Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Great deal on classes!

This is where I took my voice over class, and I have several friends who have enjoyed their acting classes. Just got this email with a great discount:

"This holiday season, you can save 15% off any future adult acting class or workshop, if you register by January 4th.

Just let us know: What 3 things do you most wish to see Acting Studio Chicago provide in 2008?

E-mail us ( 3 wishes you have, for Acting Studio Chicago in 2008, and we will e-mail you a 15% Tuition Discount Coupon.* Check out our updated schedule below. We are in the midst of designing a brand new website, so the wishes can be website ideas, wishes for new workshops or classes you would like to see us offer, wishes for teachers....use your imagination and we'll see if we can make your wishes come true!"

Monday, December 17, 2007


Audishes are slowing down over the holiday season so I will try to post general stories. I just got my demo remixed and my sound engineer who also does VO said that his agent is closing for like two weeks over the holidays.

So, here's part of the story of how it all got started. Sometimes people ask me what happens when you get called in to audition for a VO agent- for the agent, for the first time, not for a spot.

My current agent had me read three different spots. Then they asked a few questions about myself like: why did I have an out of state area code on my cell; what is my VO background; what is my experience with improv; and what was my deal in general. At some point in those 5 minutes they decided to represent me, and I was sent to another person who entered my contact information into their system. I think the whole process lasted about 10 minutes, and then my first audish through them was about 2 weeks later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

TourCo Call In

Update- it's waitlist time.
"Hi guys,The time slots for auditions for The Second City Touring Company have been filled. If you would like to walk up for the auditions, they are starting at 10am January 14, 15, and 16 in the e.t.c. theatre. Please bring a headshot and resume, and dress in "show clothes".Best wishes!"
Straight from the source, posted at 12:30 on Wednesday.

Don't forget to call Second City today! They were already on Tuesday afternoon when I got through around 1:30. And don't forget to be patient.... you might be on hold for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is this stuff?

I had a super wierd audish last Monday before Thanksgiving. First of all it was for a european product described as energy cider. What does that even mean? Cider with lots of caffeine? This one was a dialouge so the guy I was reading with was there as well. Basically it was a pick up in a bar that was written like these people would never actually get along because they were not listening to each other while slightly arguing ... but it ends like this:

Guy: Cider, Cider, Cider.
Girl: Your place or mine?
Guy: I have toys.

The whole thing was a little creepy, but at least we all laughed a little when it was over.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Call for guest audish stories

Hey Everybody!

Perhaps everyone is getting bored with my sporadic vo audishes and I am sure you all have some great stories. So...I want to put out the call for guest audish blogs. Audishchicago is focused on audish stories so any fun, funny, embarrassing, successful, horrible stories you have about an audish are welcome.


Banking close to home

I recently had an audish for a regional Texas bank that was awesome. Point of view from a busy student who also works and really appreciates her bank's online action and extended hours. It was actually realistic and did not sound false or inflated. Maybe this is because I work all day and have about 5 things going on outside of 8:15-5, but I was all like, "wtf, this girl is just like me. I love my bank's online banking. I can online bank and transfer funds like nobody's business but my own. And it is my own banking business because it is a secure banking website. Bank, Bank, Bank."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Second City TourCo Audish

FYI if you haven't seen it already :)

The Second City announces General Auditions for various opportunitis at The Second City on January 14, 15 and 16, 2008.
To be considered for auditions you must have completed a full program of study in The Second City Conservatory or similar level of study – or if you have had more than a year of experience performing improvisation.
In order to secure an appointment for an audition please phone Beth Kligerman (at The Second City) on December 11, 12, or 13 between the hours of 10am & 4:00pm CT. Any calls outside of this specific time frame will not be accepted. Please do not leave voice mail.
The appointments are booked in order in which they are received.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Celebrity Endorsement

OMG you guys, I had an audish with Lance CuteYellowBracelet! Sortof.... Last Monday I had an audish for a sporting goods store where Mr. CuteYellowBracelet has a line of products coming out. This was a dialogue spot where two people are actually talking to each other, a convo between Becky 'the classic retail employee' and Lance. Sometimes they call in two people at a time and you read with each other. I guess Mr. CuteYellowBracelet was too busy because I read by myself this time. I did learn something from this one: "retail is like cycling. Your pedals are your hands. You use them to guide the customer through the road of sales opportunities."
Thanks, Lance!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This has been a fun week: two audishes, two ridiculous character descriptions.

