Business of VO: Casting

with Liz Atherton

As a voice talent, you are doing due diligence to record your audition(s), upload it in time, and give it your best shot. But . . . do you really understand the nuances of casting? Take a listen as VO Boss founder and host, Anne Ganguzza, and guest host, Liz Atherton, break down the casting process all the while giving you tips and tricks to get your audition heard! Special thanks to ipDTL for their great connection, and to Dave Crockett, owner of Weho Audio Studios (, for allowing Liz the use of his fantastic studio!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1.  As VO, it is so important for us to fully understand all aspects of the job in which we work.

  2. The Casting Process – from product to talent

  3. Lots of things get cast, but let’s focus on commercials.

  4. A company has a product they need to advertise.

  5. A company then hires an ad agency to put together a campaign.

  6. The ad agency either does the casting themselves and/or they hire a casting director to do a search.

  7. The casting director puts together specs to find the talent to best match the needs of the agency and includes copy for prospective talent to record as an audition.

  8. The casting director shares the audition via any number of avenues: casting sites and/or directly to agents and/or directly to talent and/or any number of ways.

  9. Talent get audition specs, record an mp3, and then submit it for consideration.

  10. What is going on in the brain of the agent when they are sending out an audition to talent?

  11. Auditions is a numbers game – improve your odds by getting your audition in first!

  12. Auditions are submitted to Casting.

  13. Casting begins the task of listening and recommending to the client.

  14. Auditions are often listened to in waves – your position matters.

  15. Imagine being the engineer listening to the auditions… it’s daunting!

  16. Be in the head of the person casting the project – record from that perspective!

  17. Slate at the end if you can – but only if the specs deem otherwise.

  18. From an agent’s perspective – whatever they submit to casting is a reflection of the agency – make your agent proud!

  19. Yes, agents do sometimes shorten the due date – there are reasons!

  20. Agents are some competitive beasts!

  21. Rates disclosure – let’s discuss!

  22. If the client has the money to spend, they will – try to understand this – it may help the concerns that talent have with rates.

Final Notes

  1. GVAA is a great place to see fair rates.

  2. “A client decided to go in a different direction” is usually a legitimate answer.

  3. Stick around for the outtakes – really!

  4. Always get your auditions in as fast as you can.

  5. Always give an audition that is 100%!

  6. Give two takes on separate files if it’s allowed – make them VERY different!

  7. Do NOT contact casting EVER unless you received the audition directly from them.

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Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Find out about

  2. Thanks to Dave Crockett and WeHo Studios for letting Liz record at your amazing studio

  3. Recorded on ipDTL

  4. Awesome editing by Carl Bahner

Full Episode Transcript

>> 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, Anna Ganguzza, along with special guest cohost queen bee Liz Atherton. Hey Liz!

Liz: Hey Anne! It gets me every time you say that.

[both laugh]

Liz: That’s awesome. The queen bee, oh my word. [laugh]

Anne: The queen bee, Liz. Ok, Liz.

Liz: That’s just so funny. I’m ready.

Anne: I got questions for you. Ok?

Liz: Do it.

Anne: As a voice talent, I’m pretty used to just, you know, getting a script, and going in my booth, and recording and then submitting the files to my client. But I don’t know much more. I mean I’ve not been involved in the casting process. And I think that as voice talents, it’s so important for us to understand what’s involved in all aspects of the job in which we work. I know that you have a lot of experience in casting, and I thought we could maybe talk about the many sides of casting today.

Liz: Let’s do it, let’s do it. So when a project comes your way, it’s already been in the pike for a while. Right? So you’ve got a client at an ad agency who says I want to go create, I want to buy some advertising and I want to put a splash out there for my project. Then you’ve got people in there that write the copy. Then you get it all ready, then it goes to casting. It depends on how big the project is, but usually they’ll seek out several casting directors, they’ll get one, they’ll bond with that casting director, and they’re off. That casting director, their job then is to take the words of what the producer or the person at the ad agency is looking for and translate that into something to find the right voice for them. Right?

Anne: Can I just interject?

Liz: Yeah.

Anne: Before it gets to the ad agency, there’s got to be a company, right, that has a product?

Liz: Right, correct.

Anne: That then reaches out to an ad agency.

Liz: Correct.

Anne: So typically the purpose – I