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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

Voiceovers And Turning Down Auditions – The Not Silent Blog 4/28/20

Have you ever gotten auditions that you didn’t want to do?

Me? All the time.

I get auditions from my manager, multiple agents, and regular clients pretty much every day and I often turn some down. Why?

The rate is too low. Most of the time I just delete it but if the rate is outrageously low (like for a national chain) sometimes I’ll make mention. BTW often the voice seeker adds a note in the casting notice like, “We know this rate sucks but it’s the best we could negotiate. If you don’t wanna submit for it we understand.” Notes like that have shown up more and more over the past few years.

I’m not right for the role. Just last week I got two casting notices and the voice references were Michael Clarke Duncan, Ving Rhames, and Dennis Haysburt. These guys are wonderful but they all have VERY deep voices. If I try to mimic them I sound like a 19-year old trying to get served at a bar. 

I’m not comfortable with the terms. Stuff like:

  1. The exclusivity may be too constricting (e.g. all cars)

  2. I may have conflicts with work I’ve done in the past (I’m the voice of Coke and I get sent an audition for Pepsi)

  3. I don’t like the usage (too long, covers too many media venues, too many lifts/cutdowns, etc.)

Honorable Mention #1: sometimes I’m too busy recording actual voiceover bookings and I don’t have time to do some of the auditions that come my way. A good problem!

Honorable Mention #2: I’ll get auditions for cartoons or video games and I know it will wreck my voice for the rest of the day so I just don’t do them. That may sound like sacrilege to you who dream of booking those genres but tough choices have to be made sometimes. Yes, I try to save them until the end of the day but sometimes I’m gassed out after a full day of recording and I just can’t do the required exertions.

Honorable Mention #3: sometimes I’ve had political objections with the company the voiceover is for: which causes they donates to, candidates or values they support, etc.


If you get auditions that you don’t wanna do, don’t do them.

Should you let the voice seeker know that you won’t do certain auditions they sent you? It depends.

If the auditions in question are algorithm-ically generated from an online casting site, you don’t have to say anything because a human didn’t send them. If you feel the need to apologize to a computer and explain why you’re not doing the audition, get help.

If it’s an audition from representation, drop a quick note but don’t waste their time. They don’t need a paragraph-long explanation. “Sorry, I’m not comfortable with the usage. Next time!” or something like that should be fine. If you find yourself turning down a lot of auditions from certain reps, they may not be right for you.

If it’s an audition sent directly from a voice seeker, a more detailed explanation may be called for. If you have an issue with the rate or usage, take the opportunity to explain the nature of the issue. Send them your rate sheet or perhaps the GVAA Rate Guide. Who knows, maybe they’ll increase the rate!


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Tom Dheere is a voice actor who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business & marketing consultant known as the VOStrategist and produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”. You can subscribe to his weekly blog and the monthly VO Strategist Learnin’ Stuff Notice here.


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