"Female, young (mid to late 20s), perky, maybe a kind of spacey personality. She's a superhero, but a little prone to mild depression"

"A 25-year-old set designer who exudes nothing but class when she's not too busy having fun. She loves to flaunt her gift of gab with head shaking stories."

One is for a state lottery. The other is for an awesome new drink described as "alcohol+caffeine+down for whatever." Hilars!

Saturday, October 13, 2007's the real thing

One interesting thing about seeing all these scripts during v.o. audishes is having a sneak peek into the brand image of a product. Sometimes you have an product image in mind when you read for a spot and it is clear that the spot you're reading is going in a new direction.

This soda pop is now trying to show "The "red label with a white wave" side of family"

"Sweet sounding, charming. She is not acting, but rather telling a story. Speaking from her experience around the family dinner table."

You know, families that talk like this:

"It feels a little bit like a club, or a governing body like the UN"

Saturday, September 15, 2007

There's no business like show business...

Whoops... my blog got away from me for awhile there. Two things: I moved and I haven't had a VO audish in a week or so. That is the ebb and flow of advertising but as always, I wish it flowed toward my type more often.

So, I am going to talk about watching an audish. I recently helped audit some improv auditions, and saw 60ish people over the first audish and 20ish people over the call back. It was great to see people do well and I can't wait to see what happens for the team that got put together. Of course, any time you invite the public into your life you are going to meet some characters...

Smarty Pants-It's cool to put your college education on your talent rezy, but make it one line. Not half of the one page that you get. And we don't need to know your SAT score or your theses title.
Already On The Team- No, you're not. Please reserve your smarm for after you make it.
Mr. Fix It- Actually, the rest of your group doesn't need you to walk into every scene.
Jokey McJokester- Please pass through the door, collect your headshot and return to stand up.

I know we're all having so much fun that it is easy to forget that business is part of show business. It really is true that you will stand out if you can grasp even the basics of being on time, polite and respectful to others (the auditors and your fellow auditioners). Of course, you will stand out even more if you are a total jackal... but not in the good way. Part of trying your best is being as prepared as possible, and with so many random factors working against you, why give the casting people reasons not to hire you? Given the choice between two people with similar types and equal talent, I know I would choose the more professional.

Ok, I will now unsaddle my high horse and work on another embarrassing audish story to illustrate that I am telling you things that I have learned from my own mistakes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I wish I got samples at these audishes

More yummy audishes!! This must be back to fast food season.

Thursday it was a spot for my fav Frosty provider. This one was actually pretty funny. Starts out with a girl on a date who orders salad...with dressing...with bacon...with a burger..."you know, like a garnish."

Today I spent my lunch getting to and from a production studio, all so that I could say: "Hi, Steve." Thanks alot, StoveTummys. You make my favorite lunch cookie, oatmeal choco chip, and I was pumped to talk about your sammiches.

Oh well, at least I got a bus back to the office & saved some cab fare.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Another two-in-one audish today, my favs. This time both for the same McRestaurant. The first spot I read three times before it clicked, and the second was a one take audish. Apparently it is easier for me to be 'upbeat and kind of sly' than it is to be 'relaxed and enlightened.'

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I want to stay skinny but I'm sooo hungry

2 VO readings today, 2 different spots and advertisers, both valley girl style. Products:
1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2. Stromboli from a pizza chain

One description: Not too bright, but knows what's hot.
Yes, she totally knows stromboli is so hot right now.
mmm, yummy......

