Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

May 24, 2022

Anne & Pilar are casting directors! Or at least they were for the first ever #VOBOSS Bilingual Audition challenge. They share the common mistakes, honorable mentions, and (of course) the winners! Tune in to sharpen your auditioning skills & learn what the audition selection process is really like.


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere 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.

Pilar: Hola, BOSS Voces. Bienvenidos al podcast con Anne Ganguzza y Pilar Uribe.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and I am here with the one and only amazing special guest co-host Pilar Uribe. Hey Pilar. How are you?

Pilar: Hola todos. ¿Cómo están hoy?

Anne: Hola. <laugh> So Pilar, I'm super excited today because a few weeks back we launched the VO BOSS Spanish bilingual audition challenge. Woohoo! Like it was our first bilingual audition challenge that I've ever seen <laugh> actually and conducted. And I'm super excited because we sent out the casting first of all through our good friends over there at CastVoices, Liz Atherton and the team over there at CastVoices. We sent out this audition through their system, and we also sent an email to all of you BOSSes out there. And we also published far and wide on social media. So let's talk a little bit about what the specs were for this audition challenge.

So the specs were, it could be male, female, non-binary, age range from 25 to 65. So the purpose of this audition challenge was primarily for educational purposes. And so we cast the net far and wide. Our specs were for male, female, and non-binary, age range from 25 to 65. So our specs also wanted to grab a diverse range of voice talent. The voice should be confident, knowledgeable, we have a lot of adjectives here, optimistic, never take themselves too seriously, but at the same time don't come off as sarcastic either, warm, human, down-to-earth, and playful. Their delivery is conversational, relatable, and above all else nothing that is typical commercial sounding ,movie trailer, or announcery at all. Sounds pretty common to me, those specs, right, Pilar? <laugh>.

Pilar: Yeah. And, and the thing is, is that a lot of the times you get just this three paragraphs worth of specs, 'cause they, they want to really throw the kitchen sink in. And the casting directors, they're looking for something. So they're trying to be as helpful as possible.

Anne: Yes.

Pilar: And sometimes as voice actors, we go, oh my gosh, they gave us so much.

Anne: Sometimes it's not helpful.

Pilar: Really and truly -- yeah, well right. But they're trying to give you as much information as possible --

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: -- so you can make your creative choices.

Anne: Absolutely. We also specified that talent should read both Spanish and English versions with or without a specific regional accent. And we were going to judge on performance. We wanted two separate MP3s delivered and labeled and named in a particular fashion. And also what else did we specify? Oh, it needed to be uploaded to a Dropbox location that we had set up for the challenge.

Pilar: Well, and I think we were very conscious of what we do on a daily basis. I mean the auditions that come in from my agents are very, very similar to that.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: So we wanted to make it as close to a real audition as possible.

Anne: Absolutely.

Pilar: And you get this list of things that you need to look at and you need to look at all the aspects of the audition.

Anne: Absolutely. We also gave some references. So if people wanted to learn some more, we pointed back to a couple of episodes that you and I did about bilingual on the VO BOSS podcast. And very exciting, we have prizes. So we are going to be selecting today three winners. We are going to select the best English audition, the best Spanish audition, and the best English and Spanish combined. So the prizes are going to be an amazing choice of swag from the VO BOSS shop. And also thank you so much to, again, our friends over there at CastVoices and Liz Atherton, a one year CastVoices pro membership, courtesy of Liz and CastVoices. So very excited about that.

All right. So let's talk overall what we thought about the contest and how it went. And actually we gave, I think it was almost two weeks we gave. The due date was to --

Pilar: Mm-hmm.

Anne: -- have everything submitted by 6:00 PM Pacific on April 15th. And we took that very seriously because that gave you almost two weeks to submit. We did have some people that submitted a couple, and I was okay with that. Normally that's not how it works in the audition process. You wanna get your audition in probably sooner if you can, rather than later, but because this was an educational experiment, an educational process, I said it was okay to upload alternate files as long as they were in by the due date. So let's talk about the good, the bad and the ugly <laugh>

Pilar: Oh yeah.

