This Is The Best Way To Be Turned Down For a Voiceover Role
As a voice actor, typically when you audition for a project one of two things happens:
A) You hear back from the producer or director to say they want you for the role (or want to hear more from you).
B) You never hear from them ever again and you linger in actor’s limbo until the casting is eventually announced.
It’s rare when a project informs you that you were not chosen for a role you auditioned for. This is true for voice acting, on-screen acting, and pretty much anything else in the right-brained, “creative” entertainment industry. It didn’t use to be this way, but this is the 21st Century when stylish excellence is no longer expected, and manners are tossed aside in favor of convenience. I’m sure this is due mostly in part to the much greater number of auditions these projects receive, since so many of us have home studios now and no longer have to get out of our pajamas and drive to a location to be there in-person for an audition. It might be more difficult today with all of the auditions to reply to every single actor simply to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Even with a form letter it’d be a bit daunting – and honestly, I don’t think it is expected anymore. Sadly.
But today I did not receive an email saying, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Instead, I received a “Sorry, HOWEVER…” email. This simple act shows the kind of professional attitude these folks have for the creative process, and also shows the respect they have for all actors — not just the actors they hire for a specific project or role. Below I’ve removed the identifying information in order to keep the project secret and the producers anonymous, but otherwise this is word-for-word the message sent to me:
“Hi Darren. Well, it didn’t work out for this one as (Voice Over Role), but we do love your work and your voice, and you most definitely are on our radar. We’ll be casting again after the New Year and we do look forward to working with you at some point this season. I’m so glad that you introduced yourself to us ! Thanks again, (Name Redacted)”
Now THIS is a rejection letter! I don’t have to wait to hear if I’ll be in the project, and I’m also told that they liked what they heard even though I wasn’t specifically what they were looking for. You absolutely must learn as a voice actor that even the best in the business, if they don’t fit a certain role, don’t get that role. Not every voice actor, despite experience or talent, is good for every role – or doesn’t fit the idea a director/producer has for a character. No one can be everything to everybody. But receiving a message like the above, saying they love your stuff anyway and do want to work with you in the future — this is a great boost to the ego and self-confidence.
Honestly, I’d rather be turned down by these producers four out of five times than getting work three out of five times through other producers whom you never hear from otherwise. Building long-lasting working relationships is more important to me than landing roles here and there; and these are people I want to get to know better.