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teacher avatar Mike ElmoreSpeaks

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The purpose of the audition


    • 3.

      What are Specs?


    • 4.

      Specs are also called "Sides"


    • 5.

      Clients provide examples


    • 6.

      The FIRST LINE in the audition


    • 7.

      Try this Audition Technique


    • 8.

      There is a good dose of acting in Voice ACTING


    • 9.

      Breaking a script down


    • 10.

      What is the broadcast medium?


    • 11.

      Some words suggest how you might want to say them


    • 12.

      Lets talk about Copy Points


    • 13.

      Copy point examples


    • 14.

      Microphone Proximity


    • 15.

      "Slating" an audition


    • 16.

      Naming the file


    • 17.

      Pay attention to timing


    • 18.

      Your recording sound quality


    • 19.

      Your editing has to be clean


    • 20.



    • 21.

      Do a little research if necessary


    • 22.

      Where do I find auditions?


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About This Class

Mike's new email is MikeElmoreTalks@yahoo.com for projects/evaluation...etc...

You want to be picky when you choose which auditions to actually record and submit. This course will share some time proven tips, tricks and ideas for helping to improve your audition to booking ratio. With one cool, creative trick that has helped me tremendously with auditions.

Meet Your Teacher

Related Skills

Fine Art Auditioning Creative Elm
Level: Beginner

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1. INTRO TO AUDITIONING : Mike here. And we're going to spend some time today talking about the art of auditioning or the process of auditioning. I am using my trustees Anheuser for 16 microphone for this introduction video. And this is the microphone that I use for all of my auditions, all of my jobs, everything that I do. I used to have an assortment of 22 bikes that I used all the time. But I did have a third Mike that I would employ some times and I've kind of narrowed it down to this one. I love this microphone. I'm not promoting it or selling it by any means. But it is a synthesizer for 16. And you should find out what microphone sounds best with your voice. So we're gonna talk about auditioning. The effort here is to try to get some information into your head that will help you improve your audition ratio, help you find auditions. This is a course that is for beginners or even intermediate. If you find that you've been doing voiceovers and doing auditions for a while and you're not seeing the fruits of your labors transpire, you're not seeing your auditioned booking ratio. It's a little bit frustrating. We'll put it that way. There are ways to improve that using different techniques and I share a couple of them that I've learned over the years. Also places to find auditions in here. And we'll just dissect the entire world of auditioning. And when you finish this, you'll have a much better understanding and some new tricks up your sleeve as well. 2. The purpose of the audition: Alright, why do people want to listen to a bunch of voices? That's basically what an audition is. Someone saying, we need a bunch of voices to listen to so that we can choose one, or maybe they can choose two or three or four, or however many they need. Why do they want to listen to a bunch of voices? Well, it's a pretty elementary question with a fairly elementary answer, but let's look at some of the different possibilities as to why someone would want in front of them on their computer. Many different voices saying the same thing so that they can review them. Number one, maybe they have a rough idea or maybe they have a solid idea about what they're looking for. They're putting together a radio, commercial television, commercial PowerPoint presentation, audio book, e-learning, virtual real estate tour talking kiosk. I mean, the list goes on and on and on, safety training video, new hire, HR orientation video. But maybe they have a rough idea or they may know exactly what they're looking for in terms of a voice. So they may have already gone through a process called storyboarding where they say, basically even before that they would say, here's, we need a video for this, for these new hires that are coming in. And what do we need in this video? What kind of information we need to explain to them how their new insurance package is going to work. We need to explain to them when to clock in and clock out and how all that works. So then they've got that, then they can start putting the ideas together. The bottom of the totem pole most of the time is voiceover. Most of the time everything else is already kinda decided upon. And many times editing, video shoots and editing and, or maybe it's just a radio commercial with no video. But all the editing has been done. And all of a sudden now they want to get a voice that they can drop in there. So they may have a rough idea of the type of voice, The tone of voice, the delivery style that they think would serve their message best and create that intended impact on the listener's ear. Or they may know exactly what they're looking for. But no matter which one it is, they need voices to go through and say that when Sounds close to what we're looking for, let's put that over here on the side. That one not necessarily that one. I don't not really what we're looking for that one pretty close. They so they can create usually a shortlist and then they can go back through the shortlist and decide on the voice that they're looking for. Sometimes they don't even find the voice they're looking for. Sometimes they say, alright, let's throw all these out. Let's look at our directions. Maybe they may say We may not have given clear enough direction. So let's re-issue this and get these could be the same people with new directions or a whole new group of people. But that's one of the reasons why people want a bunch of voices is they have a vision. They've started with an idea, they've gone through the creative processes and now they are down to inserting the voice that is going to be the one that's going to be delivering the message. Number two, they may have no idea what they're looking for. And they figure out, we'll know it when we hear it. So that happens a lot of the time they'd have no idea what they're looking for. And they figure when they hear that voice at grabs their ear. They'll say, you know, I think that's the one, that's the one we wanna go with. Number three, maybe they're producing the work and they have to present choices to the client or the end user. You should know when you do voiceovers most of the time, you're not doing the voice-over for the end user, or you're not doing the voice-over for Bob from Bob's backhoe or Bob's Plumbing Service. You're doing the voice-over for Amy who owns the small production company, maybe just her working out of her home or she may own a small production company or a large one. But Amy has been hired by Bob to do his television or radio commercial. So he has to talk with Amy to get that creative process going. What do we want to say? What do we want to present like we talked about a moment ago. And then finally he'll say aim or Amy, I'm sorry, we'll say Bob, I'm gonna present to you some voices and you can choose. There'll be reading some of your script, some of the copy that we've written here. And in Bob can choose along with Amy who the, who the voice of the commercialism that campaign is. So they're producing the work and they have to present choices to the client. Most of the time, you're not going to be dealing directly with Bob, from Bob's Plumbing. Again, you're going to be dealing with the creative that Bob has hired to oversee the whole process of creating a television or radio commercial. Number four, they've already received auditions and didn't find any thing that struck them as being the one that they're looking for. We've talked about that just a moment ago. So now it's a new round of auditions. You may have new directions on there. Or they may just say We didn't find what we were looking for in the first go round. If you audition the first time and feel you can give us a slightly different read, fine. Otherwise we're just looking. We need to, need to toss a wider net out there and have more voices to choose from. Number five, they have the piece roughly produced. Again, they've gone through the process of maybe even shooting video or doing animation. And they have brought the piece together and they have it roughly edited and produced. And they wanna take these voices and literally drop them into the mix. So they might take my voice and drop it in there and see how it all flows together. Many times they just choose the voice without looking at the actual visuals. But a lot of times I've seen it where they actually bring the voice in and pair it with either the music or the sound effects or the video or whatever else the project has going on. And then they choose that way. And number six is, who knows? You know, this is all speculation. Most of the time. You don't know how they're going to be reviewing the auditions. You don't know when, you don't know if they're going to be pairing it with a roughly produced piece already, you don't know. All you know is that you have to do the best that you can do with your audition. You have to understand what producers and clients are looking for. We're gonna get into that in upcoming modules. And you have to know how to get the best out of yourself. And there are a few techniques or tools in the toolbox that can be used in producing an effective audition. So we're gonna take a look at some of those coming up in just a bit here. 3. What are Specs?: All right, so let's just jump right into it here. When you get auditions in front of you. You have to make some determinations. You have to think to yourself, what is the client trying to get across to the listener? Many times it's super simple to figure that out. Other times, it might take a little more deep thinking to try to understand what the client is trying to accomplish with the script. There are things called specs. What we're looking at here now, specs. And there are different kinds of specs in an audition we might have the vocal specs are the vocal directions, the specifications as to what they're looking for in a voice. Also, we might have the specs telling us when the scripts, when the auditions or do where the audition should be mailed to, what format they should be recorded in, what to label the file, what to name the file, when to Slate and when not to Slade, so forth and so on. We'll talk more about that later. But let me just jump right into this technique. This is a technique that I like to use when I'm doing an audition. You notice right up here, this is a real audition. These are real specs. And I've taken the script out, but these were the specs for the, for the vocals here. And I want to point out something here in this opening line. Not all people that send you auditions are going to say this, but I think they should, but no need for them to say it because I'm gonna tell you right now and you gotta remember it. It says here, only submit for this audition if you feel comfortable and like you can do a great job with the read. Ok, so what that means is if you open the audition and you read through the vocal specs and you read, you go down and you start looking at the script and it's filled with words you can't pronounce or that you've never heard. Maybe it's a medical narration or of some technical nature. And don't waste time on that. You're probably not going to sound natural and comfortable anyway with those words. And you don't want to spend a lot of time, especially on an audition that you're not being paid for going out on the internet and finding pronunciations for words, which by the way, there's a tip if you don't know, if you're just getting started. If you do have one word, let's say one or two words and you want to find the pronunciation, of course you can find it on Google. Just type in the word ramification and then pronunciation or soulful pronunciation. And almost every word you can, you will run across, you will find a video that will show you how to pronounce it. So if you look at a script and you think, I just don't think this is in my wheelhouse, then don't submit it. If you look at the specs, maybe you haven't even looked at the script yet. And it says we're looking for a deep voice of God's super deep voice of God, Maital. And maybe your voice is more up