Anne: Let's start with the ugly. I'm just gonna say, we could probably say it together. One of the biggest things was not following directions. I mean, everything from uploading to the wrong spot and the one that you kept catching. So I know you're gonna say no slate. We requested a slate, and there was so many people that did not have a slate. And that made a difference if it came between two close contestants. So it did make a difference. Not auditioning for both spots. And I'm gonna say the ugly would be ugly audio because people didn't have a good recording environment. There might have been noise. People might have been -- noise in the background. I heard like some whirring and hissing and I don't even know, people plosive-ing on the mics. <laugh>

Pilar: Or they were different levels.

Anne: Yep. Different levels.

Pilar: One was really loud. The other one was way softer.

Anne: Exactly. So yeah. What was ugly for you?

Pilar: So for me, the reason why we did this was really, we wanted to simulate what a real audition is like. And the whole slating thing is just, I've been in webinars where they say, well, it doesn't really matter anymore. It really does. And I get probably, on any given day, let's say, I'll get 10 auditions, five of them say, please slate your name when you send in your MP3.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: And that's one thing and it's into highlighted. And then the other way it comes in is do not slate anywhere on your file, in bold letters, capitalized, highlighted. So the direction was, and it was really simple, just slate your name.

Anne: Right.

Pilar: And of -- we had 110 auditions, almost half --

Anne: I think it was 120, yeah.

Pilar: 120?

Anne: Yeah, okay, so half of them.

Pilar: So almost half of them --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- came without a slate.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: So that is just glaring because obviously people were quick to rush. Other things that we got, which weren't really necessary -- and I will tell you, because my agents in LA are a little bit more forgiving, but the agents in New York, they are very clear on their auditions that if you don't do it exactly the way they say, they are just not submitting you.

Anne: Yeah. If you can't follow directions, then it's very likely that you can't follow direction.

Pilar: Right.

Anne: Get it?

Pilar: And -- exactly. And so when it says, like your name, you slate your name. Don't slate your hometown, don't slate --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- your email address. When you label -- and this is something that is, you know, you copy and you paste it. You don't try to sit there and memorize it. The reason I say this too is because as a voice actor, I saw a lot of mistakes that I have been guilty of at some point. So it was actually a real learning experience for me to go, oh, okay. Once I have done my audition, I've edited it, and I've checked all these things, I -- and I've been doing this for a while, but it really makes me understand that I have to have an eagle ear -- I go and I put it in a file. I go away, I take my headphones off, and then I come back to it and I listen to it as an MP3.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: Because you can't trust your ears. And a lot of the times there are things that just, they don't correlate. So if it says, slate your name, you slate your name. And when you label, you label the way they're asking you to label. So you have to check and recheck your audition because here's the thing about auditions. Auditions are the job. This is what we do. This is what I do every day. The gigs are the hobby, and the gigs are wonderful, but really it is the job. And so if you are submitting to your agent, they need to know that you're serious. They need to know that you're gonna be able to send your auditions the way they asked you to send them.

Anne: Mm-hmm. absolutely.

Pilar: Because this is not a dress rehearsal. It's not something that you just slap together. It's better not even to send it in, if you're just gonna kind of do it in this sort of half-baked way.

Anne: That's such a good point. What happens is, especially if you're sending to your agent, I think that if you become a person and they -- you get a lot of auditions from your agent and you submit all the time -- if you're constantly not following directions, that agent remembers it. And whether or not they mention that to you, I'm sure they will at some point, but it just sticks in their brain. It sticks in my brain when you don't follow directions, because I'm like, ah, that would was a great read, but they didn't name it right. Or I lost it; where did it go? If they had named it right, I would find it. What was that audition that was so good? Or they didn't slate. Oh yeah. What was that guy?

So really it becomes something that sticks out in a way that maybe is not as positive as you'd like. And the next time you're asked to submit an audition, I think it just becomes something that gets stuck in their memory. Then it becomes like, well, again, they forgot to slate, or again, they didn't name the file correctly, so now I've gotta go and fix it here on my system. So that just really stands out, I think if you cannot follow directions. And again, if you can't follow directions, it leads me to think that you cannot follow direction either, so.

Pilar: Well, and here's the thing that it's even more serious because it's your category, and it's one audition. They're probably dealing with 30 auditions on any given day --

Anne: If not more, right? Exactly.

Pilar: Yeah. But let's just put 30 as a, let's just say 30 auditions on one given day.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: So let's say they are submitting five of their best people, but they're sending it out to 50 people for each audition.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: They don't have time to sit there and email you back and say, you did not slate.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Pilar: Or you did something or, or there was a mistake here. They're just not gonna submit you the next time.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: They're not gonna tell you because the whole thing is on you. You have to be proud of the fact that you are -- this is -- it's a craft; auditions are a craft. And so it's like, you're giving like a little mini performance.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: Because you're basically saying to the person who's hearing on the other end, I can do what you asked me to.