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

iO Audish

iO is having Harold Team audishes....

copied from:

  • iO will be holding auditions for placement on the Harold Team roster on Sunday, August 19th from Noon until 5pm.
    To be eligible to audition you MUST have completed the iO Training Center course of study and your 5B (Performance Level) run of shows in Chicago or Los Angeles. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.
    To sign up for an audition slot, please call the office at (773) 880-0199 between the hours of 11am and 5pm. Calls regarding auditions will not be taken before 11am.
    You will be assigned a non-negotiable time, and calls will be taken until all of the slots are full (at which time a notice will be posted here). When calling, you can only sign up yourself to audition.
    Please come dressed appropriately with a headshot and resume, which includes your contact information. If you do not have a headshot, please bring as current a photo as possible. If you have any further questions, please email the Harold Commission at

"Please come dressed appropriately with a headshot and resume, which includes your contact information. " This is a duhsies that applies to every audish... although as we talked about a few posts back, they probably mean biz casual, not hot pants & tank tops.

A special inside note on the harold audish- if it is the same as it has been in the past, your group will do a harold piece that makes it to the second game if you are lucky. I have a special place in my heart for the harold audish as that is how my team came together. Six of us has gotten the same time, practiced harolds, and approached the audition as a matinee show. We showed up to find 2 random people added to our time slot. After quick introductions, we had a great audish. There are things from that 'matinee' that I can clearly recall as best moments ever. Eventually we were put on the schedule and have been together for about a year. The first 6 were people who had not been put on a team right out of classes, and the other 2 had been cut from the schedule before.

It has been said about this business before in different forms, and I really believe this is true: preparation + luck + persistence = success.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Most Fun Audish So Far

Last week was a great Tuesday. First I got a call to set up an audish Wednesday. Then I got a call saying they just got something in that they needed to turn around by noon Wednesday, and could I come in the afternoon instead? So I jumped in a cab at 5 and had 2 superfun audishes. This one was the best so far. I saw the character description that I have been preparing for my whole life.
  • Casting for Cheerleader/Squad: girls, caucasian, (who sound) age 14-16. Must be accent free, would be ideal to have talent deliver the script in cheerleader fashion, including claps. Girl should have high energy, but not over too the top.

I just want to highlight a few of my favorite things in this copy: 'deliver the script in cheerleader fashion' and 'not too over the top,' so..... just a little over the top.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What are you looking for?

Character descriptions on VO copy:

  • Very playful almost exaggerated accent of choice (actually from my first real vo audish!)
  • Natural not voice-overish. They should be real energetic.
  • Woman 1- Meek but with a crazy side, Woman 2- very meek. Reference; The "Delicious Dish" radio talk show host from Saturday Night Live.
  • A pleasant young woman with a charm and rasp to her voice. She should sound like sweet office receptionist.
  • Friendly & vibrant
  • With building excitement
  • Realistic but interesting voices to help our animation have character
  • Not overwrought or super-emotional, but very heartfelt and personal


  • He's a guy that hasn't had too much luck with the ladies, has finally found his angle. No slick answer types, more Turtle-esque from Entourage
  • A young country club gentleman with an air of aristocracy and a snooty wit. Should sound like an 80's brat pack type or late 90's teen snob. No British accents please.

I just hate those late 90's teen snobs.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


In Voiceover land, there are announcer voices and character voices. Basically, any non-announcer part is considered ‘character.’ Before that awesome class I took at the Audition Studio I thought character voiceover work meant only animated character voices. Sometimes you audition by yourself, and sometimes they call in the talent to record the audish together.

Tuesday I was called in to do a 'dialogue' which is my agent's code word for 'the other person will be there.' I walked into the building right behind a guy, and it turned out he was my audish partner for the day. He had a great voice! As soon as I heard him though the headphones I could hear why he was there. Some people just sound right.

The spot was for a cable internet provider, and this time the girl part had all the lines and the guy just repeated 'uh huh, uh huh, totally'. The concept was that he was snurfing- sneaking onto the internet whilst on the phone. I was trying to get his attention by saying crazy things like "a gorilla just set the living room on fire." And when he keeps repeating the same thing I get mad and accuse him of snurfing and not paying attention. Kindof cutesy and predictable, but that's what it is sometimes.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

LeBron! It's all for you!

Sometimes what you learn at an audish is that you are totes just not right for the part. Because I like you guys & I can tell that I am in a welcoming environment, I am going to tell you about my audish for the Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team.