here and kind of a tenor or high baritone, high baritone area, then you know, that's not, you don't waste your time with it because again, we don't get paid for auditions. So I like that opening line. Only submit if you're comfortable with the audition, with the words, with the script, that narration of the directions. And you feel like you can do a great job with it. So here it says, the narrator must be male, middle aged. With a deep soulful voice, with a little bit of roughness to it. Voice should sound like a guy who works on his car. There should be a blue color quality to it, but in a subtle way. So they don't want to, they don't want some kind of deep draw. Well, it continues here, more like Mike Rowe than Larry the Cable Guy. The reads should be deliberate, reflective, serious, and not playful. So those are a lot of directions and they're all pretty good now you're not going to always get good direction. Sometimes there'll be contradictory. We're gonna talk about that later. But these are decent directions. Maybe a little overboard, even maybe there's a little too much here. But what I like to do is I'd like to take directions and kind of snowball them. I like to kind of roll them together and see which one stick. And maybe some of them aren't that necessary. So deep, soulful voice with a little bit of roughness to it. I think all of that all of that belongs. The voice should sound like a guy works on his car. Okay. There should be a blue color quality to it. See that maybe we don't need that one. You know, maybe we maybe we don't need that. It sounds like a guy that works on his car. Maybe we could just say there should be a blue color quality to it, but in a subtle way, more like micro. Reach, be deliberate, reflective, serious, not playful. Now here's what I like to do. Here is a technique that I like to use when I read those. I like to read those as if they're a script. And I start in the beginning, male. Okay? And I read through it and as I'm going, this is the first time my eyes I've ever gone across the vocal directions, not for this one, but in an actual audition. The first time I read through it, I start kind of flat. And as I start to read the directions that they give, I tried to morph my delivery into something that is close to what I think they're looking for it. And by the time I get to the end, it should be very different usually then than it was the way I started. So it would be something like this male, middle aged, deep, soulful voice with a little bit of roughness to it. So I had a little bit of roughness. Voice should sound like a guy who works on his car. There should be a blue color quality to it, but not. But in a subtle way. More like Mike Rowe than Larry the Cable Guy. Read should be deliberate, reflective, and serious, not playful. We take it again. Narration, male, middle age, deep soulful voice, a little bit of roughness to it. Voice should sound like a guy works on his car. There should be a blue color quality to it, but in a subtle way, more like Micro than Larry the Cable Guy reads, should be deliberate, reflective, and serious, not playful. And then I would do it again. And I would do it. I usually do it about three times. And when I get to the end of that, if I don't feel like I am this person, what? Reading the vocal specs, I'll delete it and move on and not do the audition. It might take me more than three times, but usually three is all I'm willing to put into it. So male, middle age, deep soulful voice with a little bit of roughness to it. Boys should sound like a guy who works on his car, and this should be a blue color quality to it. In a subtle way, more like micro and Larry, the Cable Guy, read, should be deliberate, reflective and serious, not playful, deliberate. That's a good direction, reflective. So we don't have the script here and I don't know what the script was, but the reflective probably mean something. So I really didn't read that in a reflective way. Guy who works on his car, which should be a blue color quality to it, but in a subtle way, more like Mike Rowe than Larry the Cable Guy, read should be deliberate, reflective in series. So you have to understand that if they put a word in there, more than likely, not always, but more than likely it means something. Now it may not mean anything, just reading that, but when you go down and look at the actual script, it could very well become very clear what they're talking about. It could also become very clear that they over directed or they used a word that they didn't understand. I, I, I saw this when once we want it to be brash and abrasive, heavy-handed, harsh, authoritative with a sense of liberty. So sometimes they over direct or again, they may use a term that just one of these things is not like the others type thing. And we'll talk about what do you do when you get directions like death that you're not sure about. Other types of specks that you might see right here. Please plan to read both scripts in one take. So in this audition there was a 60 seconds and a 32nd. And they want them both in one take, meaning one mp3. So when you do an audition, you're going to be saving that recording to an as an MP3 or a wave depending on what the client asked for, but usually with auditions as to MP3. So if there are two scripts and they want you to audition both of them, they want them in the same file. They don't want to different MP3s. Second one here, please pronounce the company's name. Advance Auto Parts, not advanced auto parts. So many people, even though it says Advanced, Many people have in their head that it's called Advanced Auto Parts. And they might say that in the audition. So not that, that would be a huge deal really, but they probably are putting that in there to make sure that people follow directions. Make sure you read the whole thing because a lot of people you'll find will, Well, I don't know if you'll find this, but you might find this with you that like a lot of other people. When you get comfortable doing auditions, it's very easy to just skim through and not read all of the specs and just think I got it, I got this. You might miss something, something in there that's very, very important, such as this. It could be something in there describing a scene like the video might be a sail boat sailing across the horizon. That might help you with your delivery to know that that's the visual. So you might miss stuff like that. Submit MP3 format only for this particular audition. That's all they want. And return no later than Friday, the 11th at noon. So they give you the vocal specs and they also give you the delivery specs and recording specs and so forth. So again, that's just a little technique that I like to use. When you have directions that are detailed like this, try reading through the directions and as you go through them and you get a new word or a new direction thrown at you. Try using that to morph and change your voice. Now, we're talking about voiceover technique now, which is something I talk about in my other course. And I'm planning on doing, and even more in-depth course into vocal technique. How do we sound depressing? If we're talking about hungry children or mistreated animals. Just a little air over the top of the of the vocal folds. Microphone proximity is another thing. Physical characteristics. I might drop my shoulders When I say, every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hungry in New York City. 1 third of them children, something like that vocal technique. So you want to be able to really control your voice. And you can learn that through technique exercises and so forth, so that you can do something like this, changing your delivery, not necessarily changing your voice or imitating someone else, but just changing the tone that you're using and the tempo perhaps to be able to reach the point that you say, you know, I think I'm hitting the directions that they've put forth here and I think this might be something that they're looking for. So that's one technique we'll talk about another one as we move forward in the modules here. 4. Specs are also called "Sides": Okay, what some people call specs, other people call sides. So people use different terms for these, but they're essentially directions, instructions, and objectives. Now, what happens when you don't understand or agree with directions that have been provided for an audition or maybe even an actual booking. Alright, these are two very different things. So let's talk about audition first. What happens when you get a script? It's an audition that's been sent to you. And you look at the vocal directions, which I believe you should do first, I always do. Then I look at the script. A lot of times the vocal directions, if they don't make sense when you read them first, all of a sudden they may lock into place when you read the script. Sometimes they don't. So let's say you read the vocal directions and right out of the gates, you don't understand what they're looking for. It's maybe beyond your performance level at that point, at that stage in your career. Or maybe just flat out doesn't make sense. I mentioned about how sometimes you'll have contradictory directions or words that are not like the others that make you leave you scratching your head basically. So if that's the case with an audition, you can either go for it. Of course, you can do whatever you want, but you can either go for it or you can choose to hit the delete button and not do that audition. I don't recommend hitting reply and asking the person or the place that sent you the audition questions about it. I don't recommend doing that. Either don't do it or or just go for it and give it a shot. If you're just absolutely in the dark and you have no clue what they're looking for, then I would just skip it rather than send them something that may you may have missed their point or something like that. Now if it's an actual booking, then and you don't understand something, then of course you want to ask. The way it basically works is when people are fielding auditions and they're kind of standoffish. I mean, you should look, think of it that way. They don't really want to communicate with you. They just want you to do your best. And Tom, Dick, Harry, John, Mary Susan, They just want everyone to do their best, send it in and then they'll pick. And then when they do pick that person, then they become very accessible. And you should ask questions. If you don't understand what it is that what it is that they're that they're looking for. So I call those the do what now, clients don't always know how to give good directions. Clients may use a word that they don't know the meaning of what do you do in cases like this. So again, this is rare that this happens most of the time. People that are fielding voice auditions for voiceovers, most of the time, they know how to give decent directions, but there are some real hmmm dinners out there and you will see them no doubt the more you participate in voiceovers in the more auditions you have coming your way, which we will talk about a little bit later. How do you get in a position where people are actually sending you auditions? We'll talk about that. So luckily, it's rare, but you need to be ready when this happens. So here is one way of thinking. You can give them what they say they want, even though it may not fit. The read or the text. So what if you read vocal directions and you think, Okay, I understand it and then you read the script and you're thinking to yourself. But it seems like to me this would sound better read this way. Or this is a depressing text and they want it to be read with a, with a smile, uplifting. It just may not make sense to you, but it may make sense to them. You know, once they have everything in context, it may make sense why they want something that's left of center, like debt. So give them what they say they want. Even though you may not quite agree with the directions once you've read the text, should you do that? Or should you go with your gut feeling with regard to thinking that you know what they're trying to say. Maybe you could go that route. Maybe you say, you know, maybe they just aren't the best at giving directions. I can feel this, I can read this script. I can feel the way they should be delivered and that's the way that I'm gonna do it. Should you ask the client or agent to clarify? Again? Not on an audition. Not on an audition. Don't mess with it. Don't mess with them. On a job. Yes, you should. You could delete it and move on. That's always an option. Or you could do two takes, one of each if that's