Anne: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.

Pilar: So you have to make sure that it, it is all in place because if you ask them, because I have. I mean, at the very beginning, when I first started working with my agents and I wasn't booking and I, so I asked them, and they gave me some really constructive criticism. And so I went and I studied more with some specific people, and then I started booking, but they're not gonna sit there and say, oh well, you didn't slate and you keep not slating. And we can't submit you. They're just gonna ignore you.

Anne: Everything contributes, everything contributes to it.

Pilar: Yeah, exactly.

Anne: Absolutely.

Pilar: So it, it's so important. For everybody who slated, thank you. And for everybody who followed the directions, thank you. But for the people who didn't, just remember that there's more than one pair of ears listening.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Pilar: And so for the next time, make sure that you've crossed your T's and dotted your I's when you send submissions in.

Anne: I mean, every time when people are asking casting directors, what are the worst things you can do when you submit an audition?

Pilar: What's your pet peeves, yeah.

Anne: And that is not following directions. Now, the other thing I noticed for the ugly was the bad audio. So, you know, it's unfortunate. It is part of the business though; you do have to have a good studio or a great studio where you can produce quality audio. And if you have bad audio and, and it becomes between you and another person who had it, maybe an equally great read, I'm gonna pick the person that has the good studio or the, the studio. Because I cannot guarantee, let's say, even though you may not have the best studio sound, that you're gonna be able to come into the studio and then execute by tomorrow, if that's when I need the spot to be done. So you really have to invest in figuring out how to get the best quality audio out of your studio.

Pilar: And just, it's so important to note that having the best quality studio does not mean you have to spend $5,000.

Anne: Exactly.

Pilar: Because what they're looking for to be able to submit to the client, what they're looking for is clean audio. It does not have to be a $10,000 studio, a $10,000 booth. It has to be clean. So there's, there are parameters that you have to follow in terms of getting that -65 DB noise floor. It's not hard, but it just takes work. And you have to be able to put in the time and find out how to get that quality.

Anne: Well, the cool thing is is that once you get it set up, usually you don't have to change it. It's not like you're gonna have to improve it afterwards.

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: And there's a lot of really wonderful audio engineers out there that can help you. They don't have to come to your house.

Pilar: And they don't have to cost an arm and a leg either.

Anne: They don't, but they're very well worth --

Pilar: There's some great people out there.

Anne: They're very well worth the investment of getting that sound to be in tiptop shape.

Pilar: Yeah. Yes. Because once you have it, then you've got it forever. I, yeah, absolutely.

Anne: Exactly.

Pilar: Good point.

Anne: And that's, and it's done, you know, set and done. So let's talk about, okay, that was the ugly. There might be more if we, if we wanna talk about it more, but I'm gonna go into the bad now, which is not quite as ugly, but the bad is -- so let's think about this. Probably 90% of the time for a commercial read these days, we are being asked for conversational, nothing, typical commercial sounding or announcery.

Pilar: Mm-hmm.

Anne: Honest to God. Every time I see it, it's like nothing that sounds commercially. So I think that for a lot of you, it's hard to hear yourselves because I think what you're trying to do is sound like you're conversational, and you're not actually acting, and you're not actually in a scene and being conversational. So I'm just gonna say that it's not bad. It's just that you need to develop that ear. You need to really put in the hours for getting yourself as best as you can be in the scene, acting it out so that it's believable and it's authentic. And the thing is, is that when you listen to 200 auditions, it is very obvious which ones are sounding authentic and genuine, and which ones are just trying to sound conversational, and of course those that are being announcery. So it becomes very evident to the ear when you listen to it.

And I think when we reveal some of the winners, you're gonna hear that as well. So I'm just gonna say maybe not the bad, but I think everybody always, it is our job to be good at what we do and to be able to bring that copy to life in the way that the director wants to. And so to get my ear, the casting director's ear, if you can show me that you can act, I'm gonna hire you because then if I want you to sound commercially, it's a piece of cake. And a lot of times that might be what you hear on the television. But the fact is is that when you're auditioning, you gotta show me that you can act, and that's the audition that I'm gonna pick.

