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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...

Oct 11, 2022

Casting is global, digital, and massive. This week, Anne & Lau lead Bosses through the complicated world of casting. Resiliency & timing are key for booking that dream gig. Lau teaches us that not all rejections mean no. They often mean not right now. Anne shows us that we are every aspect of our business and that marketing well enough to get in front of voice seekers is part of your job, whether you like it or not! If you’re feeling overwhelmed and defeated during the casting process, tune in for some (super) powerful advice…


>> 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.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and I'm excited to bring back to the show special guest co-host Lau Lapides and Business Superpowers. Yay. Hey Lau. How's it going today?

Lau: Awesome, Anne. So good to be with you. Love being with you.

Anne: I'm so excited for this new series and actually, because you do a lot of casting, and I also do casting as well. I thought it would be a great episode to talk about casting because casting over the years, I'm sure, has evolved and changed. And a lot of times my students wanna know, well, what does it take to get in front of a casting director and impress them so that they get hired?

Lau: Sure, it's a biggie.

Anne: Who better to ask, Lau <laugh> than someone that's been doing it for many, many years. Right? So let's talk about like, how has casting changed over the years?

Lau: Mm that's a loaded question. I love the theme. I have to tell you, I love the superpower theme because innately, I think for actors, voice actors, there's this feeling of helplessness, of powerlessness, of waiting for a job or waiting for someone to like me. Right? You know, what did I do wrong? Why didn't they cast me? Why didn't they like me? And I love the theme of this show that you chose, because it's all about finding your inner power. Like what ignites us, what empowers us when we get to the casting, when we get to the agency, when we get to the hiring power, hiring people, how do we ignite our own power inside of us? So I love that. I love that.

Okay. So it's a hard question to answer in the sense that it's so unique to each person. Every individual is a very, very unique experience throughout their performance life. But you know, I can give you a few tips along the way, in terms of, let's say you're starting out and you're early to market, and you're coming in, you're saying, huh, how do I get people knowing my name and hearing my voice? Well, for casting, I'll tell you one of the things that we're always looking for are people that are submitting a lot. They're really marketing themselves well, and they're submitting a lot, and they're unafraid to submit and resubmit because I think it's a truism in the industry that you're not gonna book the first job. You may not even book the second or third job or the 50th job.

So what do we do? We have to have that tenacity, that inner power within us to say, it's okay. I can submit until the cows come home. And maybe, maybe they just don't need my value right now. So I'm not looking at this as a rejection. I'm looking at this as not a no, but a not now.

Anne: Right? I love that. You know what, you're the first person that I've ever heard say that, the tenacity, submit, submit, submit, because I think for a lot of talent, they get discouraged, right? They're either like, oh my gosh, I've submitted. I haven't booked anything. And then they get down on themselves. And you're the first casting director that I've heard actually say be tenacious, submit, submit, submit. And actually, you know, I totally agree, because I feel like your name will become known as well to the casting directors. And at some point, I would imagine if you're continually submitting, either at some point, somebody's going to stop and give you feedback, if they feel it's necessary. And also it's just kind of a way to keep yourself top of mind, which is like any good marketing, is to keep yourself top of mind with a casting director. So I wanted to stop and say, thank you for saying that, because I'm sure that you just gave these BOSSes a whole lot more reason to just continue on, and be positive, and just submit, submit. So thank you for that. Love it. Yeah.

Lau: Of course. That was my pleasure. And BOSSes listening in, I'm telling you, there are not enough places in the world and your lifetime isn't long enough to submit to every place you could be submitting to. So it's not about waiting for 5, 10, 15, 20 sources. It's about pasting. Like it's global, we're in a global industry now. You wanna cover the globe. So you don't wanna go from local. You don't wanna do regional. You don't even wanna keep it national. You wanna go international. So you wanna think about as you work with your coaches, as you work with your trainers, as you work with Anne, you wanna think about, boy, here's where I am in this market, but how am I viewed in that market? And then how am I viewed in this market? And it becomes an endless journey of how can I get in front of casting and representation that can represent me for that particular genre and that particular brand, which may change, which very well may change.

Anne: Now, let me play devil's advocate here from the voice talent perspective and say, how do I find different casting directors that cast in different genres or different places? Is that something that's easily researched?

Lau: Well, yes and no. In the sense that nothing is easy <laugh> But everything's at our fingertips now.

Anne: Right, right.