allowed. Now, in the specs, oftentimes not always. There's no constant with any of this. There is no template that people use to create auditions and send them out. But many times, there will be specific directions as to how many takes they actually are going to listen to. If you do one take, find, they'll listen to that. If you do two takes, are they even going to listen to to, well, they might tell you in the directions, only one take per person. Or they might say, feel free to submit two takes if you would like. Many times they're not gonna say anything about that. You don't know if they're going to listen to to take so if that's the case, I always say, if you have a question about specs and a voiceover audition, if they don't address it, if they don't tell you when to slate, they don't tell you when to say your name or if he should say it at all. Go ahead and Slate. Slate in the beginning. If they don't tell you, or slate in the end of u1, I recommend sliding the beginning and I'll tell you why in just a minute. Do one take or due to takes. If you feel like you've got two good takes and you then go ahead and maybe you agree with the directions, but you still feel like you could give them a slightly different angle of attack on, on the script. Give them two takes. I always recommend letting them know that your when you email back, let them know that you have included two takes. And if they allow you to slate in the beginning, or maybe they're telling you that you must slate in the beginning. That would be you say this, that would be where you say, this is my Gilmore. Mary had a little lamb, fleece was white as snow. If they're allowing you or telling you to slate in the beginning, I would also include in my slate, This is my Gilmore with two takes. That way they remember that there are two takes because it's very possible that they could get to the end of your first take and forget that they read in the email that there's another taken there and just turn it off and delete it. They may start listening to take one and not really. Maybe they're not really feeling it. You know, maybe it's not quite what they're looking for. If they remember that you have another take after that, they might wait it out or they might forward it up a little bit so that they can listen to it. So what I recommend doing is if you can slate in the beginning, I would say this is Mike Elmore with two takes. Mary Had a Little Lamb is fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. Take two. Notice how I quickly throw intake to. I want to do that quickly because people just don't. Sometimes they don't pay attention, sometimes they don't remember. They've got a lot of things going on. So even though your email says, I've included two takes and you say this is my Gilmore with two takes. By the time they get to the end of Take one, or by the time they were ready to turn take one off, they may have forgotten that there's a second take. So if they listened all the way through take one, I don't want any gap in there for them to forget and hit delete. So our hit stop. So everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go take too. So I throw that in there quickly and then I give it a little break. Take two. Mary Had a Little Lamb. His fleece was white as snow. Then you give them a slightly, slightly different take on that. So when you have one of those, do what now? Auditions, look at it, make some determinations, and figure out whether you want to do the audition and work through it, or if you just want to delete it and move on, or maybe you want to do the final option here, which is due to takes. 5. Clients provide examples: Many times in an audition. This is happening more and more these days with YouTube and other video channels, video hosting channels online. Many times these days, a client will provide a link to a video. So what if the client provides a link or several links to a video or videos saying we're looking for a voice over like this, or we're looking for something along these lines. One that I see a lot and have for a few years now, it's still, still see it quite a bit today. Is they will provide a link to or a reference to Tim Allen, Tim the Tool Man, Taylor from home improvement. He does a lot of voiceover work and he does he's the voice of the visit Michigan campaigns. Fly fishing on the lake. Come, enjoy the bla, bla bla. So a lot of times you'll see links like that. Or you might say, or you might see a client saying, we're looking for a voice similar to Morgan Freeman. We're looking for a voice similar to this and you might click on it, and it's John Goodman from Rosen, who does a lot of voice over work. So what if the client provides a link or more to a video saying we're looking for a voice over like this. The word like is important here. They're not looking for unless they specify this, they're not looking for an imitation of that voice. They're not looking for some of the sounds exactly like that. They're looking for someone in that style. So maybe the voiceover that they provide is this guy. And maybe you're this guy. As long as it's close, as long as you feel like it's roughly in the same style, then you can go ahead and submit it. So don't think that they're looking for imitations when you get these things. And I'll tell you a lot of times the style is not just the vocal style. A lot of times the video that they provide is along the lines, stylistically, visually with the project that they're working on. So a lot of times, it's really a huge help when you get those. Because a lot of times it can really help set the mood. And you know, auditioning, voiceovers in general is about mood. It's about acting. You know, there's a good dose of acting and voice acting, I always say. So. You have to be able to lift the words up off the page and breathe life into them. And having that reference point of that vocal style of what they're looking for. Kind of slow and making something seem and sound beautiful. I'm looking out the window and I see the sun coming up over the horizon, the leaves changing colors. So being able to get that across is important. And if you can hear that reference and even see possibly the visual reference, that's always a big help. Another thing that clients will send links of many times these days, R is just music, maybe no visuals, maybe no voice over. But they may say here's the music we're planning on using in the piece, and that will certainly give you a great reference point. Think about it as a dance partner. You want the delivery of the message to kind of dance and work with the music that they've provided. Here is an example of an actual copy and paste from an audition of what I was talking about. So it says our client is looking for something along the lines of Tim Allen's voice in the Michigan tourism commercials. And then here would be the link and you could click on that. And it would take you to YouTube or one of the other video hosting channels or websites. And it would play the video and you can actually watch it. So again, you don't want to get in a hurry. Sometimes specs the script maybe two sentences long in the audition, and the specs may take up almost three-quarters of the page. You don't want to get in too much of a hurry because you could miss something crucial like this that could give you that extra insight that you need to possibly book the audition or be the difference between booking it and not booking it. 6. The FIRST LINE in the audition: The first line, the very first line of the voiceover, I believe, is the most important line. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. I don't agree with that saying, but I do believe in voiceover. It is largely true that first line is so important because people make quick judgments. And not just when listening to voice over auditions, but just in general, people make these kind of knee-jerk reaction judgments in music, you know, five seconds or less into a song. And most of the time people say, I don't like that song, and then make a judgment as to whether or not they like the song, even though they've never heard it just over the first or just after listening to just the first few seconds. Client in a voiceover audition situation listens to the first few seconds of an audition. And that same phenomenon is in place, the knee jerk reaction many times the client knows. And here's in their head exactly or close to exactly what they're looking for. And many times also, as we spoke about before, they don't. But either way, you, me, we anyone that auditions is dealing with that issue of the opening line or the first few words you have to grab the listener's ear or give the listener's ears something to grab onto. If the client has an idea about what they're looking for. You're either going to be that are close enough to that to be shortlisted, or you just simply aren't. If the client isn't sure what they're looking for and they figure, Well, you know, I'll know it when I hear it, then you're in that same situation. They're usually going to make that judgment most of the time based on your opening line and or perhaps the tone or sound of your voice. If either of those things isn't something that catches their ear, then just like a song, they may prejudge. So your audition doesn't have much if any of a chance to make it through. And I'd been on the casting side many times for voiceover projects and have seen where auditions are being listened to by a producer or a client. And their listing to the first three to five seconds, sometimes longer, but not usually, the first three to five. So it could be a 30-second audition. You may have gone through and voice and edited 30 seconds and they listen to three to five seconds and end up saying, nope, nope, that's not what we're looking for. A note next. Next. Nope. Nope. And here's what I've seen. Even when they get to the one that they end up choosing, I've seen this time and time again. They'll say, yep, now they might listen to it for a few more seconds than the others perhaps. But then they turn it off before even hearing the full audition of the one that they hire. Now this doesn't happen every time, of course there would be no way to say this happens every time. There's no way to know what happens every time in anything. But I've seen this time and time again, they don't even listen to the full audition. They just listen until they feel like, well, this is the one we're looking for. So it just goes to show you just how important that front end of the audition is. 7. Try this Audition Technique: Alright, so here's a process to try out with your auditions and see if this might work for you. I like to do this. I do three takes and then I redo the first line and paste it in. And let me explain what I'm talking about here. So I go through the specs, I read through the vocal specs. If they're there. Sometimes you don't even have vocal specs, vocal directions. If they are there, i read through them like we did several slides back. I read them. I try to become that person as I'm reading the actual directions. Then I read the script and I may go through this script three, maybe four times, recording it. And then I go out and I edit it. I tried to find the best take if I made it through all three takes without any stumbles or mistakes, which is rare. Then I have three takes to choose from. Maybe I might comp one together. Comping is when you have multiple takes and you take it little bit at this one, a little bit of that one, a little bit of this one, and bring it all together and you kind of build the perfect beast basically. So I will either pick the best take of the three or I will comp one together. And then I listened to it. And almost always after I've listened to that one, I can almost always go back and listen to that first line. Not every, not every time, but most of the time, I can find a way to improve that first line to kinda dance with the rest of the script. So here's a 30-second script for Stanley Steamer. And let me just, I haven't thought this through, but let me let me just read this through one time and then we'll come back and kind of examined the first-line. Meet Kyle, you name it, dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. But Stanley Steamer gets rid of it. That's why Stanley Steamer, he's the first carpet cleaning service to be certified asthma and allergy friendly, eliminating an average of 94% of home allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander, without leaving any cleaning chemicals behind for a cleaner, healthier home. Now Kyle is a happy kid, which makes Stanley Steamer happy