Boss Performance: VO BOSS – CastVoices – The Shortlist

The finalists are in! “Anne of Aspercreme” and Liz Atherton have listened to all 73 auditions in our VO BOSS CastVoices contest and narrowed it down to their short-list! Get an in-depth behind the scenes perspective on their casting process, and hear their thoughts on the finalists. Then it’s your turn to be the casting director. You can listen to the finalists and vote on your favorites and stay tuned next week for our casting decision.

PLEASE NOTE:  Thanks for playing! Our Audition is now closed!  Feel free to give a listen to our entries for a limited time here:


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. You can listen to the finalists and vote on your favorites and stay tuned next week for our casting decision.

  2. “Anne of Aspercreme” and Liz Atherton received 73 auditions in the first-ever VO BOSS Cast Voices Contest

  3. Listening to a large amount of auditions can be tasking for any casting director. It takes a huge amount of time

  4. There were so many good auditions, that choosing was hard!Anne’s Process: First go around, jotting down anyone who catches my ear. This yielded nine finalists for both spots, which I then narrowed down to three

  5. Liz’s Process: The first pass had 16, then narrowed down to three

  6. When you have a casting director that says “give me two takes”, make those two takes sound very different.

  7. 9 times out of 10, people barely changed their second read

  8. Just because you threw improv into the second take, does not mean it’s a varied take. You really need to change up your second read.

  9. The changes can be nuanced, but they must be distinct

  10. Be sure to follow instructions. If you didn’t include a second take, you weren’t put on the shortlist

  11. Including a varied second take shows that you can be directed into any read

  12. If a casting director asks for a second take, and you don’t use that to show range, you are shortchanging yourself

  13. You hear what you want to hire when it “walks through the door”

  14. If someone doesn’t fit the specs, but you liked their read… WINNER!

  15. A typical casting is 400 voices, and this is why casting directors don’t give feedback, and might not listen to all submissions.

  16. Do your homework. Make sure you’re researching the product, and understand how to pronounce the product name.

  17. Take a look at the brand website and look at how they are branding their product

  18. Good studio sound is imperative, especially now. Voices without pro studio sound were left off the shortlist

  19. It’s important to be able to create a sound so that you can create a sound that studio engineers can work with

  20. Winners will receive a VO BOSS Blast, Targeted Marketing Campaign and a one-year pro membership to Cast Voices

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Listen to the Finalists for Hopscotch
Jason Arnold
Katie Flamman
Marie Hoffman
Andrew Lander
Lynn Norris
Susan Pritchard
Listen to the Finalists for Walter
Michelle Campbell-Jones
Bree Herbert
Michael Kerns
George Orlando
Ray Whitbeck
Vote for your favorites
Learn more about the VO BOSS Blast
Learn more about CastVoices
Recorded on ipDTL
Badass editing by Carl Bahner


[vc_column_text]>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Now let’s welcome your host Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with the casting bee, Liz Atherton. [laughs] Hey Liz. How are you today?

Liz: Anne, I’m good. You know [laughs] it’s pretty weather. We had a thunderstorm overnight, but Anne, you and I took on something, didn’t we?

Anne: Oh my goodness, we did.

Liz: Oh Lord.

Anne: I think you BOSSes heard about it last night when we were going, oh no, I ran out of time! I spent a good portion of the weekend just, you know, focused, head down, listening to all of these amazing auditions that we had for our first ever VO BOSS CastVoices contest. And we have got some results for you, or at least Liz and I have our shortlist results for you.

Liz: We do, but I got to tell you a little something first. My house has never been more clean. When I have a task like that that is really grueling, I do a little and then I find a reason to do something else. I had to listen to these. There were over 70 of them that I listened to and gave feedback on. And you have done the same thing. But I’d listen to five and I ‘m like, I got to get up and do something, so let’s clean out the refrigerator.

[both laugh]

Liz: Listen to five more. Oh let’s rearrange the living room.

