That's Voice Over 'Audition Spotlight' Contest
Puts Finalists On Stage, Winner Gets Gig & Prizes
August 11, 2012
(VOXtra) - This audition could be huge to your voice over career, resulting in voicing an on-air promo or PSA for NBC 5-TV in Chicago at union scale - and winning other goodies including a Neumann TLM 102 studio microphone.
The deadline to submit the audition online is this Saturday, Aug. 18.
Here's the deal:
That's VoiceOver, the classy voice over education and networking event coming to Chicago's Harris Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 25, features Audition Spotlight - a contest similar to the way American Idol contestants compete in rounds to the final show.
In this case, the final round will be on stage during the evening main event. (PIctured above: Stephanie Riggio, the 2011 Audition Spotlight winner.)
EDUCATION AND NETWORKING, TOO
Leading up to the main event is a full day of educational sessions and networking opportunities, including:
LeeAnn Trotter, entertainment reporter for NBC, is co-hosting the Chicago event with Baker, who is also author of the best-selling Secrets of Voiceover Success book.
For more details, including registration, please click here or visit www.ThatsVoiceOver.com.
TO COMPETE IN AUDITION CONTEST ...
The Audition Spotlight contest is open to all registered attendees of That's VoiceOver.
We asked co-producer Rudy Gaskins (pictured below, prepping the Harris Theatre for this event), for details ...
Rudy, what is the Audition Spotlight, and how will it work?
It's an actual booking, in this case for NBC Chicago, whereby the winner is paid union scale to perform an on-air promo or PSA that will go live on NBC 5 Chicago. In other words, it's a contest where you could win a job.
The audition process happens in three phases. Upon registering and downloading the script (at http://thatsvoiceover.com/schedule/the-audition-spotlight), each contestant must record and upload their audition.
Select judges will pick the top 30 auditions and contact those folks for first call-backs, which will take place during That's Voiceover, at the Harris Theatre in a private room on August 25th.
The first call-back is for a completely new script that will be performed live before a second panel of judges. From there, six finalist are chosen to audition a third script, live on stage during the grand finale of That's Voiceover.
Quite a gauntlet. Rudy, in addition to gaining experience, what are the rewards of participating - and of course, winning?
You can't say enough about the experience gained, because it's not like any audition you'll ever take part in, in a lifetime of voice acting. It's much more akin to being a contestant on American Idol, where the stakes are much higher.
Being in your home studio mailing in auditions is one thing, but here the pressure is utterly unique because the contestants are aware that winning means eventually performing live before an entire theatre filled with voice actors, agents, casting directors, TV and advertising professionals.
So from an experience standpoint, the Audition Spotlight contestants emerge with a completely evolved sense of what they are capable of handling.
But the winner receives more than applause.
Right. The experience of this contest is probably the greatest reward when you look back on it, but there are the actual prizes as well.
First, the winner lands a union scale booking to announce a promo or PSA for NBC Chicago. That's a pretty unique jewel to add to your demo reel.
The winner also receives a brand new Neumann TLM 102 studio microphone. And finally, this year's winner will receive a personal one-on-one interview with super agent Joan Sparks of Stewart Talent Chicago.
There are no guarantees that you'll get signed, but getting a sit-down with Ms. Sparks is no easy feat.
OK. Let's say we don't want to enter the contest cold. Can you reveal what the judges will be listening for?
The judges are all seasoned pros - Nancy Wolfson, Kiki Powell, Deb Doetzer,
Jay Wadhwa, Joan Sparks and myself - who make these kinds of selections on a regular basis.
I could suggest the standard line: creativity, resonance with the brand message, and originality - and all of these things will be considered at some level.
But the vast experience of the judges is such that they have their own internal sense of what works best, and the final choice comes from their gut. They won't be given any rules to curtail their instincts.
Well, let me put it another way. If you were coaching a participant to win this contest, what are the top three things you would advise?
I would advise a slow, relaxed and layered rehearsal process that allows for - and in fact - creates space for discovery.
The pressure can be incredibly intense, causing you to fall back on habitual responses, cliché choices and rushed, ill-considered choices.
The more you can create a space of relaxation and calm exploration, the more likely you are to discover what's unique about the script and the different ways your instrument can render the story it tells.
That's at least two things.
The third, given that each of the final contestants will be coached individually by one of our voice over panelists, is to listen to your director. And by "listen" I mean embrace the director 's style and language - drink it up with a great thirst for succeeding.
The auditioner is not alone, but one with the direction he or she will be given.
And because each contestant will be given an adjustment by the judges, repeat the above with all your heart.
Oh, and one last thing: Don't piss off Jay Wadhwa.
For more about That's VoiceOver and the Audition Spotlight contest, please visit the event website: www.ThatsVoiceOver.com.
Special Discount Ticket: For a half-price $110 discount ticket to That's Voiceover, please click here and enter promo code VOXTRA.
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