one recipe for success in this business, if there was, we would have a town full of stars.  Just remember, to bring YOURSELF in your reads, it is your greatest advantage and sets you apart from everyone else.

I love it when actors just go for it! It’s so much fun when actors go big and make bold choices. I wish more actors knew it was ok to plus the material.  Not necessarily by changing the words on the script, but by adding noises, breaths and laughs that might not be written for them.

 

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Sara Jane Sherman

 

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“Any workshop or class done with Sara should be considered a learning experience only and not an audition or guarantee of employment."