Lau: We know this, everything is at our fingertips. So what you need, and I'm like preaching to the choir on this one, but what the BOSSes need is they need a great time management schedule. They need to be honest about what are they committing? I always say what you put in is what you're going to get out of it for your career. Am I putting in an hour, a day, am I putting in 15 hours a day? I'm most likely gonna get more out of it if I'm putting in more time. And the time needs to be very focused time, very incisive time. I need to know exactly, like how does an actor think I need to have purpose. I need to have an objective. I can't just generically go in and hope for work. I have to really, really target in.

So let's say, say, I'm looking for casting directors. I know, based on my studio, I know one of the ways you can be seen live and virtually, virtually and live is to do showcases. And showcases are a fascinating event. We produce them and a lot of others produce them as well. And you get to go live in person, whether you're walking into a room or whether you're walking into a Zoom room, you get to meet people. There's nothing better than being in front of a casting director or an agent or a producer and saying, hi, I'm live. This is who I am. This is what I do. I'm gonna do it for you right now. This is a great option to get in front of as many casting people and reps, if you're looking for reps, as possible. A lot of people are afraid of it and they shouldn't be.

Anne: Well, and I'm gonna just kind of plug my VO Peeps group. I mean, we do have workouts with casting directors and talent agents. And if you are afraid thinking that you're not ready to be seen or to be showcased, do the work to get yourself performance-wise where you feel confident. Because it's never a guarantee if you're performing in front of a casting director. And I always have to say that. Like, there is no guarantee you'll get work if you come to my workshop that is hosted by me and I have a talent agent or a casting director, but what a great opportunity to kind of showcase your talents. And so again, there's never any guarantee that you'll get work, but it's an opportunity for you to get in front of these people live in a Zoom room for the VO Peeps cases anyways, and then live also with -- Lau has showcases. And I know there's other casting directors as well that do those showcases, and that's a great opportunity to get seen and heard.

Lau: It is. And it also will satisfy you. Like if you're doing the Peeps, you're doing the workout, it satisfies that live actor forum in you, where you wanna get some feedback. You wanna meet someone, you wanna talk about what you do. You wanna have the interaction of the room. I mean, that's something we just can't get alone in our studio or alone in our booth. We just can't capture it the way we can live. So I, I do think that's one, really important way where you're in a, either a workout or a casting workshop or a showcase, whatever that is. I would put that right into your time management. I also would work with either Anne, your coach, your trainer to really get together the marketing list you wanna get together of casting directors and of agencies that you can be target marketing. I think that's very important and a lot of talent miss that. I think gone are the days of opening up the phone book. We don't really use the phone book that often anymore.

Anne: Well, wait, but wait, the Voiceover Resource Guide is coming back. I have to just do a plug for that because if you -- do you remember -- you've been casting direct for a while. You remember the Voiceover Resource Guide, the printed book?

Lau: Yes.

Anne: That used to be the only thing that basically gave you information for area coaches, area studios and casting directors, and that is making a comeback. And so it, it is in print and also online. So that's a great resource, and BOSSes, I'll be put in that link in our show notes and also any resources, Lau, that are online that you can share with BOSSes, I'll put that as well in the show notes. So you guys can check that out, but continue on Lau about how talent can get in front of first of all, find them, get in front of, and then how can we make a good impression? Like I think that's really what everybody wants to know.

Lau: It is. It is, it is. And, and one more I wanna throw in the mix, Anne, and that is, I want you -- not you <laugh> I want everyone listening in to think about every person that you meet or get in front of or have email contact with is a prospect. So they are a potential casting director.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: They don't call themselves that that's not their title and they wouldn't even know what it is if you ask them, but they're the hiring person. They're the decision maker. They're the person who maybe owns their own business and needs vocal talent, doesn't know that they need them. So as you have your business, you have to think, wow, I am gonna look at my suspects and I'm gonna prospect them. And how do I prospect them? I'm gonna go after every organization, every group that I possibly can, that fits my interest of where my voice is. So for instance, I may go after the women's groups. There's a lot of professional women's groups out there that are wonderful, that would love to know, women and men, that would love to know your voices there, to promote their companies, to promote their products and services, to promote their organizations. A lot of them don't even have voiceovers to do that, right? Why not hit them up? They could be your casting director. What about your local chamber of commerce? What about your BNIs? Right?

All of those, those are international professional clubs that you can go into and be in front of 10, 20, 50, 100 people at a time that are great prospects for you to then create what I call the rapport before the relationship. The two R's you have to remember when you're trying to get in front of anyone who's doing casting or hiring is, hey, I have to connect with you. I have to have some sort of authentic connection that you're interested in me and I'm interested in you. And then we have to build a relationship together over time. So it's really working in that sphere of understanding that casting is now global. It's now massive. And yes, you have casting directors proper in each city, in each state, but then you have all these businesses that may very well hire you once they know that you're there.