to. Okay. So I read that through. There's one read and then I would read it a second time. I already see something just from that first read, I see something that I want to change about this. Okay? I want to have more in this audition, in this read, i want to have more contrast. I want to have more positives as opposed to negatives. So I might start it off like this. Meet Kyle, you name it dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. So you see the tone changes a little bit. Meet Kyle, you name it, dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. So that's a little bit kinda negative, not really positive. I might start off positive with meat Kyle, you name it, dust, pollen, pet dander, he's allergic to it. Then we go positive, but Stanley Steamer gets rid of it. It's all positive here. That's why Stanley Steamer is the first carpet cleaning service to be certified. Allergy friendly, eliminating an average of 94% of home allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander, back down to the negative without leaving any cleaning chemicals behind. For a cleaner, healthier home. And then positive. Now Kyle's I happy, good. Which makes Stanley Steamer happy too. So let's say I have my take. I say this is the one I like, maybe I've kept one together. Then I go back after I listen to the whole thing and I pay close attention to the opening line. And now I have decided that I want to be negative from the beginning, not meet Kyle. Wasn't quite jive with the rest of it. So why not just start off negative, meet Kyle. So would sound like this. Meet Kyle, you name it, dust, pollen, pet dander, aids allergic to it. Now we have the contrast, but Stanley Steamer gets rid of it. And then we, in the end we have now Kyle is a happy kid. So when we first mentioned Kyle, meet Kyle, you name it Lam, I'm and then at the end, now Kyle is a happy kid, which makes Stanley Steamer happy too. So I decided by going through all of that and then going back and listening to that first line. But it might be better to just throw the whole thing a little bit of a negative blanket over the whole thing. If they listened to the first, let's say five to eight seconds, they're going to hear that contrast. Meet Kyle, you name it, dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. But Stanley Steamer gets rid of it. That's why Stanley Steamer is the first carpet cleaning service to be certified asthma and allergy friendly. Alright, so let's talk a little bit about Copy points here. Make sure you find those places. But you think that might be a good place to shine the spotlight. But Stanley Steamer gets rid of it. So that would be a good place to kind of shine the spotlight there. The first that's why Stanley Steamer is the first carpet cleaning service. I'll tell you what makes a good copy point are a good place to shine, a spotlight, adjectives. So if you find an adjective and a script, it's going to, it's guaranteed it's going to sound good. If you emphasize that adjective, unless you have a bunch of them in a row, you can over Copy points something or over-emphasized something. So you wouldn't want to say, you know, that's why Stanley Steamer is the first carpet cleaning service to be sorted. If it's starting to sound like that, then that that's too much. But we have is the first carpet cleaning service. That's a selling point, that's a copy point. That's why Stanley Steamer is the first carpet cleaning service to be certified asthma and allergy friendly, eliminating it average of 94% of home allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander. Should I, then I make another decision. I've already said dust, pollen, and pet dander. Should I say it now in a positive light? Because now I'm saying we're eliminating it, eliminating an average of 94% of home allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander, without leaving any cleaning chemicals behind. So you have to make these kind of decisions. And I mentioned earlier, it's an awful lot like an artist with an e solo blank easel and is color palette and his different brushes. It's, and it's about interpretation. So you have to really make these kinds of decisions and think of it like a song, like a good performer. They think of ups and downs, a good songwriter performer. They think of the ups and downs of different emotions that you can inject, inject into, into the Reed to give it this kind of variety. You want to have pitch variety and you want to have good pacing variety. So a good phrase to remember is slow and low. If you have something that's negative, if you slow it down and lower the pitch a little bit, that usually works wonders. So let's say let's say I was going to read meet Kyle the very first line in a positive way, meet Kyle. You name it, dust, pollen and pet dander. He's allergic to it. Do that again. Meet Kyle. You name it dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. So meet Kyle. You name it dust, pollen, pet dander. He's allergic to it. So there's no metronomic timing to these things, but you do want to look for these opportunities to let it breathe. And a great way to let it breathe is bi, fluctuating and injecting variety of pitch and also tempo. So give that a try, three takes, and then redo the first line. And what I'll do is I'll I'll go back to the microphone and I will record that first line again. The way I am hearing it now in my head and just paste that right over the first line in editing. And I do have planned a Editing in Pro Tools for voiceover. Course. It's actually in the works and that should be coming up within the next few weeks. So three takes and then redo the first line and see if that doesn't help you win some more auditions. 8. There is a good dose of acting in Voice ACTING: All right, can you find the acting and voice acting? There is a good dose of it in there. Looking at an audition and figuring out or hearing it in your head and figuring out how you think the audition should be delivered is one thing we can all create Masterpiece Theater in our heads. So looking at an audition and figuring out are hearing in your head how you think the audition should be delivered is one thing. Opening your mouth and turning that voice in your head into audible reality is another thing. It's called voice acting for a reason. There's technique involved. There really is a lot of acting in voiceover. You have to learn voiceover technique and know where to go within your instrument to be able to create the sound of excitement. Excitement. When I read something is supposed to be exciting. I raise my eyebrows. I use my hands a lot. You know, it's the big two for one weekend admission at Disneyland, Bring a Friend and get in free. Or and by the way, I should also throw in this really isn't a technique course, but you should be if you're not using a lot of physical movements, mystery. I'm leaning in, I'm lowering my voice and I'm using air, you know, on an all new in CIS. So it's a technique, it's vocal technique. I'm using my hand. I'm kinda conducting. I'm creating the tempo by moving my hand slowly and smoothly. Apprehensiveness. You want to be able to sound apprehensive. What if someone said, How do you sound apprehensive? Give me Mary Had a Little Lamb And then apprehensive way Waiting. No, I'm kidding. If someone said that to me, I would be Mary Had a Little Lamb. His fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. I'm thinking about, I want to pet that cobra on the head. There is a cobra in front of me. They say I can pet it and he doesn't bite. But I'm not so sure I want to do that. We can take it to another level. Mary Had a Little Lamb, his fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. Okay. That's apprehensive sounding. And then depression. Depression hurts everyone. Are you, are you or someone you love affected by depression, suffering from depression. It's almost the same as mystery but not quite. So. That's vocal technique. And again, there is acting and voice acting. If you don't have any acting experience, it's not necessarily the case that you have to, but it is not a bad idea to take an acting class or take an improv class gets you thinking on your feet. But you definitely should at the very least, take a voiceover technique class, vocal technique class. So can you find the acting and voice acting next time you hear a voice over, next time you hear a voice over on radio or television, pay attention. And depending on the type of voice over that it is, you may hear that there is actually an awful lot of this decision-making and then creating vocal reality going on throughout the read that you're hearing. 9. Breaking a script down : Okay, let's talk about breaking down the script. When you get a script in front of you, whether it's for an actual voice-over job or an audition. And by the way, you want to treat auditions like jobs. You want to break the script down, you gotta make some determinations. Read the specs, makes sure that you are the desired voice age range. That's always important. They'll say, looking for someone that's 35 to 50. Sometimes you'll get auditions that are out of your age range. Typically, we like to think in a perfect world, we're only gonna get auditions from people sending us auditions that are appropriate for us. That's not always the case. So read the specs, make sure that you're in the right vocal age range doesn't know. Age has nothing to do with it. So if you're 60 years old and you sound like you're 35 and you fall in the aid, the vocal age range, then, then you can go for it. Understand who the target audience or market is. A lot of times they'll tell you on there, this is for radio broadcast or this is television broadcast. And it's for, you know, we're targeting high-school seniors and juniors because this is a junior college ad or a university and they're trying to get their target demographic are people that would be moving into college in the next couple of years or so, one or two years. So trying to understand who the target market or demographic is, understand what the intended impact on the listener is. So sometimes they'll tell you in the directions. I'll say we wanted them to be excited about this two for one admission, or we want them to we want to tug on the heartstrings as we pan across the cages of homeless animals, understand what the intended impact on the listener is. And then of course, you want to make sure you can create that intended impact and that sound and feel. Vocally. Read through it a few times with a critical ear and ask yourself, is this good? Is this good? It's important to have a critical ear when you listen to these things. Don't think that you're great because you're probably not. No one's really great. That would be watching these modules. I'm not great. I'm good. I'll say that I'm good. I must be I book, I may make a living doing voiceovers. But anyone watching these modules, you're in the beginning stages, so don't think you're great. And I've worked with people that really do think that they're great. And I have to almost convince them that they're not. It's good to have confidence. But you also need to understand your limitations and know the areas that need work. So read through it a few times and listened with a critical ear. You can record yourself and listen back or you can just listen as you're reading it. Just ask yourself, is this really good? Then if you haven't recorded it, do that and play it back. And pretend that you're listening to something on the radio and ask yourself against, is this any good? Mean if I were to hear to commercials on the radio and in this one and another couple after it with this sound out of place or do I sound like I'm trying to imitate some of the people that I've worked with. That the most, that feel that they are very, very good at voice overs are ones that want to do movie trailers, video game trailers. One man, one woman. And there, it sounds like they're imitating someone else that they've heard do movie trailers, which isn't a horrible thing. There is a definite style to it. But they just don't set they're pulling their pipes, which means they're going to low and it just doesn't sound natural. And a lot of the people that I've worked with it that think that they're really, really good. People have to probably told them, Well that sounds great. You know, you have to let them know. Could compare yourself to say, uh, scott rumble or ashton Smith, you know, find them online at listened to some real trailer guys and you'll hear that you sound like someone that's just playing around. Not saying you watching this. I'm just