Anne: [laughs]

Liz: It was just awful. I’m really proud of both tasks now being done. It’s a true story.

Anne: Oh my goodness, the amount of amazing auditions, I have to say. Like it was tough. It was so tough coming up with these. And literally I had a process that I went through, and I had multiple lists actually.

Liz: Me too!

Anne: I went from, you know, my first, I just started jotting down anybody that caught my ear and I was like ooh, I’m going to write that down. My first go-around, I came up with nine people for both roles as my shortlist. And then I had to narrow that puppy down to three, which was very difficult.

Liz: Man, I was the same way. I narrowed Hopscotch down to 16. [laughs] Walter down to 13. And then to eight, and to six, and to five, and to three. It was really a difficult thing. But managed through, and yeah. Why don’t we talk about them?

Anne: Yeah. Let me ask you, was there anything overall, would you say, in regards to listening to all of them together that you can comment on in regards to –

Liz: Yes.

Anne: – I don’t know, people could have done for a better audition, or things that stood out to you?

Liz: Yes, for sure. So when you have a casting director that says, give me two takes, make those two takes sound very different – I cannot tell you the number of times that I went in and said, listen. You sound like so-and-so, or you can create a character. You can do something. Use that second take as an opportunity to do something completely different, and completely different doesn’t mean lowering your register, although you can kind of get away with it, sounding different that way. Completely different doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re talking slower. It’s like a different read, different inflections. That was a resounding theme for me for people, because you know, nine times out of ten, and literally about nine times out of ten, whatever statistic that would work out to be, people were just barely changing their second read. Listen, in an audition that casting director’s listening for your tone and your intonation and how they think you can deliver the lines. Just changing it up a wee bit for the second one, you know, some people threw in improv, which was really cool, but a little improv, but the read sounds the same, is not a different read.

Anne: Yes, I have to agree with you there that just because you threw improv into the second take doesn’t mean that that is a varied take. I have to agree with you, you really need to change up your second read. And interestingly enough, it can be a very nuanced change. But there is a very distinct change from one read to the other. Those were some that really stood out to me that could really make a nuanced change. I love that. But yeah, no, just the addition of improv didn’t necessarily do that for me. And then there were people who I really liked, and they didn’t offer a second take. And that was one of the reasons why they, well, they might have made my first shortlist because I really loved their voice, but when I had to narrow that down, because they didn’t do a second take, I was like questioning, “hmm is there something else that I might be able to get from them in a directed session?”

Liz: Right.

Anne: They kind of fell off the short shortlist.

Liz: I get it. Here’s the thing. If a casting director again asking is for a second take, and you don’t use that as an opportunity to show range, you’re just, like you pointed out, you could be shortchanging yourself on a callback or a booking. There’s an old adage, you hear what you want to hire when it walks in the door.

Anne: Yeah.

Liz: You can spec it out to the earth, but if somebody walks in, and it doesn’t necessarily, or he or she doesn’t necessarily exactly meet your specs, but you dig their read, winner! Use your second takes to give something like that.

Anne: I’m going to say that I had a specific voice in my head that I was looking for in each of these roles. And if there was someone that came in with a really amazing take, I was almost swayed to change that, especially if there were two amazing takes. Because then I rethought perhaps the tone of the job that was going to go out. Because they allowed me to maybe further my own creativity about what could be done with the spot. So I really enjoyed that and listening to that. For the most part I have a specific audience in mind. I have a specific – like, I know what the product is. I know who the client is gearing the audience to be in terms of that product, and that does have a major effect on who my voice selection was to begin with. However if there was somebody that maybe came in that was maybe a younger sound than I was looking for, but they did a really awesome job on their audition, I tended to look at it differently, say “hmm maybe this can broaden our audience range.”

Liz: And you’re highlighting exactly why casting is so difficult. For the 28 or 30 people that went through all 70-plus auditions and offered feedback, bravo, because a typical casting might be 400 voices.