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So You Need a Voice? Casting.

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#1 Benjamin Tuttle

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:53 AM

So you need a voice?

It’s a constant issue that producers will run into time after time. Casting. ‘Who will fit the voice? Who can bring this character to life?’ I see many directors here on this site deal with this issue quite too often, some have closed down production due to lack of actors.

So how do you get voices for your next project you say?

There are two main ways of casting, which are scouting and creating audition threads.

There are sites dedicated to voice actors; some do it for a pure hobby, while others want to pursue it professionally. The Voice Acting Alliance and the Voice Acting Club are two main sites that are quite popular.

KEEP IN MIND THAT MANY SITES, ESPECIALLY THE VOICE ACTING ALLIANCE, DO NOT ALLOW ADULT MATERIAL ON THE FORUMS. If you have anything above PG-13 rated at the VAA, you can be in serious trouble, since many Voice Actors are below the age of 18. Some Voice Actors will not accept roles which include sexuality, violence, and profanity. Just a heads up and it’s quite serious, since people can get, and have been, banned for posting that.

Whatever method you choose, casting or audition threads, it’s all about presentation, especially if you are new to the forums. If your thread or message is extremely disorganized and messy; it gives off an impression that the producer does not fully care about the project and odds are that the production will fall through. (Uncompleted projects is one of the biggest pet peeves of any Voice Actor)

How to create an Audition Thread.

In the Voice Acting Alliance, there are multiple projects going on daily and two visual categories for projects. Here is where to put them.
  • Fan Visual- anything fan related and what goes in the world of the story. (Fandubs, Batman fan fiction)
  • Original Visual- anything new originally. (Original animation or machinima in a new world, live action as well. Video games. )
Here are some tips for audition threads.
  • Follow guidelines when it comes to the audition threads, since a moderator coming in and giving the link to fix your thread doesn’t give a good image.
Here is an example taken from the VAA

Name: Character Name
Age: Character age
Bio: Description of the character
Voice type: Describe the voice type. Is he a chain smoker? A hero? A monster? etc. etc.
Audition line 1: First audition line.
Audition line 2: Second audition line.
(add more if needed)

  • Include full information about the project, the more detailed it is, the more it will help the actor.
  • Use proper grammar and check for spelling errors.
  • Include visuals to attract interest; also include past works as well.
  • Keep text normal, it doesn’t have to be neon flashy or big- it usually annoys many people, myself included.
  • Include contact information and most importantly a deadline! It’s heavily encouraged to include one, since it gives actors time to prepare an audition.
  • First come, first serve casting is a no-no. It discourages many actors- wait until the end to make a decision, since from experience; a lot of auditions usually appear at the last minute.
  • Be patient. Bump once a day if needed and do not rant on the threads on why you do not get auditions. It kills your image faster than anything…
Scouting is very familiar to auditioning, except it is personally seeking out an actor and writing a message. Not surprising at all, but TMU is mostly a scouting site since this is quite a close group of people and we can recognize each other’s voice well enough. 90% of my roles happened because of scouting.
Around the web, many people create demo reels to showcase their talents as an actor. They are quite short, around 1-2 minutes, but they give an impression of what they can do, voice and roles.

Creating a scouting request is quite simple, it’s all about presentation.
  • Be very clear with the project and its role, explain in detail.
  • Use proper grammar and check for spelling errors.
  • Include visuals and past works.
  • Be polite and include contact information
  • Once again be patient, it takes time.
  • If they decline, respect their decision and move on.
Email is usually the best way of contacting actors as well as Private Messages on a forum. Remember to be professional, in scouting or creating an audition thread. It goes a long way. Remember to keep in contact with the actor about certain projects; unfinished projects are a major pet peeve amongst actors. If a project cannot be completed, let them know right away.

That should be it, I can add more if needed.

Edited by Benjamin Tuttle, 09 February 2013 - 07:30 PM.

  • primaveranz likes this

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#2 goofparade


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 03:09 AM

Excellent post Ben, I wish more people would follow this advice, it would improve their results immensely.

I would add one thing if I may, directors looking to find seasoned voice actors could also try contacting them directly but not before having researched the actor that they seek, reviewed their movies
and can explain to them what they liked about their voice in a SPECIFIC film. It really would help :)
None of this "I've heard you were good and i want you in my film". That won't do it for the most part.
Nothing irks me more than a director attempting to recruit me but who hasn't even bothered to watch and review any of my films.Now why should I bother? or "insert voice actor's name here" bother?

Here's an example: A few years back a new director showed up on the TMU scene by the name of Trewill 7. He had been lurking in the forums, watching people's movies, leaving reviews and learning what he could about the actors that he wanted. He wrote a great PM to several actors explaining which film he had seen with them in, and why he liked their performance.
This "new" guy was able to secure the likes of AnotherNewDawn, K4 Ownzall, Myself and several other talents all in the same film!!! All on the basis of doing his homework and pushing the right buttons when he approached the actors. He Made A great debut film called "The Deed of Midnite" and his research paid off.

Give it a shot.


Edited by goofparade, 18 July 2012 - 06:28 AM.
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#3 Aemielius


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Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

I am doing the copy and paste thing with both of these posts. This is great.
It brings together and builds quite a bit on things that have already been posted and adds a good bit of advise from the actors POV by Goof.
Myself, I can research the hell out factual and canon information as background for a story/script but I have a terrible time researching actors.
It feels like I'm, in some small way, invading their privacy. Particularly since I don't know them in R/L
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]James 'Aemielius' Mielke
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#4 Benjamin Tuttle

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:12 PM

Oh yeah, here are some things that need to be pointed out.
  • Casted is not a word. 'Cast is the proper term.' Though it does not bother me, it bothers a ton of actors apparently.
  • Credit them properly, get their name spelled right. Misspelled names are a major pet peeve.

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#5 Grey Dingo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

Great post, Ben, and great follow up, Goofparade.

One thing to remember about the audition process is that, for the professionally-minded actor, it is treated very seriously. If you do approach a professional site and receive professional responses, please treat them professionally - ie., with respect and courtesy. Please remember to respond in kind to queries and submissions. The acting fraternity is a close knit one (as, I guess, this community is :balloon:), and reputations are made or snapped on the breath of a word or two.

But even the casual talented dabbler has feelings, so communication is all important. As a producer be prepared to be inundated....or....otherwise, if you're untested. But perserverance in this field pays dividends, so your determination will see a project bear fruit.

Most people love to perform (particularly if they can do so in a sound booth {or in front of their computer} with no-one watching), so maybe keep in mind your local amateur theatre company for keen volunteers who might see this as a fun an exciting way to act in a whole new format for them.

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