These are actually pics from last year that I found on the cavs site, I tried out in 2003 I think. So at that point I had been a cheerleader for 7 years (jr high, high school, college) and on a dance team for 2 years (college). I thought I was pretty decent, and I didn't know if I really had a shot but it sounded like a fun way to spend a Saturday. So I roped one of my friends into going with me and we picked out our mandatory attire of "A two-piece outfit with flesh-colored tights/hosiery." After we parked the car, we reapplied our glitter eyeshadow and made our way into the audish. We got added to a group and waited an hour or two. Then, as you can see from the photo of 2006 auditions, you get a little number to pin to your little shorts while you learn a little dance combo among a huge group of girls.

By the time it was our group's turn my confidence was fading. I am a "petite" lady and this was starkly obvious. Many of the girls there were tall, skinny, and showing off all of their best assets. I began to realize that normal workout shorts were the exception in this "briefs or hot shorts" crowd. While we were waiting several girls were warming up as all dancers do by basically showing off how flexible and talented they are - doing perfect leaps, turns, and the splits. My friend and I reapplied our glitter eyeshadow and continued stretching.

We got into the main room and learned an across the floor combination and a short dance to a Justin Timberlake song. I did my best on the across the floor, but messed up the combination in front of the judges. I was kindof mad at myself, but I knew that even if I had nailed it I probably was not Cavs Girl material.

After everyone had went, we were sent out to the hall while the judges decided. We were called back in to listen for the numbers of the girls who made it to the next round. As you can see from the photo, it is an intense moment. As you may have guessed, both my friend and I were not called to stay. That's ok, I don't really fit it with slutty girls....oh snap! Just kidding. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be a cavs girl that year, and by sometimes I mean everytime I see the ad for the Chicago Bulls Dance Team Audish.......

If you are interested in more about the 2006 Cavs Dancers Audish, here is a great video:

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Improv auditions have you do improv, usually in the style of the show that you are auditioning for. A while ago I was in an audish for a short form theater, so we played lots of games. In general it is a good idea to keep it clean in an improv audish. For many reasons: you want the auditor to see your character, emotion, great object work, and that you can think of things besides shocking language.

In this particular audish, there was a guy who I will refer to as Dirty Boy. Dirty Boy dropped the f-bomb in every scene in his audish and steamrolled a scene into skeeze teritory. Other than that, overall everyone did great work and there were some really funny scenes.

But the funniest thing in the entire audish was a question from this gal during the question and answer sesh, right after Dirty Boy had a yelling f-bomb scene:
Sassy Girl: Are these going to be family friendly shows?
Auditor Involuntarily Glancing At Dirty Boy: Yea..... yes, they are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wardrobe!?...seriously, somebody get me a wardrobe trailer!

About once a year, Second City has an audish for their touring company. We all get a little worked up about it and everybody freaks for a few days.

One year, I had just bought a cute top that I really wanted to wear to my TourCo Audish. I decided this the night before, but I had just worn the same top to work that day. So what is a sassy lady with a wardrobe vision to do? I wore my cute top to my audish in the morning and planned to change at SC before I went to work.

I got to my audish and saw several familiar faces. This is a great thing for an improv audish where the ideal of make your partners look good can be tossed aside by the combination of nervousness, a desire to be funny and strange surroundings. We had a great time in the audish and I walked out of the building with several people talking about it and their current projects.

I got about halfway to the bus stop for the 151 to work and realized I had forgotten to change out of the top I had worn the day before.

I was too far to go back to SC, so I kept walking to the bus. When I got there there was no bus in sight and not much traffic. I thought about a quick change and had gotten my shirt out of my bag when I saw there was a service van with a driver parked about 10 feet away. So I waited. Still no bus. I didn't think anyone at work would really notice, but wanted to change. Still no bus. I looked as far down the road as I could see, saw no bus, and decided to go for the change right there.

I was using the shirt #2 over shirt #1, wiggle out the arms method and had made it past one arm when.... yes, the bus I needed appeared. I had waited a while for this bus and it was not rush hour so I had to take it. I tried to smooth shirt #2 over shirt #1 as I stood up and got on the bus. And, of course, this bus was very full. And I had to sit next to an old man. With my bag on my lap and 1 1/2 shirts on, I had a vrry important decision to make: either finish it now or later when I got off the bus on Michigan Ave.

