By Stephanie Ciccarelli
December 4, 2012
Has the way you named an MP3 audition file ever lost you the job? Voice actor and voice-over coach Deb Munro shares from the perspective of someone who has worked with talent on how important it is that voice actors properly name digital audio files when auditioning online.
By employing over a dozen years wisdom in voicing and acting, Debbie Munro puts her talents to work to meet the challenging demands of today's fast paced voice market. Tired of not receiving constructive feed back on how to improve her craft, Debbie set out to make a difference for actors by creating, The MIC & ME Workshop Series. Keeping focused on the Global Freelance market, Debbie has combined her extensive Voice Over, Acting and Off Camera training into a series of practical, exciting workshops that will take you to that next step, no matter what your level.
Fueled by experience, talent, and unbridled enthusiasm for doing what she loves to do best - getting behind a microphone and speaking her heart out, Debbie is proud to share her insights, techniques and secrets with you. She works very hard to create courses that shed an honest look into the world of voice acting allowing you to work at your own pace, know if this is the industry for you and how to keep working. Her passion alone will engage you and give you the encouragement you need.
Welcome to Voice Over Experts, brought to you by Voices.com the number one voice over marketplace. Voice Over Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom, and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voice over. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voice over talent. It's never been easier to learn, perform and succeed from the privacy of your own home, and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won't find anywhere else. Now for our special guest.
Debbie: I want to talk to you today about naming your files. Seems like such a simple thing. Who the heck needs instruction on naming your files. But I'll give you an example that happened to me. I gave away a free cruise for ... a voice over cruise that I hosted ... by the way, the next one is in 2013, in September, so save up ... the VoiceLympics Cruise. And what I did was I created a contest with a commercial. And those who voiced the commercial the best, based on our jury panel, we gave away a free cruise. So I've got hundreds of responses of auditions.
Now, the most interesting thing I learned when I got all these responses was, first of all, people don't read direction well. Second of all, guys, what are you doing voicing a girl's script for when it's a man and wife. You know, I had guys voicing girls' copy, "Well, Mrs. Doubtfire" ... we don't need character here, we needed real people. So it actually hurt your audition. You thought you were really creative by giving maybe another variation, something playful, look at me, I can do this but it wasn't legitimate. So I found that very unproductive for a good audition.
I also got some auditions from other countries that I couldn't understand a word they said. Like, it was all ... one was in Punjabi but I don't really understand the words, whatsoever. It was, like, she made up her own conversation or something. So a lot of really strange thing happened when I did this free open audition.
One of the biggest things I saw was everybody named their file "voicelympics.mp3". Now, the problem with that was if I lost your e-mail or if I downloaded your file into my computer system, everything is downloaded as "voicelympics.mp3", there's no name. So if you didn't slate ... for those of you that don't know what a slate is, naming your name in the beginning with some personality ... if you didn't slate I didn't know who you were. And for me to go through hundreds of e-mails and go back and find out who this was connected to, it's not going to happen. You would have to be pretty something special for me to do that.
So make sure, you guys, you're naming your files properly, 'a', according to exactly what your agents are requesting. Every agent has a different format and it's extremely important you follow it. For some of them, it's because the computer picks it up automatically so the names have to be the same. For others, it's just trying to keep it all straight because they might have, you know, five to ten auditions that day. So it keeps it in check of whose audition is going where. So you're helping your agent out by naming your file, you're helping yourself out by naming your file and you're definitely helping your client.
One thing I've done in the past as well is I give a name ... so let's say the company is Ford. I put "ford_debmunro" and then I might even put my phone number, if this is a random client that I'm not going through regularly or that my agent hasn't submitted for me. This way, they have a way to get a hold of me as well. Maybe not the phone number, maybe an e-mail. The problem is then you have '@' signs and signs that don't work within the name filing system. So I can't stress this to you enough, name and slate your files. It's extremely important.
And, also, on the slate ... I mean, I could just do a tip on slating, which I probably will soon ... make sure you're showcasing your personality. It's a second chance at a second audition.
So there you have it, name your files, name them properly so you don't get lost in the shuffle. Until next time, everyone, www.debsvoice.com.
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