I just got an email from Sound Advice (Kate McClanaghan) introducing a new service to help beginning VO practice auditioning in the vacuum of their home studios. Basically, they randomly email you some fresh scripts on a weekly basis, give you a deadline (like real auditions), so that you can practice in your home studio. These are not real auditions for real jobs, just practice.

I downloaded the audio clip explaining the service and was suprised to hear that they are not going to actually critique the read – just the mechanics of the audition – did you slate correctly, meet the deadline, edit cleanly, etc. Yes, I realize that the “read” is subjective – to a point. But there are times when a head slap really helps clarify what the copy is saying – someone to say “What were you thinking!?” It can be hard to slap yourself.

So, what if that kind of service existed for REAL jobs – someone to do a quick reality check on the delivery of the words? Is there someone you would trust to send your audition scripts to for review and critique before you hit the send button to submit it to your agent or to the P2P site? Particularly the P2P sites.

If occasional on-going coaching helps us hear ourselves more objectively, could a quick audition critique before we submit be helpful? If so, how much would you pay for such a service? How often would you use such a service, if at all?

Even if agents are culling through auditions and only forwarding what they feel are the best of the bunch on to the client, they rarely have time to provide feedback. Of course, your feedback may be that you get fewer auditions or are dropped from a roster.

At this point in my career, I actually get to hear a lot of the spots I audition for on the air and can compare the audition I submitted with what ends up on the air. And most of the time I know that my submission was indeed competitive. Sometimes I have been left scratching my head – what ended up on the air wasn’t even close to what was “described” in the audition specs. And, of course, the vast majority of the auditions go into a black hole.

So, would a good slap on the back of the head prior to hitting the send button be beneficial?