The Self-Tape Dilemma: Knowing When To Stop

Audition self-tape requests - whether recorded from a fancy home studio or a smart phone - are becoming as commonplace as demo recommends (or “demo rec’s”) from our voice agents.


Not only are we the talent, but we suddenly become our own director, engineer and editor, as well


Over the years, many of my coaching & demo reel clients have shared the same dilemma when recording these auditions: “I never know when to stop!”


Has this ever happened to you? After 6 versions of slating your name & agency, you start to obsess about the space between those two things. Then, about the way you dropped the smile and had a mouth click at the end of your agency name. Then…well, you get the picture.


Here’s what I suggest: after you’ve prepared your commercial or animation material, limit the number of takes you record, trust your gut about which ones are the strongest (usually the first few) and press “Send.”


Then, let it go. If that job is meant to be yours, you’ll hear from your agent. If not, you’ll be ready to let them hear the magic the next time: “I can master that Ethereal Lady of the Forest in 3 takes.”


Some practical technical advice from my voice agent Sandi Sloan at Fountainhead Talent:


“Find a space in your home that makes you sound warm as opposed to sounding like you are standing in a vast open space. I do know when I hear a "tinny" audition.”


This inspired me to do a test.


Turns out I sound a whole lot warmer in the walk-in closet than I did in the study. Who knew?


One of Sandi’s top clients shared that pillow forts can really come in handy, too.


This is something you may want to experiment with well before you hit “Send.”


Until next time,