The Discerning Auditioner

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Auditions | 2 comments

You should audition for every job that fits your wheelhouse.

Knowing your wheelhouse is the trick.

So…half the jobs are off the slate for me.  I’m not a woman, and I don’t do female voices.

I’ll also pass on most of those that ask for a youthful, energetic 20-something.  Honestly, I think I can do a pretty good young voice, but will it win the audition against a genuine 20-something pro voice talent?  No.  Move along.

Then there are the specialties.  The auditions that ask for “urban” or “African-American” (Morgan Freeman), or even a nebulous polyglot “foreign” accent.  Again, I can come pretty close, but I know there are the Beau Stephensons, the Tim Friedlanders, the Donovan Corneetz’ and the Wally Wingerts out there who are going to knock it out of the park better than I would.

I can do a fair British accent for a few words or lines, but I’m not going to beat out a Peter Bishop…so again, move along.

I’m a baritone…not a bass voice…so I’m also not going to likely win those auditions seeking the Voice-of-God deep manly delivery either.

Mind you…I’m not talking myself out of opportunities, just being realistic about my strengths.  

I’ve been doing a wide range of auditions, it’s just that I have a little more confidence when the specs comes closer to my bailiwick.  It’s also a better use of my limited time to be discerning.

I’m looking for that audition asking for a middle-age or older male.  Maybe they want a little drawl, a slight Texas accent, an absolute flat, plain vanilla Midwest voice, or even a matter-of-fact professorial or business-like voice.

You know what REALLY gets my goat?  I come across a fair number of auditions that are seeking a “newscaster” voice & delivery.  Usually the direction says something like “need genuine news delivery”…or “authentic anchorman sound”…sometimes it’ll ask for a sportscaster vibe.


I mean, if there’s anything in my wheelhouse…it’s THAT.

Here’s the kicker:  I’ve never landed one…not one…of those auditions.  I’ll even mention in my notes to the prospective client that this is what I do in real life, and then I deliver the audition copy just like I would/did read the news earlier that day.  Naga. Zilch. Zip.  ‘Doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop trying, though!

All that to say — as I’ve said before in my blog — 90% of the people listing jobs have no idea what they really want.  They have a pre-conceived notion in their head, and either you hit that mark or you don’t.

Granted…there are the auditions outside the pre-conceived notion that are so good they convince the producer to go a different direction.  But most of the time…either you are what they are looking for or you are not.

Which is why YOU are not really my competition.  My competition is that voice in the mind of the person casting the job…the sound that will land the job is the one ricocheting around in their head.

After all, that’s THEIR wheelhouse.

What’s yours?




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  1. Lance DeBock

    My wheelhouse is in my boat…Bailiwick? Haven’t heard that one in a while, BUT I LOVE IT!

    Seriously to your point, whenever someone wants Morgan Freeman, Sam Elliot etc. my immediate reaction is “then go hire them!” It’s an immediate ‘delete’ now. Early on in my career, even when I dug deeper and found the nuance of the delivery they’re looking for, I still didn’t book the job.

    Right on Dave, play to your strength.

  2. Donovan Corneetz

    I know I’m late on this… but thanks for the mention, Dave!


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