Pilar: And the thing is when you know, people will say, well, what do I do? Where do I go? And coaching is so expensive and this and this and that. Well, it does take work, and it does take learning, but here's the thing. YouTube and iSpot TV are your best friends.

Anne: Mm, I'm gonna disagree with you there.

Pilar: Why?

Anne: Because yes, you can go and listen to the commercials. But again, if the end result is being directed to sound commercially, it's not necessarily gonna help you not sound commercially.

Pilar: No, but I'm talking about getting an ear for what is being heard on the radio. For example, if you don't know what it sounds like for, let's say a Ford commercial, you go and you look up a Ford commercial. It's like, when you don't know something, you go and you look it up. If you're auditioning, like, let's say you don't know what a microwave sounds like. You go and you look up, what does a microwave sound like? How can I experiment with how a microwave sounds like? Let me play with it.

'Cause that's what we saw, what we heard in these reads, people who were willing to take a little chance and people who were willing to sort of put some of their personality in there. That's what I mean in terms of doing research for trying to figure out, well, what is it, if I don't really know what it is -- go listen and also study. Absolutely. But there's always research to be done when you are voicing something that you might not be super familiar with.

Anne: I will agree with you there. If you're not familiar with the brand, I would absolutely go and do a Google search of the brand. And I'm gonna just say, I'm gonna be very careful listening to other commercials on YouTube and or iSpot. Some of them are amazing, but some of them are not -- if they're ask for a particular style of a read, just be careful. Because not everything that you hear on TV is conversational. And so if the specs are asking for that, then make sure that you go and find something that sounds conversational and not commercial.

And if you are new to the industry, I would recommend that you get some coaching to help you with that, to help develop your ear. I think you should consider it to be an investment in your business. And I'm not saying this because I'm a coach. I'm really not. I just know that the longevity of this profession, you learn it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Over the years, I've studied, I've coached and I've developed an ear. And I think that that is something that doesn't happen overnight. And so you really have to go and study, Google and make sure you're listening to good commercials and great actors and invest in a coach. And I'm not saying you need to invest in a coach for 10 years, but I think even the best still hit up coaches so that they can continue to be their best.

All right. So, and now for the really good, now we're going to announce the winners of each category. So let's start with the winner for English, and the winner is....Joe Lewis. Yay, Joe. Let's play his winning audition.

Joe: Beep beep. That is the sound of me signaling that this is a car commercial while being considerate of the fact that you may be on the road. It's exactly this kind of consideration that lets you know you can trust Toyota and our all new 2022 Highlander SUV to get you where you need to be faster and more reliably. Beep beep beep beep beep -- oops. Sorry. I think my burrito's done.

Anne: <laugh> Yay. Congratulations, Joe Lewis. So let's talk about what we liked about Joe's audition. I'll start with saying, I really liked his warm tone. I thought that it was really friendly and super conversational.

Pilar: Yeah, absolutely. I will say he did not slate... but his audition was so good, and he made me feel sort of like, oh wow. He made me feel warm. That's what his voice made me feel.

Anne: Yeah, me too.

Pilar: And that, and that's so important --

Anne: Me too.

Pilar: -- when you're listening to any kind of commercial, when you're listening to a voiceover, if they make you feel something --

Anne: I was just gonna say that, yes.

Pilar: Then you know that you have reached that person. You've reached that, you know, it's like you've gone through the sound and through the, through the computer, through the cyberspace, and you've reached that person, 'cause you're like, oh yeah, okay. This is, this is cool. I, I, I could trust this person.

Anne: Yeah. Such a good point because that is exactly how I felt when I listened to it. And when I listened to it for the first time, I immediately went, oh it wasn't like, oh I love the sound of that. I love the way he did this particular. I mean, there's lots of aspects of it that I love, but it was the feeling that I was left with, and that is gold, pure gold. So yeah, if you can just listen to an audition or listen to a spot and you are able to feel something about it, then I think that is, that is the money, that is the money read.

So yeah. Congratulations. And I loved how at the end he really kind of had a different tone, a change of tone. He kind of brought his voice down like, oh it was a secret about the burrito. So I liked his ending burrito. <laugh> Awesome. All right. So now there were so many good reads that we also decided to award an honorable mention for the English category, and we think you're gonna really enjoy her read too. So the honorable mention in English goes to....Sofia Zita. Congratulations, Sofia. Let's play her audition.