Anne: Sure, sure, sure. And you know, I love that you've brought the term casting agent global now. It's really anybody that has a need for your services and that can hire you. And yes, there are traditional casting agents title only that belong to in studios typically. Right? And their job is to cast voice talent all day. And I like that you created a global job for anybody that hires you for your voice. And that's very true. The one thing I think that, BOSSes, you need to take into consideration is the amount of education necessary to connect and find the need for the job. Right?

Because a lot of times we're auditioning, we're auditioning, we're auditioning. We're not getting any feedback. We're not getting any gigs. And we turn it all on our own performance. And I speak on this all the time, because I know that mentality. I have many students that talk about it all the time, and they're like, I don't think I belong in this industry anymore because I'm not getting any work. A lot of time, that work depends on the market. It depends on if there is a need at the time for your voice. And that is something that I think we forget as voice talent.

We forget that a lot of it is timing based, right? A company may absolutely love your voice for their product, but if they don't have a campaign or they don't have something ready yet to release, they can't hire somebody. And so you just may be like, I'm submitting, submitting, submitting. And maybe just at that point, right, you might be marketing to them, they just don't need your voice yet. And that's when you're doing that kind of marketing and people are like, well, nobody's responding to me. I'm not getting any feedback to my marketing. Well, that may just be a timing issue. That's all it is. So don't always go to the place where, oh no, they didn't like my voice.

Lau: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, it's a business where we have to personalize everything but we can't take anything personal.

Anne: Yes, absolutely.

Lau: We just have to understand the difference between personalizing your work and me, Lau, feeling like you hit me, you hit me. Well, I have to be careful of that because then I'll be hit all day long, and it won't be about my value. It'll be about me personally, as you gotta keep it to your value. And I do think, Anne, that there's two factors as I look at the years and years of working with talent and connecting them and auditioning them and all that, two very big areas that are common that are the obstacles, the walls that people have a tough time getting through; identified them as focus and fear. Those are typically the two game stoppers for you that I'm scared. I'm terrified. I don't wanna be rejected. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not good enough. That's the fear factor. And then the focus of like, okay, do I understand my schedule? Do I know what I can authentically commit? Am I really putting in the time and energy I need to, to get the ROI that I'm looking for? And oftentimes folks are not doing it. If they're gonna be really honest and transparent, they're not putting in the time and effort that an entrepreneur that owns their own business really needs to put in, right?

Anne: So are you talking now? Are they not doing enough auditions or are they not doing enough work to prepare their performance so that they can get hired or both?

Lau: It could be all of the above. When we started the conversation, we were talking about casting. And so for looking at finding and prospecting my own casting opportunities, well, how do I do that? I have to put X amount of time into my work week in order to do that. And there was one more I wanted to hit too, Anne, and that was getting my lists together. And if you're connected to great people like Anne, who may be able to help you with, who are the casting directors, and the casting departments, and the agencies proper in the nation that you can then be going, okay, I gotta send, send, send, send, send, I'm gonna Google. I'm gonna get online. I'm gonna look at doing all of that. And it is a lot of work. It's a lot of work.

Anne: It is, it is.

Lau: But it's work we have to do in marketing efforts to understand who is hiring, who is submitting, and who is gone now because after COVID, a lot of businesses unfortunately went down or merged and changed.

Anne: Yeah. And one thing I wanna point out BOSSes is that we have had a couple of different episodes on email marketing and just make sure if you are submitting or sending information out that you're abiding by rules and regulations so that you're not considered as spamming. And so be careful with that. It's one of the reasons -- and shameless plug, one of the reasons that I created the VO BOSS Blast is that we can market to a list that has already given us permission of casting directors and production companies that have said, yes, it's okay for us to market to. So that is something you guys can take a look at as well as doing your own research. And then it becomes a marketing challenge, right? How are you going to get in front of these people? And again, then it becomes that timing issue. But as Lau stated, you really do have to put in the effort.

And I know how many people, they got into this industry thinking it's gonna be all fun and performance in the studio. Well, believe it or not, a lot of the time really isn't <laugh> until you get that job, right? You've got to get the job. And then once you've got the job, you can't anticipate that that job will be there forever. You have to continually mine for new prospects and getting in front of new people that can cast you and hire you. So Lau, are there differences over the years in terms of what people are looking for today versus maybe 20 years ago? Let's talk about the difference in the types of voices they're looking for.

Lau: Yeah. Well, there's been, I know, you know, this Anna huge swing in diversity casting and rightly so.

Anne: Absolutely.