saying people that I've worked with and I've had to actually do that, go and play examples of theirs and do back to backs. And just to let them see that they do have, have a lot of work to do. So, pretend that you're listening to the radio or watching television and ask yourself again, isn't any good? And then keep doing this as a practice process with different kinds of scripts. E-learning, just basically anything you can get your hands on any type of script you want to go through that process and listen with a critical ear. That's the most important thing. Be willing to say. That's no good. And how can I improve it? 10. What is the broadcast medium?: Now this is kind of a broad and tough one. And I'm going to spend very little time on it. Doesn't quite seem right, does it? If it's broad and hard, why spend very little time? This is something you're going to have to kind of develop an ear for. What is the broadcast medium? Is it radio, television, internet? What is it? How can you tell? Oftentimes in the specs they'll tell you this is for a radio commercial. Many times they'll tell you the geographic area where it's going to be broadcast or playing. Or they'll say this is for television. This is for an internet. This is a video for the internet. And why does it matter? That's the part that's kinda abroad. It matters because oftentimes there is a difference between how radio commercials and television commercials are delivered. That's your homework, part of your homework you just need to listen instead of tuning out if that's what you do now when commercials, commodities you tune in if you want to do voice over, you have to listen to voiceovers. I mean, what other field is there where you can tune into and examine and study working professionals 24 hours a day, pretty much from anywhere. And and study and examined what they're doing. I mean, you can't do that if you're going to be a brain surgeon, you can't do that if you're going to be a plumber, you know, there are only certain times you can really study the people that are actually doing what you want to be doing. Voiceovers is one of those, one of those fields. So notice the difference between radio and television commercials for one thing production wise. Typically with television, the background sounds and music is a little bit hotter or volume is a little bit higher than it is in a radio mics. So that's something to consider when you're doing the voiceover and you'll figure it out on your own. Y that is unit. Your voice needs to cut through the mixed perhaps a little bit more if it's for television, I don't want to get into all of that that has to do with Mike proximity and things like that. But I should touch on it I guess just a little bit. So if it's a television commercial, you wanna make sure that your, make sure you're not too far from the microphone. Radio commercials, you can be a little bit further back. But if it's for television, maybe get a little bit closer to the mic than you normally would. Because if they're going to be dropping that into a pre-produced bed of music or sound effects. You wanna make sure that they don't have to turn it up because allowed or they have to turn it up then then the thinner your voices further back from the Mike, you are, the thinner your voice is going to be. You can hear that here now probably. And if I get right up on the microphone, it's much warmer. It's Mike proximity. So if it's a television commercial, I might get just a little bit closer to the microphone so that when they turn it up in the mix, it doesn't they're not just turning up this thinner sounding voice or volume from back here. So how can you tell? Well, they'll tell you many times. Sometimes they don't tell you, sometimes you don't know, then you just go with your most comfortable proximity. And why does it matter? Well, we talked about we talked about that a little bit right there. There are differences in delivery styles and there's also differences in warmness and proximity between a radio and a television commercial. 11. Some words suggest how you might want to say them: So we talked a little bit before about making decisions, about how to read the copies so that it breathes, so that it's not all just one tempo. And so we have good pitch variety. And we talked a little bit about Copy points. And some words will suggest how you should save them. So some individual words will suggest how you might want to go about saying them. So let's use the word here. Delightful. The baby has a delightful smile. The baby has a delightful smile. So remember we talked a little bit about adjectives being good copy points. There's an example, right? They're delightful. Smile an adjective for those of you that may be scratching your head thinking, oh wait a minute, I don't remember from English class, what is an adjective, a descriptor word to word describing something else. So the delightful smile. The rule that I've heard many times and I incorporate into my read is just add an L-Y at the end of an adjective. And that will be a word that will suggest how you might want to say the word. So if we have the word delightful and we add an L-Y at the end, that makes the word delightfully. So that's how we might want to say the word delightful. How do we say something delightfully, delightful, delightful. Add some smile into it. And shaping your mouth into the shape of a smile is a great way to put some smile in your read. So the baby has a delightful smile. The baby has a delightful smile. The baby has a delightful smile. So just adding an LY. Now it's not always going to be an actual word like here we have, let's say this isn't a script. His elbow hit the hard floor. So if we put L-Y at the end of the word hard, we have the word hardly. Say that word hardly. Well, that doesn't make sense, but you get the idea, right? So we might say, we want to indicate that the floor is hard so we'll make the word heart. His elbow hit the hard floor. His elbow hit the hard floor. So I'm kind of thrusting or leaning into the word just a little bit. We looked out the window at the beautiful blue horizon. So i'm saying the word beautiful, beautifully, the beautiful blue horizon. And again, that's voice acting, that's technique. That's something you have to practice and make sure that you can get that down. But those are called Copy points, as we spoke about before. And adding an L-Y at the end of adjectives. Many times, we'll suggest how you might want to say that word. 12. Lets talk about Copy Points: All right, just a couple more words about Copy points. If you're in the beginning stages of your voice over career or maybe you haven't even started yet. I am a firm believer that it's a good idea in the beginning stages of your career to print scripts and Mark Copy points. Print them out on a piece of paper, have a pencil with an eraser, and look for these Copy points. Look for the adjectives, look for the words that you think that would be a great place to place, a little bit of emphasis. That's a, that's a, an attractive part of this offer. Or that's something that the listener really needs to know, that parking is free or you park on a self site of a convention center, find these Copy points and you want to figure out how you want to emphasize these Copy points. There are eight common ways to emphasize Copy points. One is to go up in pitch, one is to go down in pitch when you say it. One is to elongate the word, Another is to shorten the word. One is to get louder when you say the word one is to get quieter when you say the word. One is to just simply pause before it, and another is to pause after you say it. So there are eight common ways, but basically you want to do what feels and most importantly, sounds the most natural. So look for these Copy points, marked them and when you mark it, say, do I want to go up or down on this copy point? If the war, if it's a word and by the way, Copy points don't have to be just one word. It can be a full sentence. You might have noticed a moment ago. When I said we looked out the window at the beautiful blue horizon, beautiful blue horizon, that whole thing to me as a copy point. And what do I do to it? I elongated, I drag it out just a little bit to make it sound delicious, to make it sound beautiful. So that's one technique. And I mentioned that when just a moment ago, that's one of the eight is to drag it up. But what have I just said? I looked out the window at the beautiful blue horizon. Maybe I just want to emphasize blue. Again. You're the painter to blank easel. You're deciding how you want to paint the picture, how you want to interpret the copy. So figuring out how you want to emphasize the Copy points. Copy points can be emphasized by inflection, pitch, pacing, and pausing. And I just wanna talk for another moment here on pausing. I like to call them thoughtful pauses. So if I'm going to pause, I might want to make it sound like I'm trying to think about what to say next. As I was doing there, typically when we pause and voiceovers, a beat is going to be sufficient anything longer than that. And it's very possibly just going to turn into what sounds like dead air for a moment. So Let's say the script says, hi, Remember what my grandson and I used to go fly fishing. I remember when he used to try to tie the nod and throw the line out into the water. It's almost sounds as if I'm picturing it in my mind even though the scripts right in front of me, I remember when he used to try to tie the line and throw the line out into the water. So it's called a thoughtful pause. I pause to make it sound like I'm saying these words with the first-time or I'm an auto mechanic and at the end of the day, I can barely raise my arms above my head. I can barely raise my arms above my head. So thoughtful pods. And it adds a bit of real ism to the read. 13. Copy point examples: Alright, copy point examples. Here's an actual script for ambient CR. Now, something I haven't mentioned up to this point, actually, I did allude to it, but we didn't go deeply into it. You will get scripts, you will get auditions from time to time that have no directions. You have to look at it and self-direct, you have to make determinations by looking at it as to how you think the line should be delivered, what angle you want to hit it from and so forth. So let's say that this one had absolutely no directions. Ambient CR. I'm going to read it through kinda dry. It sneaks up on you. This is the first time I've ever read this script. Or it's not the first time I read this, but if it were an actual audition, This is how I would read it through the first time my eyes go across the words, it sneaks up on you. Tried that again. Remember that first line is so important. It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Ask your prescriber about ambient cr for a good night sleep from start to finish. Now, I'm going to ask you, I'm going to pause for a moment. I'm going to ask you to read that same script, starting with it sneaks up on you. Read through that. The best way that you can. Think about the Copy points, look through there, see if you can find any places that you might be able to emphasize something. Speed up, slow down, anything like that, give it a little color. So I'm going to use my timer on my phone here. And I'm gonna give you one minute to read through it out loud it as many times as you can. You'll be able to get through that a few times in a minute and just see if you can improve at each time timer starts. Now, Go for it. 30 seconds. And that's a minute. So I'm going to read through this and pick some of my copy points now keep in mind everybody's different. It's all about interpretation and every artist is going to probably look at it or think of it slightly differently. So I'm going to read it dry again. It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake, ask your prescriber about ambient cr for a good night's sleep from start to finish. Now, I'm immediately thinking, What is the main idea here? The main idea. Is that some people have trouble falling asleep. This is something to help them fall asleep. Some people fall asleep right away, but then they wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, my wife. And they're saying here, here's a solution and you can ask your prescriber about ambient CRC if it's right for you, for a good night sleep from the time he laid down at the time you wake up. So I see the ups and downs, there's positives, there's negative. Here's the problem, here's the solution. Now, I want to break it down and think, what can I do as far as Copy points? What can I do to this