So while staring straight ahead, I wiggled my arms back up my sleeves, got rid of shirt #1, folded it, put it in my bag and got off the bus 15 minutes later making no eye contact with my fellow passengers.

I didn't get a callback, but I did half-flash a busload of people.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"my favorite print audition" -> first guest blog!

Every year or two I decide to take the summer off from having a terrible day-job and once again commit myself to the unknown and unsure lifestyle of acting and auditioning. The last time I committed myself to such a lifestyle was two years ago after living over two years as a receptionist for a video game company. That day job itself was probably one of the most enjoyable 'muggle-jobs' I've had in my career, but it didn't pay much and had no benefits, so off I went head first back into the struggle.

This particular audition was for a print ad for some certain cellular phone company. I took a train to the west loop (which made me 15minutes late for the scheduled audition time) but I finally tracked down the tiny studio.

I walked in to a tiny square room with a desk in the back corner and a large conference table set up in the front area. "Nancy" the one and only person in this room told me she was the artistic director for the shoot and asked me for my info. She led me to the conference table and showed me the picture mock up for the ad which I was auditioning for. The mock up picture was of a conference style table (much like the one I was sitting at). The camera was looking down the table from the head of the table point of view. Pretend you're the president of a company and you're sitting at the head of a large conference table. Now scoot your chair back so you can see the edge of the table in front of you. Now put the camera on the table right there at the edge and take a picture. What would you see? The length and width of a conference table with the inside half of 3 or 4 people sitting at the table looking toward the camera, Yes. However, in this picture one person is sitting on the table facing the opposite way, so it's 3 half faces and one ass on the table.

"Nancy" comes over to me and says, "You'll be auditioning for THAT part" and points to the ass at the table. I get up, sit on the table and she takes a picture. Apparently my ass wasn't good enough because I didn't book the job. I guess there's always next time.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Woman #3

Sometimes you spend $13 on cabs to make it to & fro your agent within your lunch hour to read for the part of Woman #3. Out of a full page of copy, woman 3 has one line, so this is what happens:
"The bottle's green?"
"The bottle's green?"
"Thuu bottle's green?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

vo on the fly

Monday I had an audish for a car radio spot that was super fun- and yet another illustration of how one can apply improv to everything. The roles were salesman, man, woman so I was reading with 2 other people. (Actually one of them was the guy who taught my VO class! You start to see the same people if you go to enough audishes). The couple is asking the salesman if he has a car like one they have just see in the movie "The Transformers." Right when we got into the booth they had us mark up some changes on the copy. They added a few interjections and line changes, we read through once and then read to record for the audition. We slated in the same order each time: "name-salesman" "name-man" "me-woman." The first round comment I got was "that was great, just do something different this round so we have a different take." This is a common request during auditions and having a background in improv makes it easier to go with the flow and pull out something new each time. We read the spot again, and then the producer changed the casting and had the man and salesman switch parts just to see what it sounded like. It did sound better that way, the new 'salesman' had a more announcer type voice and the new 'man' had more of a character voice. We did it once more with the new parts, everyone in the booth was happy and that was it. My big line: "Oh, and great gas mileage!"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Audition

My very first audish was of course in high school for the school play....not sure what play. I remember feeling okay about it and being excited to see the cast list posted. I thought I might be on it, even though I was a freshman. When they posted the list my name was not on it, and at the time I felt embarrassed and never auditioned for another play in all four years of high school. I did wheedle my way onto our auditorium's stage by entering the talent show my junior and senior year. My next audish would be 4 years later for the improv team at my college.

At the time, I had not yet learned the big sassy secret to audishing: have fun & then forget it. Read or talk to anyone about casting and you'll soon find out that there are so many things that go into choosing the right people that all you can do is have fun and try your best. Don't get discouraged and sit out for four years or even four days. I feel lucky and proud of my-teen-self that I still got it together and got to perform though colorguard, cheerleading, and convincing my friends to be in the talent show with me. Eventually all that other stuff got me back in audish mode and I ended up here in Chicago.