Sophia: Beep beep. That is the sound of me signaling that this is a car commercial while being considerate of the fact that you may be on the road. It's exactly this kind of consideration that lets you know you can trust Toyota and our all new 2022 Highlander SUV to get you where you need to be faster and more reliably. Beep beep beep beep beep -- oops. Sorry. I think my burrito's done.

Anne: <laughs> Oh gosh. So I love Sophia's beep that like that struck me from the beginning. I just thought it was really cute. And I'm gonna say at the very end, like she did something, she went off mic. She did an off mic technique for her burrito, which I thought was super creative and super fun. And I thought that her personality, while I thought there were some places in, you know, maybe her first couple sentences where it may not have the flow of a conversational English, her personality just shown so brightly through it that I couldn't help but smile when listening to her. So again, it evoked a feeling out of me, and that pretty much just said, yep. She needs to get an honorable mention for that. So great work on that, Sophia. What are your thoughts?

Pilar: I felt like she was talking right to me. I felt like she was standing right next to me talking to me from the get-go. And I was like, oh wow. It's like, she was right there next to me. I don't know it just, again, it gave me this warm feeling inside, and I was like, okay. Yeah.

Anne: Yeah. So that really unique beep and that off mic technique really grabbed me at the beginning and at the end too.

Pilar: Yep.

Anne: So it made her pretty memorable.

Pilar: Mm-hmm.

Anne: All right. Congratulations, Sofia. All right. Let's talk about now the winner in the Spanish category, and Pilar, I'm gonna let you handle that.

Pilar: So the winner in the Spanish category is.... Milena Benefiel, and this is her submission.

Milena: Milena Benefiel. Beep beep. Es el sonido que uso para siñolar que este es un commercial de autos mientras que usted podria está conduciendo la caretera. Este tipo de servicio es lo que le permite saber que puede confiar en Toyota y en nuestra nueva SUV Highlander 2022 para que se transporte de un lugar a otro de la manera más rápida y confiable. Beep beep beep -- balla, lo siento, creo que mi burrito está listo.

Pilar: I felt like she was very just right there and very straight forward. And you know, this is how it's done. And there was that little sort of laugh at the end. And I, I just, I love this read.

Anne: I thought she had a nice, warm smile and a lot of personality in it.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: And so I really enjoyed her, and there were so many good ones, but I, I think for her, I just felt an immediate connection with that.

Pilar: Mm-hmm.

Anne: She was, it was almost like she was in my ear.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: And that's a very cool feeling. It's like, hey, telling you a secret and let me tell you about this Toyota. So yeah. Lots of fun and nicely done. Congratulations, Milena.

Pilar: Okay. So now we have an honorable mention for the Spanish version and the runner-up was....Nicoletta Mondellini, and here is her read.

Nicki: Soy Nicki Mandolini con Dos Thomas. Beep beep. Es el sonido que uso para siñolar que este es un commercial de autos mientras que usted podria está conduciendo en la caretera. Este tipo de servicio es lo que le permite saber que puede confiar en Toyota y en nuestra nueva SUV Highlander 2022 para que se transporte de un lugar a otro de la manera más rápida y confiable. Beep beep beep beep -- balla, lo siento, creo que mi burrito ya está listo.

Beep beep. Es el sonido que uso para siñolar que este es un commercial de autos mientras que usted podria está conduciendo en la caretera. Este tipo de servicio es lo que le permite saber que puede confiar en Toyota y en nuestra nueva SUV Highlander 2022 para que se transporte de un lugar a otro de la manera más rápida y confiable. Beep beep beep beep -- balla, lo siento, creo que mi burrito está listo.

Anne: <Laugh>. I'm all about her beep, I'm just saying.

Pilar: Her, yeah, her beeps are really fun. And so since we didn't specify one take --

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: -- or two takes, obviously there a few people who submitted two takes, and I really liked her read because it was different, the first one from the second.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: The first one was very bubbly.

Anne: Mm-hmm, yep, absolutely.

Pilar: And it was bouncy, and it was full of energy, and the second one was straightforward, but it was still warm, still engaging.

Anne: I agree.

Pilar: Still talking right to you. And I liked that.

Anne: I agree. And I, I think you're right. We didn't say one or two takes, we didn't make a specification, but I think that if you are going to submit two takes, make sure that those two takes are different and different enough so that we can hear that difference. Because for me, that ended up being the point where I said, oh, that was a really cute take. I was like, okay. Short list. But there was a few people on my short list, but when she went on the second take, it showed to me that she could actually have a different take and act.