script to give it some variety? So this would be an average read. Tell me if you think this sounds good. It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Ask your prescriber about ambient Zr for a good night's sleep from start to finish. So you might be thinking that's not a bad read. Onto bed. Could have been better, but not too bad. What if I read it like this? It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Ask your prescriber about ambient cr for a good night sleep from start to finish? Yeah, it actually wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be. But let me show you what I want. My intention was it sneaks up on you right in the beginning. There's that opening line. It sneaks up on you in the dead of night. So I'm putting a little bit of mystery into that opening line. A little bit of a whisper, not too much. We want to do it very subtly. It sneaks up on you. So the reason why I wanna do it subtly is I don't want to whisper through the whole thing. You may fall asleep right away. So I have to do it very just a hint of Whisper, hint of mystery. It sneaks up on you. And then I'm going to say you may fall asleep right away. And I'm going to say that a little bit more briskly than that opening line because that's our positive, right? It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away. Here's our negative, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Very subtle difference. Let's just work with that first part. It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away. But a few hours later, you're wide awake. One more, it sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Ask your prescriber about ambient cr for a good night sleep from start to finish for a good night's sleep from start to finish for a good night sleep from start to finish. Ok. Notice how I changed the last line up a few times there. I would do that and then pick the one that I felt most comfortable with after doing the audition. So I would record that. And then when I go back and sit down and I'm listening back to those, I would pick the one that I liked the most. And that opening line. If I didn't catch that the first time that it sounds good to say it sneaks up on you. If I didn't catch that the first time, I would probably catch it when I was listening through if all three if all three takes just said it sneaks up on you, you may fall asleep, right to what? I would most certainly catch that when I'm listening to it and I'm studying it in, playing it back, I would say, you know what, sneaks, sneaky. It sneaks up on you. You may fall asleep right away, but a few hours later, you're wide awake. Ask your prescriber about ambient cr for a good night sleep from start to finish. So you want to play around with scripts like that. And think of different ideas that you can implement into the read and been different in various areas of the script. 14. Microphone Proximity: And she did earlier. Now let's get a little bit more detailed with it. Microphone proximity that I don't know if you can hear the helicopter. If not than that probably looked ridiculous. Helicopter flew by. That was loud enough and in close enough proximity for you to possibly hear it. I'm not sure. But a microphone is like a human ear. So you want to determine whether a script should sound warm or have more of a natural sound. And you also want to listen and watch out for plosives or siblings, which are audition killers. So let's start from the top. A microphone is like a human ear. So if I'm back here and I'm talking like this, it's a more thin sound, it's a more natural sounding. As opposed to if I get right up on top of the microphone like this. Ok. So if you read the script and it says, you know, remember when mom used to bake that apple pie. The smell of cinnamon in the air on Christmas Eve. The stockings hanging by the mantle, the Christmas tree lights. Remember when mom used to bake that apple pie, getting up close to the mic a little closer, just like a human ear, If someone talks very close to your ear to very warm and full sound and the further back you get, then, the less full and warm that it sounds. If you think it's just a real person read like maybe it's something like, hey, you know, driving a taxi in New York City is going to this and this and that. I don't do a good accent or dialect or, you know, I worked eight hours every day. Then I come home when I sit down and crack open a Heineken. Twist open a Heineken. Anyway. If it's more, should be more of a natural sound, then you don't wanna be too close to the microphone. So you read the script and kinda determined what the feel of the thing should be in your, in your best opinion. And if you're going to be getting close to the microphone, you have to watch out for plosives. Plosives are puffs of air, Peter Pan Peanut Butter. Now I do have a pop filter on this one. Pop filters are not the end all be all though. You will still hear plosives from time to time, even with a pop filter on there. And siblings is our hissy Ss, high-end hissy S's, which oftentimes or not oftentimes always is a combination of your voice and the microphone that you're using. So you may have to do a little compensation with the recording software that you're using to kind of mix out, equalise out. Or most recording softwares have what's called a DLSR. And it takes some of the high-end frequency off the S's. Those are auditions killers. If someone hears that, they're gonna think, well, if this is the best they can do, if I hire them, I'm probably going to get the same thing. So the closer you are to the Mike, the more chance you have experiencing plosives and siblings. Another thing to oh, and I should address a little bit. What have you are getting plosives and siblings? Well, try speaking at an angle. You know, see you, I'm right into the bike here. Now I'm kind of speaking off to the side so that those puffs of air aren't hitting the pop filter directly. Sometimes that helps. But you just kinda have to play with that. Listen to it, have headphones on. And if you hearing plosives, you gotta kind of adjust and figure out for yourself what the best positioning would be. And one thing I'll also mentioned is the further you are from the Mike, the more room sound you're going to hear. So if I back way up here, you can probably hear some echo because I'm in a room that is not treated. I have hard walls and ceiling above. I have a vaulted ceiling above me actually, which is the devil. Hard flat surfaces are where sound waves, just like rubber balls will bounce back and forth between and create this echo or this space sound. That's why you want to be surrounded by absorptive material. I'm going to talk about that in just a minute. The closer you get to the mic, the less of the room you're going to hear. But you don't want to spend all your time up here when you're doing voiceovers, you're going to have to be back here sometime. And the more padding you have, the further away you can actually get from the mic. Most people with home built studios are going to be served best being about what I call a karate chop. About a karate chop away from the pop filter. Okay. So the pop filter about an inch or two from the microphone and then you about four inches or so from the microphone, unless you're doing a holiday spot or sales the jewelry store, then you might if you're wanting to get warmer than you, you will move in a little bit closer. And that's when you really have to start listening for and watching for the siblings and plosives. 15. "Slating" an audition: Sliding. You heard me mentioned that earlier. Many times an audition will let you know if and how they want you to slate. Do they wanna head Slate or a tail slate? Now, again, a slate is just where you let them know who you are. If it's a head slate, it'll be at the beginning. This is my Gilmore. If it's a tail slate, of course it'll be at the end. So Mary had a little lamb. Fleece was white as snow everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. This is Mike Elmore. Which do you think from what we've talked about so far? The head Slater, the tail slate. Which one do you think has the best chance of actually being heard? Of course, the head sleep. Because as we talked about before, most of the time when people this new auditions, they don't even listen to the whole thing. But there may be a reason why they want you to do a tail slate. We don't question it. We just follow directions and do what we're told. So if it's a head slate, it's the beginning tail slate at the end. And some will tell you exactly what they want you to say. One of my agents would have me say, this is Mike Elmore for the hamburger agency. You may want that at the beginning of May, wanted at the end, it may be different each time he sends me an audition. A production company that I worked for doesn't want any slates. They may say on their nope, no slaving at all. Do not say your name. And the recording. There are reasons for that. Again, we don't have to go into that. We just do as we're told. Some of them won't say anything about slaving. You're thinking, do I say my name? Where do I say that? They don't even mention it. Well, that's fine. A lot of them won't mention it. And if that's the case, I say, make your own decision. I prefer in an audition where they don't say anything about slaving, I prefer the head slate opening slate because again, you know, if you put it at the end, there's a good chance they won't hear it. And I want them to hear my name, even if they don't like the audition, even if it's not what they're looking for. I still wanted to hear my name because this has happened to me more times than I could possibly count where I have done an audition, not booked it, forgot about it, which by the way is a good phrase to remember. Send it and forget it. Doing auditions, send it and forget it. Don't sit there and think, well, I wonder if I'm going to get that job or wonder if I'm going to hear back from them, should I contact them again? The answer to that is no, do not contact them and say, did you get my audition? Don't do that. So if they don't like the audition, that doesn't mean that they thought you were terrible. It just means perhaps that you weren't what they were looking for for that particular project. And this has happened to me many, many, many times where I have gotten an email from someone saying, Hi Mike, this is John at such and such, you did an audition for us while back the client chose a different voice, but we think it would be great for this. So I want them to hear my name. So I like the head slate because I want to ensure that they actually hear my name and read my name as many times as possible. I want them to see my Gilmore, my Gilmore, my Gilmore. So when they run across me again, if I do another audition for them at any point, I want it to be to ring a familiar bell. So I prefer sliding in the beginning there. And I believe the tone of the slate should match the rest of the read. So if we are doing something on depression, depression affects everyone. I don't want to say this is my Gilmore for the hamburger agency. Depression hurts everyone. Some people will argue that that's a good thing to do to have that variety. I like to keep it the same. This is Mike Elmore for the hamburger agency. It sets the mood, it gets them ready for what they're about to hear. Depression. It affects over 100 thousand people in every city or something. So I like the idea of having the, the tone of the slate match the rest of the read. So we'll talk here in just a moment about naming the file. What should you name it and what should you not name it? 16. Naming the file : Alright, naming the file once you have recorded the audition and you're saving the file, you're going to have to name it something. Don't mess this one up if you do, you're going to have to deal with her. If there are specific instructions telling you what to name the file, do it. Another reason why you want to not be too much in a hurry to get onto the script and miss something important in the specifications because there could be something in there telling you what they want you to name the file. Okay? So voiceovers agents and voiceover production companies, people that use voiceovers a lot can get rabid about this. I've been at voiceover conventions. I've spoken at voiceover conventions pretty much everyone I've been to. There's some kind of breakout session with agents talking about this and how they hate it when people don't follow instructions. A lot of times they have some kind of filing system and a folder is they get the auditions