“Slating an audition” refers to saying your name at the beginning of the recording.
Unlike theater or commercial VO auditions that require actors to slate their name and possibly role, audiobook auditions don’t need slates unless the audition instructions specifically ask for one.
The reverse is also true: In those infrequent occasions where the instructions tell you to add a slate, be sure to say only your first and last name. You would not say the name of the book or author or offer any other information that was not requested.
Remember, the audition is the job interview.
Let the first thing they hear be what they want to hear — the actual audition.
In addition to showcasing how you would interpret the text, your recording also demonstrates 2 other key points:
- You know how to follow instructions.
- You have respect for the person who is listening to the auditions. You don’t waste their time with an unnecessary slate.
Depending on the number of auditions they’re hearing, time spent listening to slates can really add up. The slated files can cause confusion and frustration when the casting person has narrowed the choices and wants to hear the text but instead hears the actor’s name.
Slating at the end of the recording doesn’t help. Casting people don’t necessarily listen to the end of the file. Plus, doing something non-standard in the industry can make the listener wonder whether you understand the work and what is expected.
In addition, producers working with production companies or publishers often share the audition files with the author. They cut off the slates before sending the audition to their client.
By not slating, you have reduced the casting person’s time.
Be sure you label the file with your name. Even on ACX, the rights holders may download the audition files rather than listening to them inside the ACX system. If they like your take on the material, they need to know who you are so they can contact you.
The audition text may give you a file naming convention, which you should follow.
If no convention is present, I name my audition files using this format:
The filename informs me and the listener exactly what to expect. I would later know it’s an audition file and when it was recorded. I could easily decide whether to use it for a sample or delete it.
If you want your audition to be listed at the top of an alphabetically sorted list, label it this way as the leading underscore should sort first:
Other resources on this topic:
- For more tips on improving your audition chances, read the Knowledge Base article What can I do to win more auditions? and check out its list of resources.