And so I tended to choose her because she did the second take because now I know for a fact that she can give me a different read, and I know I can feel confident that when I'm directing the session, that she can give me what I need.

Pilar: That she can deliver.

Anne: Yeah. That she can deliver. And so congratulations. And that beep really kind of stuck out. And so here's the thing we asked, 'cause beep beep was kind of a sound effect in the file. We never really specified where the beep was coming from. Even though it seems obvious that maybe it would come from a car or a microwave. But what I loved is most people had a lot of fun with the beep beeps, and I applaud that because that's what made your auditions stand out, if you had fun with the beeps or if you could laugh at yourself. I had a couple of people that really, really went all out for the beeps. And I think that it paid off.

Pilar: Because when you bring that little teeny weeny piece of creativity, it affects your voice.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: And it affects your attitude.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: And so that tells us as the casting directors, oh, they know how to play. They know how to give us a, a little bit of a different flavor for that particular moment, even if it's just two seconds long.

Anne: Yup. Absolutely.

Pilar: So that's really important.

Anne: Cool.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: All right. So now our final category, our combination.

Pilar: You know what?

Anne: Yeah?

Pilar: I feel like this deserves two drum rolls. Okay?

Anne: <laugh> because let's talk about the English first and then the Spanish. How's that?

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: We'll do that. So one drum roll, one drum roll.

Pilar: One drum roll.

Anne: Winner of the English is Ramesh Mathani. Congratulations, Ramesh. Let's play his winning read in English.

Ramesh: This is Ramesh Mathani. Beep beep. That is the sound of me signaling that this is a car commercial while being considerate of the fact that you may be on the road. It's exactly this kind of consideration that lets you know you can trust Toyota and all our new 2022 Highlander SUV to get you where you need to be faster and more reliably. Beep beep beep beep beep -- oops. Sorry. I think my burrito's done.

Beep beep. That is the sound of me signaling that this is a car commercial while being considerate of the fact that you may be on the road. It's exactly this kind of consideration that lets you know you can trust Toyota and our all new 2022 Highlander SUV to get you where you need to be faster and more reliably. Beep beep beep beep beep -- oops. Sorry. I think my burrito's done.

Anne: <laughs> So two completely different reads and interestingly enough, he had a little bit of a, a global international accent on his first read and then more of a straight English read on the second, but they were definitely different. And I remember listening to his first read, I thought, oh, that's really, that sounds nice. But I was just like, okay, I let it -- and then when he came in with the second one and had a different read completely, and even had a different like burrito <laugh> he had a different burrito expression, I really just thought that that really showed his acting ability. And I was, I was just very impressed.

Pilar: Yeah. And I just, I wanna reiterate how important it is to have, if you're going to do two reads, make them different.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: Obviously you don't wanna, you know, have a low voice and then have a high voice because that's kind of silly, but there were a couple of entries where the exact same thing was uploaded twice.

Anne: Mm-hmm. yep.

Pilar: Or a read was done double time, much quicker.

Anne: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Pilar: But that doesn't make it a different read. What's your attitude? Who are you talking to?

Anne: Right, exactly.

Pilar: Are you talking to your mother or are you talking to your best friend?

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: Are you talking your husband? 'Cause that's going to inform the difference in the read and that's what's gonna make a difference and show us that you know how to act.

Anne: Yeah. Change the scene and change your read. Don't just change what it sounds like. Right?

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: Change your scene and it'll change your reaction to it and your acting.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: So awesome. So now let's go ahead and play his winning audition in Spanish. Oh!

Pilar: One more time for the drumroll.

Anne: That's right. Ramesh. <laugh>

Pilar: Ramesh.

Ramesh: Soy Ramesh Mathani. Beep beep. Es el sonido que uso para siñolar que este es un commercial de autos mientras que usted podria está conduciendo en la caretera. Este tipo de servicio es lo que le permite saber que puede confiar en Toyota y en nuestra nueva SUV Highlander 2022 para que se transporte de un lugar a otro de la manera más rápida y confiable. Beep beep beep beep beep beep -- balla, lo siento, creo que mi burrito está listo.

