A casting director will listen to voice over artists or actors read the same script at a voice over audition to determine who is the best fit for the part in a commercial, animated production, video game, or other project. Unlike other acting auditions, there is no consideration given to an actor’s appearance, style, gestures, or facial expressions; instead, the focus is solely on his or her vocal ability. In a voice over audition, a casting director will usually choose the artist or actor who is the most talented and flexible and who best creates the character.
A voice over actor will bring a voice demo tape to the audition instead of a head shot photo. If he or she makes the casting director’s short list of candidates, the tape will almost certainly be reviewed to hear the artist’s range of voices and tones. Casting directors value originality and distinctive voices. They’re looking for voices that fit the characters in their scripts while also standing out in each voice over audition they hold. People with common-sounding voices, as well as those who lack inflection and changing tones when speaking, are less likely to succeed than those who have creativity and the ability to create characters.
It’s important to be able to create characters because it means the voice over actor or artist can do a variety of voices. This could include a variety of accents as well as more unusual cartoon-like voices, but originality is more important than weird sounds. In a voice over audition, a casting director is looking for voices that aren’t stereotypical or have been done before. It’s crucial to be unique and different while also being appropriate for commercial product branding.
In a voice over audition, where actors and artists are given a line or two to say that they haven’t heard before, it’s likely that many candidates will first try to figure out who the speaking character is or should be. Then, while waiting for their turn to audition for the casting director, there may be a cacophony of noise as the candidates practice their lines aloud. Each candidate for a studio voice over audition is likely to be tested in a booth with a microphone.
The casting director usually directs the actors or artists, and part of the audition process is to see how well they follow directions. Casting directors look for talented, adaptable voice over artists or actors who can learn and work quickly when commercials or other projects are being recorded and filmed. The casting director will usually choose which actors or artists will be hired for a project after compiling a short list and possibly listening to their demo voice tapes.