in from an email and if you don't name it as they tell you to name it, then it can get out of whack and the out of order or something like that. So just do as they say, follow the instructions. What I do is I will copy and paste it. So in the email with the audition, if they say please a name your file, Acme brick, underscore, announcer your name. I will actually just copy that highlighted right-click Copy. And then when I'm saving the file out of the recording software, I will paste it right in there. Now you have to remember to go in there and put your name in there where it says your name. I'm known for sometimes going a little too fast and sending the audition still with this in here. No good, no Bueno, You have to put in your your name. I will copy and paste it that way. There's no room for mistakes and you don't have to type it out letter by letter. So do not overlook this or mess it up. Now, it is very possible you could get an audition where they say absolutely nothing about what to name the file. And then it's up to you to determine what you want to name it. What I use. I don't use underscores. If they didn't say here what to name the file, I would just name it Acme brick space, V0 Space, Mike Elmore. So again, don't overlook this. Make sure you get this right. If they give you specific instructions, be sure to follow them. 17. Pay attention to timing: All right. Timing is everything. You don't have to be first, but don't be late. In other words, you don't have to be the first person to submit the audition. You don't have to be the first ten. Sometimes that is helpful. But you don't want to constantly be the one that's late sending it and most of the time they won't accept them. And you don't want to leave it right up to the last minute. And you may have to do that sometimes, but you don't want to always be the one that's just barely getting it in. Now, I would say this. If you get an audition and they say auditions are due by Wednesday, let's say it's Sunday. And they say auditions are due by Wednesday at noon. I will be submitting them as I get them. The client is in a hurry. Now you have a little bit of background. If you find yourself on Wednesday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon. But Wednesday morning saying, Oh, this audition, I think I'm gonna do this, I forgot about this. I'm gonna go back and find that and do it. It might be a little late to the game, because if the client is in a hurry and they're submitting the auditions as they get them. They may have already chosen somebody even so. It depends on how they're submitted. A lot of times they will just get all of the auditions together and then Wednesday at noon, they will dump them all on the client. But if they say I'm submitting them as I get it, as I'm getting them. A lot of times that means the client is in a hurry, so you don't see that an awful lot. Usually just as long as you get it in by the by the due date and due time, then you're fine. But don't always be the one pushing it right up to the last minute because it doesn't look good and it also will lessen your chances of booking. I think you're booking your auditioning to booking ratio could suffer a bit by being the last, you know, Johnny come lately every single time. And people accepting auditions will appreciate your reliability and possibly send you more auditions than if you were, that if you were, than if you were constantly, are consistently pushing, are missing the deadline. Auditions may be submitted as they come in early bird might get the worm. Just keep that in your mind and no, you don't have to be the first one are in the first five, but don't at least do it the first day that it comes in. 18. Your recording sound quality: Your reads maybe on point. But if the sound quality of the recording you're turning in as an audition or a job isn't up to standards. That's something that will kill the audition or gets you fired from a job and they'll move on to someone else, either that or send you into a professional studio, which will probably be these days. Your expense. People today want people to do voiceovers that can record from home and provide good sound quality. So we talked a little bit earlier about the difference between dead and live sounding spaces. Live sounding spaces are the ones where you're back from the mic and they sound like you're like you're sitting in a room like I am right now. A dead space is the one where you're surrounded by absorptive material, such as sound control foam, comforters. You haul moving blankets, things that sound waves will not bounce off up. Rule of thumb, I always say if a rubber ball will bounce off of it, it shouldn't be anywhere near you when you're recording. If you throw a rubber ball at a moving blanket or a comfort are more than likely it's going to hit it and dropped to the ground. So you want your space to be dead. Most rooms are live naturally because of the hard flat surfaces you want the space you're recording into be dead. The absorptive material. A good website is foam for you. Foam for you. They have all can all things foam. They have noise control foam over on the left. As long as they haven't changed the website by the time you watch this, it's been about the same for ten years. They haven't changed the website, but it's foam for you. And you can find noise control foam. They're very, very cheap. And I am more than willing. If you have a space set up or you're planning on setting up a space, I'm more than willing to help with a sound assessment if you've taken this course. So obviously, if you know this, you've taken this course and maybe you think your sound as good or you think it could be better, or you're just not sure. If you want to, you can send me an email. It's Mike at Mike Elmore talks.com. Mike at Mike Elmore talks.com. You can send me an email with a recording from your space and I'll be more than happy to evaluate it. Microphone proximity. If the room dead enough visit to dead, it's also possible to be too dead and it sounds boxy. I'll be more than happy to assess your sound if you'd like and maybe give you some tips or pointers or hey, it may be right on, right on the money, may sound great. So if you wanna take advantage of that again, it's Mike at Mike Elmore talks.com. Very important that you have good broadcast quality sound in your recording space. 19. Your editing has to be clean: All right, the editing has to be clean. Your room has to sound good and the file has to sound good, the recording has to sound good. So make sure that your edits are clean. I recommend using headphones or actual studio monitors when you're editing. This is really the only way that you can hear all the little subtle maybe low volume clicks and pops, snap crackle pops that you may have in your mouth due to dry mouth or just mouth noise in general. You want to be able to hear missed breaths that need to be removed. Maybe there's a breadth in there that you went through and through your editing tried to take it out and maybe you missed one or maybe you missed the tail end of one. So if there's a breadth that you are taking out, you'll be able to see what a breath looks like. You probably know what that looks like from your editing. If not, watch for the voiceover editing course that I have that I'm working on now. But if you take a breath out, but you leave the tip of it, it might be like this. Mary Had a Little Lamb, is fleece was white as snow. So you hear a little you won't hear that necessarily through just computer monitors are little computer speakers. You need to either have headphones on or actual studio monitors. So you wanna make sure that you hear all these little subtle low volume things. Because the producer or client will hear those things when they are listening back, there'll be listening through a professional gear more than likely makes you look like you don't know exactly what you're doing because it's so easy to do it, right? So just make sure that you do it like if you'd like to schedule a one-on-one online session with me to learn better editing, then contact me again, Mike at Mike Elmore talks.com. We could schedule schedule a one-on-one session and go through editing, audio editing for voice overs. The program that I use is Pro Tools. Now a lot of people will say, oh, that's like killing a fly with a Buick. Well, an awful lot with Pro Tools, but you don't have to do all of that stuff. The way I use Pro Tools as one track, one mono track, and record button than a stop button and editing, just like any other recording software program. So I have the robust capability that Pro Tools offers, but I don't use it. I just use it to very simply like I would use any other recording software so I can show you on any software how to edit for voice over if you want to schedule a one-on-one session, or if you just want to hang out and wait for me to finish up the course on editing for voiceover. Some of you may be rare indigo though, and want to get moving quickly, more quickly. Feel free to contact me for that. For that one-on-one session via Skype or zoom. 20. BE PICKY WITH AUDITIONS: All right, friends, we're getting close to the end here. Always be picky. Always be picky with voiceover auditions. Know your wheel house, know your talents, know your weaknesses, know your strengths, know that you're not appropriate for every single voice over job that's out there and not every single voice over job it was is created with you in mind. I know my limitations. There are lots of auditions that I look at it and I say, you know what, that's just not that's just not in my skill set. And I delete it and you should do the same. Too many people spend too much time submitting for jobs that they just aren't right for. And again, what that does is it just widens the gap and the ratio from book from auditions to bookings. And a lot of people say How many auditions before you book a job? There is absolutely no way to answer that. You know, lots of people will give you. Well, I've heard it's an average over, you know, 30 auditions for every job book, Dr. Hurd, 50 for every job, but I don't know how people could possibly figure that. I mean, that may have happened to one or two or three or four people, but, you know, for you to book a voice-over job, the stars have to be aligned. You have to know what you're doing and you have to be submitted at the right time roughly, you know, that that could come into play. We talked about that just a few, a few modules ago. If they're in a hurry and you submit too late, but not after the deadline, but just after they've made their decision, then there's just a lot of thing, a lot of moving parts that have to do everything has to come together for you to book a voice-over job. So the last thing you wanna do is be submitting things that you just don't really click with. So if you don't have the voice of God, don't, don't, don't try to push it down here and sound like you or do you know? If you don't sound like Morgan Freeman and that's what they're looking for, then you just don't do it. So you've got to be picky and feel, feel free and confident in deleting auditions and not doing them. 21. Do a little research if necessary: Not exactly sure about something with an audition. Do a little research if necessary. If you're not sure how to pronounce the name of a company product. You want to find that out. You can probably find something online. Previous commercial or somebody talking about the product. Find out how to pronounce it, take that extra little bit of time that it might take. Because that might be just the thing that twists their ear the wrong way if they're liking your audition, but then you say the company name or the company product or the company name wrong. That could be something it's a little bit off putting. So if there's a word that's not accompany name or a product, maybe it's just a word that they're using in a script. Well, make sure you know how to pronounce everything. It's very easy again, just to go to Google, type in the word and then the word pronunciation after it. So artefact pronunciation and there will be videos, almost guarantee. There'll be videos that will tell you how to pronounce it. Maybe you might want to see if they have previous spots posted online. That's something I just mentioned a moment ago. If there is a previous commercial, this is another tip. If there's a previous commercial, I recommend listening or watching the commercial. If you see that there's another one in the list there, say on YouTube, maybe listened to that. If they're similar, you might want to listen to a third one. If you're finding kind of a common theme amongst the delivery of the random commercials you found online from this company. Then that might be what they're looking for, you know, for this one as well. If you, if you notice this kind of random or not random, this consistent theme, common denominator. If you will. Look at the script that's in front of you and say, would this sound good in this style? And if the answer is yes, then you might want to try that. You might want to try delivering it in that style. So do a little research if necessary. 