Beep beep. Es el sonido que uso para siñolar que este es un commercial de autos mientras que usted podria está conduciendo en la caretera. Este tipo de servicio es lo que le permite saber que puede confiar en Toyota y en nuestra nueva SUV Highlander 2022 para que se transporte de un lugar a otro de la manera más rápida y confiable. Beep beep beep beep beep -- balla, lo siento, creo que mi burrito está listo.

Anne: <Laugh> You know what I love about that?

Pilar: What?

Anne: So besides that he's got two different reads, what is really strategic that he did is he placed in both his English and Spanish placed his second read right at the end of the first so that there was no time for the casting director to just like, okay, next. So he literally almost ran them into each other so that it was obvious that there was a second read coming, and it was actually really kind of cool that beep beep was the words because it made it even more like distinct that here's the first read. Here's the second read. But he just, he really butted them up against each other to strategically not allow the casting director to take the ears off of the listen.

Pilar: Yeah. And that's so important as we've probably discussed in an earlier podcast, how casting directors are gonna listen to you. They say they listen to everything, but my question has always been -- 'cause I listened to every single one of these.

Anne: Do they? Yes, I did too. Mm-hmm.

Pilar: And to the end. So when I hear casting directors say we listen to every single one, I wonder, do they listen to every single one to the end?

Anne: Right.

Pilar: Or do they in fact listen to --

Anne: The first part.

Pilar: -- six seconds --

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: -- which is what is sort of the average.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: And that's why it's so important to remember the ears that are listening to it on the other end. What you're saying is something that I'm gonna use too is just to --

Anne: Yeah, super strategic.

Pilar: -- just to smoosh it right next to it so you you're not giving -- to me, one of the things I learned when I started doing on camera work so many years ago, 'cause I've been doing auditions for like over 30 years, is that you wanna make it really difficult for them to turn you off.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely. That's it, that's key.

Pilar: Or to discount you.

Anne: Yep.

Pilar: So you wanna do everything possible and obviously you don't wanna make it sound rushed, but it's -- and that's what it means about making, just perfecting the audition. So it's like a little slice of this perfect 30 seconds, and it's not about, you know, being perfect. That's not the point of it.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely, good point.

Pilar: But it's just about how much you can give to the audition that you're sending in. And then you just, you know, you send it in, and then you let it go and you release it.

Anne: Yep. Exactly.

Pilar: And I think that he gave us variation. He gave us warmth.

Anne: He gave us the feels.

Pilar: I trusted him in both languages. So I felt like, oh yeah, okay. If this stranger came up to me and spoke to me, I'd be like, yeah, this is okay. I can go with this.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Pilar: So that's so important because it's about confidence. It's about confidence in what you're doing in the moment as you are acting. And so if you believe what you're saying, the person on the other end is gonna believe it as well.

Anne: Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, great takeaways. I mean, so let's remember, BOSSes, make sure that first of all, you follow directions <laugh>. First of all, follow directions, make sure that you've got some good audio coming out, really work on your acting, make us feel something at the end of your read. And again like Pilar, I love that you said it doesn't have to be perfect. And as a matter of fact, there's a lot of imperfections. I even wrote a blog article on it once, but imperfections are beautiful, and imperfections make me listen. They make me connect. It makes you relatable. It makes you real and authentic, and play, have fun.

Pilar: Play and have fun. And don't be worried about if your throat does something weird and it comes out --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- and it's funny, keep it.

Anne: If you don't think it sounds right.

Pilar: Yeah. Right. Like don't get rid of all your breaths. If that's part of the acting, keep them in there.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: It does not have to be perfect.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: But it has to be engaging so we stop and go, oh yeah. That's what that, that's it, that's the one. 'Cause most of the times casting directors don't know what they're looking for.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: But when they hear it, they're like, yes, that's it.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Pilar: That's what I want.

Anne: Absolutely. Well, to wrap this all up guys, congratulations. Thank you all for participating. It was an amazing challenge, I think. Everyone, I thank you all for participating. Congratulations to our winners, winner of the English, Joe Lewis, and honorable mention to Sofia Zita.

Pilar: Winner of Spanish Milena Benefiel, winner honorable mention Nicoletta Mondellini.

Anne: And the winner for both English and Spanish, Ramesh Mathani.

Pilar: Ramesh! Woo-hoo!

Anne: Congratulations, everyone. I'd like to give a huge shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect like BOSSes and find out more You guys, have an amazing week, and we'll catch you next week. Congratulations, winners. Woo-hoo!

Pilar: Ciao.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.