Lau: That's been a long time coming. And so we've seen that both on camera and voiceover.

Anne: Yeah. And I'm so thankful for that honestly. It's just really brought, I mean, these past years, and it's not to where we need it yet, but I'll tell you what. I've really been enjoying hearing and watching and seeing all the diversity. It's just been amazing. And I just wanted to keep continuing, so.

Lau: Absolutely. I'm right there with you and it's been happening now --

Anne: It's been wonderful.

Lau: -- solidly -- yeah -- for about three years or so, maybe a little bit longer, which is exciting. And now we have to look at, okay, vocal actors, if you're not in that diversity casting pool, that's okay. You have your value and now you have to do the work to say, how do I prospect the right clients, the right customers, the right casting who's going to be interested in what I'm doing and what my sound is? And, you know, be honest, like, are you a proactive person or are you more of a reactive person? And both are just fine. But one of the common denominators of successful entrepreneurs is that they're proactive, in that we're willing to go out and take action and take a lot of action <laugh> and do it consistently for a long time, whether we get a return on it or not. I mean, that's just kind of the reality. We can't always depend on someone else doing it for us, and we can't always allow someone else to do it for us. There are certain things we just have to take agency of.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: Right? And our career, our career, our business, VO BOSS, the name of what we do, the branding is ours. And we have to take 100% commitment in that.

Anne: Yeah. And you are the marketing department, <laugh>, you know, you are the accounting department. You are the performance department. You are everything. And just to remind people, and again, I think we forget, we say, I am going to be a voice actor. And so you envision this life where you're gonna be in the studio, auditioning, doing gigs, and the other parts of that business, you kind of say, oh shoot, I have to do those too? And so yeah, you do. And as a matter of fact, that's kind of why there's entire marketing departments in companies that encompass people, like more than one people. And they're full time, as well as accounting people, people full time. So if you wanna run your business successfully, you've got to really remember that this marketing, you may hate it. You can decide to maybe outsource it, but you do have to have control over it being done and/or delegating it to someone. And it is a necessary evil, accounting is a necessary evil.

But getting in front of casting directors, people who can hire you, that is a marketing effort and sales really. But if you're doing great marketing, the sales hopefully come automatically. Right? And you don't have to call people up and say, yeah, you know, sell your voice. But if you're doing marketing properly, hopefully it comes your way. And this stems back to a lot of conversations, and I'm sure we can talk about it as well in terms of, is your storefront ready? Do you have your website? Do you have your demos? Are you prepared to market in that respect? It's all encompassing.

Lau: And you took the words literally right outta my mouth. That's how I know we're sister sisters. I know this because I was just about to say, I just coached a young man this morning and, and the concern was, ugh, I wanna get to the right agency. I need to be at a big agency. I need to get these kinds of roles. I need to do this. And then when we were actually coaching, there were a lot of issues in his delivery. So always be in coaching, always be training, always have that on your side because casting and agents and producers, you know, really isn't their job to give you feedback. I mean, you're lucky if you get some good feedback from them. A lot of casting were actors before and will just give you feedback, but many won't. And so to have that level of expectation is unrealistic. It's really not their job. Their job is to deal with placement, like recruiters. You're dealing with placement. It's the job of your coach, your trainer, or being in your class. That is really the feedback source that you need to have that piece before you're overly concerned about the business end of it. You don't wanna be marketing something that's not quite ready yet. That's not there or not competitive.

Anne: Yeah. I think lifelong learners, I think as performers, whether you are acting on camera, whatever it is, theater and voiceover, I think we continually have to be lifelong learners. I mean, that's, as an educator, that's what I love so much. That's why I was in education I think because I love to learn and I am a lifelong learner. And so that includes your performance and everything that you do and your business to be continually learning. And you have to consider investment. Not everything is free. Sometimes you can train for free. There's a lot of great resources out there, but sometimes you do have to make an investment in it and you can't be surprised by that. And you can't complain. They complain about the cost of coaching, the cost of demos, the cost of marketing. But guys, that's just a reality. That is an investment in your business.

And yes, maybe there are some things that cost more than you anticipated, but it is something that I think as a good business BOSS, right, you have to anticipate and you have to put that money away for that coaching. That always helps. So to get yourself in front of that casting director, now you're in front of them. You wanna be able to impress them with your performance and you wanna have something that's relevant and current. And so studying also I think trends, right? Go to iSpot, listen to current commercials, go to YouTube and listen to current voiceover. Now I'm the first person to say that not everything you hear is gonna be the right or great voiceover, but I think you can develop an ear for great voiceover.

