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Why rejection is merely... non-selection

Let's get a handle on smarter auditioning as a strategy for success

VoicesUS - motivational posterIn the solitude of the voiceover booth it’s easy to pin hopes on a particular audition only to find out, sometimes way ahead in the future, that you’ve not made it to the final talent list. Feeling rejection when you’ve put your heart and soul into something is natural, but there are ways to eradicate this entirely. We’ve seen lots of articles with fluffy quotes pasted over photos of sunsets by people feeling a bit sorry for themselves, so we hope this piece will instead be a practical and positive addition to your day.

Ensure you’re only auditioning for projects your voice and talents are suitable for. It sounds obvious but many people spend their days frantically wading through a ton of auditions on the various websites, platforms and emails they are subscribed to.

At the very beginning of one’s voice career the practise is extremely useful and it will help you discover the niche in which you excel and enjoy, but also will refine your microphone technique and editing skills. We can provide a list of sample scripts for this purpose. Bashing through real-life auditions that are not in your 131267-130854field or are for a different voice type will prove fruitless, and that dark cloud of rejection will soon creep up on you providing the wrong kind of phantom power in your studio.

It’s one of the reasons we do not send out a ton of generic casting calls. When a client requests a voice we drill down the precise sound and skill set they have in mind and we recommend specific artists to them. Our search tools also allow browsing clients to pinpoint the right voice pretty quickly too without our intervention. Our free casting page requests auditions from our entire talent pool.

What’s a better use of your time… and emotion? If you’ve an agent they will only put you forward for projects that match you and your experience. Whether you’re flying solo or with an agent, finding out you’ve not landed a job doesn’t need to put you in the doldrums. Here’s my recommendation for handling what some perceive as rejection:
The director simply has a different voice in their head for the project in hand. Sometimes this means they’d rather an artist of a different gender or with a different accent, or something as subtle as tone, pace and realism. This cannot ever be viewed as a rejection of your skills, experience and personality. These are all things largely out of your control.— Joe Wakeford, VoicesUS

Following a successful audition, I recently completed a TV commercial for a well-known butter brand. For my eleven words we spent an hour tightly honing the phrasing and tone. They loved it. They loved the other voice artists involved too. Everyone was happy! The production company spent two months on it and the eventual client decided to shelve the advert. We all could have felt rejected but nothing was in our hands – I couldn’t help thinking I can’t believe it’s not butter, better, I mean. But seriously, directors often decide even after completing a project that they’d prefer to go in another direction.


Of course, if you receive a note following an audition with feedback saying that your audio quality was terrible and your delivery of the files was slow and compressed then these are things you can easily correct next time. Technology is your friend, don’t let this important side of voice acting let you down!


In closing, don’t treat non-selection as rejection. It’s not personal and the director simply decided to go in another direction according to the image they had in their head. Sometimes complex, usually very simple, but it’s out of your hands. Enjoy the practise, but audition only for projects you’re going to love. Now strap on your seatbelt (safety first), fire up your mouse… and just today, for me, audition only for the projects you are totally suitable for. It’ll save you, us and the directors a big sack of time!

Joe Wakeford is a professional British English male voice over artist as well as Managing Director of Voices US. His voice can be heard this year on national TV commercials for GoDaddy, Flora and easyJet among many others.

Welcome to the VoicesUS blog. Here we explore all facets of the amazing world that is the voiceover industry. We feature guest authors on topics such as how to get started, what equipment is best for your recordings, how to find clients and how to best show off your skills on VoicesUS. To join our family of North American voiceover artists please click here. Submit a free casting to find the perfect voice for your project click herewe’re ready to help!

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