Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

December 1, 2009

What makes an audition “win?” Am I the “voice in the head” today?

Filed under: Auditioning, Business — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:20 pm

This is a subjective business – this business we are in – the business of recording our voice for sales, marketing, information, entertainment. And it is a mystery for sure sometimes as to why one voice is selected out of all the choices submitted.

I’ve mentioned recently that after many many years in this business, I am starting to have the opportunity to go vocal cord to vocal cord with some of the best most well known talent in the industry. My ear is caught many times a day by the radio or the TV as spots that I have auditioned for fly out of the speakers.

I have heard the Geico Pothole and Parking Column spots. The new Chinet spots. Something for weight loss. And several more. I have returned to my audio files to compare what ended up on the air with what I submitted. And I know that my audition was truly competitive – but being the subjective business this is – I was just not the voice in the head of the people making the decisions that day.

However, I WAS the voice in the head of the decision makers recently for a national spot for Kaopectate. The audition was the basis for a great deal of chatter in the voiceover community as the dialogue for two of the roles being cast consisted of “uh-oh” – well, the woman also had to say “fast.” Many many of my voice over friends auditioned for this spot – including Peter O’Connell who blogged about it a week or so ago ( and included his audition with the word “uh-oh.”

My audition caught someone’s ear – and I am very glad that it did – as it resulted in a fun 15 minute recording session in my ISDN studio. But I have to wonder just what it was about my audition that stood out above all the other wonderful women’s auditions. Was my delivery so much different? Was it my place in line? Was it the agency who submitted? (All 3 talent in the spot were cast through Voice Talent Productions.) Was it something to do with the way I slated? I did the slate just a tad differently than “normal.” Although there is nothing normal about our business. Here’s what I submitted.

Hard to tell what the magic “uh-oh” was for the client. But I’ll be keeping my ears open to catch the spot when it runs. Only problem there is that it will fly by so “fast” that I’ll probably miss it!



  1. […] Today voiceover auditioning is part of the job. And the competition is fierce. So I begin to treasure those opportunities to try something brilliant with the copy. Digging under, around, above each word to communicate the meaning and the emotion of the copy (even if it is just the word “uh-oh”). […]

    Pingback by Ruminating again about auditions « Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent — December 2, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

  2. Connie,

    Congrats on booking the kaopectate gig. I will agree that today it often is “the voice in the head” and given that many of today’s producers are so quick to dole out line reads, it would seem that many auditions break down to a very specific sound and delivery. Today there is also a bit of luck involved. Given that auditions like the kaopectate one were sent out to quite a few talent agencies and casting services, we might assume that several reels weren’t listened to or in some cases, there may be multiple personnel from the ad agency culling through the auditions, in which case, you may be exactly what the creative director/ writer or client is looking for, but have the misfortune of having an intern going through the reel you are on and they may just not get you.

    I’ve received auditions that say “non-announcery announcer” as part of the directions and then when I actually hear the spot, it turns out the announcer is VERY announcery, by anyone’s estimation.

    And while on the male side, it seems that about half the auditions today reference Deniss Leary as the sound they want, it’s safe to say that most of these projects will actually use talent that don’t really sound like Dennis Leary at all.

    I think what most talent fail to do when auditioning is actually read through their scripts to try and determine what the “anticipated experience” is. The product or service and style of writing should lead to a fairly obvious conclusion that leads to “Who am I?, Why am I saying this? To whom would I say this? and What is going to happen immediately after this commercial is over?”

    In short it’s acting or storytellng or engaging and it takes work and dedication to one’s craft to audition well. Both of which Ms. Connie, you exemplify.

    Turn in the best work you can and keep your fingers crossed.

    Comment by j.s. gilbert — December 3, 2009 @ 9:01 am

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