Could you give an idea on what I should say auditioning for AIO? -Submitted by AIO Actor Wanna-be

Well at least you're a wanna-be at this point! There's a start. Usually an audition tape is very involved. If they want you, they'll call you up to come to the studio. What follows is an excerpt from

To get work as a voice actor, you must have an agent. Casting directors will not even consider you if you are not represented. (In the US, you can get a list of agent from AFTRA and SAG, the two actors' unions. Equally important is that you really should live where the jobs are; in North America, this means Los Angeles, where most of the cartoon voice work is cast and recorded. Some actors such as David Kaye and Stephanie Morganstern are based in Canada, but they are exceptions. No one will hire you if you live in New Jersey or Texas, no matter how talented you are. When a casting call comes, you need to be there, sometimes within the hour.

In order to get a good agent, you need a great demo tape. Bob Bergen feels, "As far as the demo tape process goes, I don't believe in telling a story. Each segment should sound like it's a clip from a cartoon, where your character is involved and doing some kind of action. You should never repeat a voice on your demo tape. Each clip should have a totally different scene; perhaps one is jet fighter pilot, another a nerdy kid trying to ask a girl out, but scenes that contrast. You want to leave the listener asking for more. The average length of a demo tape is two-and-a-half minutes. I recommend one-and-a-half, because you are asking someone to take one-and-a-half minutes of their life for your life. And chances are you are one of 20 or 30 tapes they have to listen to that day...

...Voice actors today are faced with a number of stumbling blocks to creating truly original character voices. The studios want the familiar, not the new. Most of the great voices actors, such as Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, and Paul Frees are gone now, and the studios need sound-alikes to keep their cartoon franchises going...

...When creating original character voices, it is important to put yourself into it entirely. The physical aspects of a character are as important as the voice. When I perform my characters for my Willoughby and the Professor radio cartoon show, I don't just stand still in front of the microphone and speak. I put my full body into the perfomance just as I would on stage. People who watch me perform find it as enjoyable as hearing the finished recording. For example, I flail my arms a lot when speaking since I find that this movement gives my performance an extra "hmmph". For nave 12-year old Willoughby, I raise my eyebrows up, open my eye as wide as I can and stand very straight. This gives me a brighter young alert sound for Willoughby. My Professor character has very large jowls but I have a thin face with no jowls, so to get a "hollow" jowl sound for him I hold the sides of my face with my thumb and forefinger and pull my cheeks out as far as I can and hold them there everytime I speak as the Professor. All good voice actors work from the physical.

To read the full article, click here. I hope this information has helped your ideas to begin to understand the commitment that auditioning takes. One thing I'd like to leave you with is that AIO really would like to hire actors who live in California. It's easier for them to round up actors that way, especially on short notice. I would suggest calling 1-800-A-FAMILY for more information regarding an audition with Adventures in Odyssey.

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