22. Where do I find auditions?: All right, and finally, how do I get or find auditions? Well, there are many different ways to go about that. That all comes down to marketing. Marketing yourself. That's a whole other course in and of itself. But you can be creative and come up with your own ways to market yourself, marketing yourself, basically letting people know who you are. And once you do. This is an online business, largely, many areas of voiceover, unless you live in Southern California and you do lots of animation, video game work in studios with groups of people that you have dialogue with. Other than that most of the time. Or if you live in Southern California, a lot of the voice over work is still done in studios, but people that don't live in Southern California or New York City are able to do voiceovers from home. That's how I do it. That's how most people that I know do it. So in this day and age of recording and working at home on a computer, it's very easy to market yourself. It's free, as long as you can surf the internet and send email, then you're in good shape. You have all the tools you need to be able to market yourself, at least on online, on the computer. You can do cold marketing, email campaigns, going online and finding lists of production companies and other places that use, that use voiceovers. Just send them an email, say something like Hi, my name's Mike Gilmore. I do voiceovers. Just wanted to make you aware of me. And I'm available for any auditions that you may get in that you think it might be appropriate for click below to hear my demo. Thanks so much Mike Elmore. So cold marketing and you can just, I spend a ton of time sending out marketing emails like that, cold marketing. I just on Spotify, put on some music, spend maybe 15 minutes a day every single day while not at, not on the weekends, but every single day during the week, spend about 15 minutes, just blast in these things out and I personalize them. So I find that these lists of places that use voiceovers that I feel it use voiceovers, production companies, recording studios. And if it's called Acme recording studio, I'm gonna put in there, hey, Acme recording studio. And then I paste the marketing email in there. But I do like to personalize each and every email, so it doesn't look like it's a copy of an email at 5 thousand people are getting. So cold marketing email is a great way to get your name out there. And a lot of times what people do in these production companies is they will get these email and they'll say, oh, a male voice-over guy, I'm going to put it in this folder, Female voiceover, I'm gonna put it in this folder. Then when they have a client that's working on a project that needs an audition for a male, then they can take the script and say, I've got a bunch of guys here, I'm going to send them out the script, and that's how you get auditions. Now if you get, you know, a even a dozen places, Cindy, you auditions on a fairly regular basis. That's going to be more than you can probably handle. So that's one way. And you send out a bunch of those just like fishing, throw a bunch of lines on the water. You get some that start sending you auditions back. You can find people running ads, looking for a voice over. There, freelance websites online. I'm not gonna talk about rates, but I will say you will find the low-hanging fruit in terms of rates on these freelance websites that you'll find out their guru is one G You Ru, Upwork.com is another one. You will find some decent paying jobs on there, but you'll find even more than that jobs that don't pay very much that leave you scratching your head thinking, Is this worth it to really do it for this amount? I always tell people those low budget jobs aren't going anywhere. A lot of voice over people have the stance that they need to blog about it and talk about it and tell everyone do not take these low rates. That's not gonna do any good. I don't believe these rate I call a new wing to the Voice Over house. There's always been the voiceover house in terms of rates. Now there's a new wing. And at the end of this hallway, at the end of this wing or at the end of this hallway in this wing, are these low budget jobs because now video editing software is very inexpensive. High-definition, high-powered video capturing devices, cameras, phones, things like that, are more inexpensive than ever before. So people are now able to make videos for people and animation software. They can animate, they can program it on the computer. Now that this stuff is more inexpensive, more people can do it, and more people are gonna do it. And they don't charge a whole lot of money to their clients that they're making the videos for. Therefore, they don't have a big budget for the voiceover. And they're always gonna be there. We're not going to run him off by barking or blogging as voiceover people. It's, it's, it's, I don't believe it's going to drive rate. I didn't want to get into talking about this, but I always tell people, I think, that It's important, especially when you're first starting out in voiceovers for you to gain of some validity and belief in yourself in that. Well, I've put this into it, I've gotten a demo put together. I marketed myself, I've done this and that and that I've built my little home recording area here. I've done all this. You want to book a voice-over job. You want to validate that all of this work wasn't for not and then it actually works at there are actually millions of voice over jobs out there and that you can snag one here and snag one there. So if that means doing a voice-over job for a 100 bucks, $7,500. I say do it as long as they don't want you to read the New Testament or something for a 100 bucks. But if it's something that's shortish, you don't want to spend hours on it for a $100. You know, that's a personal decision that you have to make. And I could go on and on and on about that. And I have been in many debates with other voice over people who say You should not absolutely should not do work for that amount of money? Well, I disagree. I think when you're new, you take what you can get and that's not harvesting AS a what's the word I'm looking for? That's not I don't think that's harvesting a scenario where all voiceover rates are going to start to go down, down, down and down. It has caused that a little bit, but I just don't see that being the case all the way around. And I'm telling you right now, those low paying voiceover jobs are not going away. Another place you can get voiceover auditions from pay-to-play sites or P2P sites. There are different ones out there. You can find those. I don't endorse any one in particular. Voices.com is one the voice realm as another voice, 1-2-3, on-hold production companies. So if you have a demo of you doing telephony or on-hold message type stuff. You can Google on hold production companies put together a marketing email letting them know who you are and what you do and have your on-hold demo. I have a link to your on-hold demo right there in the email and send it to him and you can think outside the box in closing, I want to talk a little bit about thinking outside the box. In terms of marketing yourself. You know, everyone goes left, you go right. Maybe you go left also. And you do the cold marketing. You do the pay to play sites. But also it's a good idea to come up with something that's, that not everyone else is doing. So here's an idea that I came up with. I had a client here in South Florida and I actually went into say hi to them. I did their phone, I did the radio commercials and phone systems. And so I went in there and the owner said, oh, let me introduce you to this other guy named Mike, who was their phone system guy. So he was in there doing some work on their phone system. It's a long distance and voice mail and all the VOIP, voice over IP, all this stuff. He provided that. And so he shook my hand. He said, oh, you're the voice, You're the guy whose voice I'm always loading onto the phone system, right? So that's me. And so long story short and to kind of fast forward, he said, you know, we could probably use u over a blue line quite a bit. And he said we have about 10 thousand customers. So we've got 50 salespeople and we hear the question quite a bit. Do you have a service or do you offer a professional recording? And he said we have a guy in accounting that has, you know, kind of a deep voice and he hates doing it. But when we get that request, we always ask him to do it. He said so maybe if you met with our CEO and convinced him that this would be a good product to add to our ala carte menu of services that maybe we could work something out and we could send send a lot of work your way. So I made an appointment with a CEO, went up there and talk to him. He loved the idea. And basically what ended up happening was happening with that was it started off fine because as the salespeople would make sales and tell them that they can sound like a Fortune 500 company for just a few $100. We were getting orders where we're getting order here or there or hearing. He put an incentive in there, $50 incentive per per each one's sold, the salespeople. So we were getting orders and orders. Then he decided to do a blast, an email blast out to their 10 thousand customers, hand somehow to 10 thousand people. And I'm one person. And it was overwhelming. It was overwhelming, overwhelming to the point we had to cut the program. I wasn't able to keep up with my other voiceover work. So and I'll be honest with you, the Pay, It just didn't make sense to keep doing that because I was missing voiceover work where I would have been making hundreds and thousands of dollars on campaigns. But I was literally buried alive in hundreds of on-hold messages. So we had to pull the plug and actually tell some of the people that we couldn't fulfill the order and I don't know how. But anyway, I ended up severing ties with them. It was a great idea and a great company, but that's something anyone could do. Find any one of these business class phone company providers out there, just make sure they don't blast out to all their existing customers. And also make sure that they don't already provide that service because some of them do and some of them don't. So think outside the box when it comes to figuring out where to get your auditions from an overall. Now that auditions are very, very important. And it's very, very important that you make those sound like the job, don't record it on an iPhone and send it in and think, well, this is just an audition. I can do it on an iPhone. Most people these days want to hear what your studio looks, what to hear, what your studio sounds like before they hire you. So you want to make a good clean recording. Whether you do it in your own studio or not, who knows? You know. But if, if your home studio is clean sounding and you record in the backseat of a car, which is a great place to record by the way, then fine. But you don't want to send in something that you've recorded in a parking garage on your iPhone. Because they may think, well, this is horrible sound quality. How do we know what their home studio sounds like? That might keep them from hiring you. I appreciate each and every one of you sitting through the modules with me here. There is another course on here, which is an introduction to voiceovers. There's some great marketing information in that course as well. And also watch for the upcoming course that I'm working on now, which will be editing for voiceovers. And I'll be demonstrating how to do that using Pro Tools. But a lot of the techniques that I use, crossover into other recording platforms. So once again, my name is Mike Elmore. If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave them here or you can email me at Mike at Mike Elmore talks.com. And if any of you want to take advantage of the home studio assessment, you can let me know that at the same email. Any questions at all you may have. I'll be happy to answer. Best of luck to you and I'll keep my ears out for you.