Lau: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think, you know, having that training piece on your side like having it in, in your back pocket, the professional development, the education you're right, Anne, it's just a lifelong thing. And I often tell my clients, we're not off the hook. They somehow look at us and think, you guys are the BOSS. You own the world, you know, everything you're done.

Anne: You're getting, you're getting that work for me. <laugh>.

Lau: And I'm telling you, they don't understand that we're always growing businesses. We're always leveling up. We're always investing and reinvesting, and fixing problems, and doing things better. It's never done. There isn't the sense of, oh, I did it. I got my demos. I'm done. No, you're just starting. You're really just beginning. You're not done. You're only at the beginning. And that's what business is like, a general sense. It's like, you always feel like you're starting and restarting based off what your new objectives and your purpose is.

Quarter one, I have a new purpose. Now, quarter two comes, I repurpose that. And now I got a new objective. So I have to be able to understand that and know that the truth is our profession is a drop in the bucket, not to minimize the way people feel. 'Cause I totally empathize. Especially in the middle of inflation, believe me, I get you. I get you. But I'm telling you it's a drop in the bucket compared to going to medical school. It is a drop in the bucket compared to my friends who went for an MBA to be a financial advisor. And even actors that are friends of mine that went through three year conservatory degrees come out owing $200,000, $300,000 that they may never be able to pay off. What we are investing, Anne, is incremental. It's not overnight. It's really significantly lower than a lot of other industries out there and what they call upon just to get to the point of an interview for a job.

Anne: Right. Now you did mention, and I just was asking like how things have evolved and changed over the years in terms of what casting directors are looking for. And diversity was absolutely number one out of your mouth there. And I agree with that. What else is there? I'm gonna say that natural, believable, authentic style of delivery for sure, which is 90% of casting specs when they come through. Let's talk about that for a little bit.

Lau: Mm-hmm. I know that's true. That's the thing everyone gets annoyed with is like, ugh, the natural, the conversational, the connected.

Anne: That's the hardest,

Lau: it's the hardest. Whether you're a voiceover or an on camera, they just don't wanna hear you act.

Anne: Yep, yep.

Lau: They just don't want you exaggerated. They don't want you to call attention to your style. They just want to connect to you as a very, very authentic real person. So yeah. It's super important. It's the thing. It represents a whole, actually the largest generation in the United States, which is millennials right now represents them. Right? So that's something we'd absolutely have to pay attention to.

Anne: Even promo by the way, even promo is going more conversational by the way. I thought that was so interesting because I hosted Rick Wasserman the other night for VO Peeps. And he said, yeah, they're looking for conversational promo. No more of the announcer style. So.

Lau: That amazes me. That really does. That's so true. That amazes me. I wanted to say in casting, now we look for people who have their own built-in audience.

Anne: Yes.

Lau: That was not a thing. like, I'm not a digital native. I didn't grow up with a computer. Right? Like I literally learned how to turn a computer on at 32 years old. All right. So I'm off the hook a little bit, but the younger generation is not off the hook. They have to come in with their own built-in audience. What I mean by that is a lot of casting will ask you, okay, for your social media, what's your fan base like? What are your numbers like? Who's on your Insta channel? Who's this? Who's that and you're taken aback going, what, why are they asking me this? Because oftentimes they wanna ride. They wanna ride on their coattails of your current audience. Right? So they wanna take people in that already have this built in fan club. So the persona, yeah, the personality really weighs heavily even for voiceover.

Anne: And I think that's gonna be <laugh> that's gonna be another episode, all about social media and social media etiquette, which has become just chaotic. And I think that it's important that as companies and BOSSes, we understand how to represent those companies and our products online. And that's very important, I think, to casting directors these days. So.

Lau: Yeah. It's the wild west for sure. And, and dealing with protocol and etiquette but, and again, for listeners who are going, oh no, I'm 55, and I don't know anything about that. It doesn't make you or break you. This is not like, if you don't have it, you're not gonna work. It's just, what are the waves? What are the trends? What are things that we're paying attention to that we find people are really looking for? And that's one of those.

Anne: Yeah. Oh good stuff, Lau. Good stuff.

Lau: Good stuff.

Anne: Thank you so much again for being here and dropping those nuggets of wisdom to the BOSS listeners. I'm very excited for our future episodes. BOSSes, by the way, if you are looking to have your voice make an impact, you absolutely can. And you can give back to the communities that give to you. Visit to find out more. And also as always, we love our sponsor ipDTL. You too can connect and network like BOSSes and find out more at You guys, have an amazing week. Lau, thank you so much. And we'll see you next week, BOSSes. Bye!

Lau: My pleasure. Bye!

>> 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.