Talent Poole Pointers

Audition Pointers

  1. Always take a resume and photo with you to every audition.
  2. Check your email frequently. Talent Poole sends out information for auditions, special events, classes, etc. every day, so if you’re not in the habit of checking at least twice a day, it might be a good habit to develop.
  3. When you have been sent an email with audition information in it, please PRINT OUT THAT EMAIL AND TAKE IT WITH YOU. That way, if you’re lost, or stuck in traffic, what-have-you, you’ll have the phone number and address of where you’re going and can call them directly.
  4. Be on time for all appointments. It doesn’t even hurt to be early.
  5. Don’t feel silly asking if you can use the restroom. It’s a good idea to go in there and make sure your hair isn’t doing something weird, or your shirt collar isn’t tucked in your jacket.
  6. If you’re in an audition and don’t understand the direction being given, go ahead and ask a question or two for clarification. Asking questions is fine, if you think it will help you give a better audition. Don’t ask questions just to show someone how smart you are.
  7. Have a supply of photos and resumes ready to go at all times. However unimportant it may seem, it makes a much better impression to walk into an audition with your photo and resume already stapled or taped together instead of saying, “Oh, my computer just broke and I had to run to Kinkos.....” Be Prepared! Do your work THE NIGHT BEFORE the audition!
  8. Dress appropriately for the audition. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Go ahead and put some thought into the audition, and the image you’re presenting of yourself. Even if the wardrobe request is “casual” -- make it a memorable casual.
  9. When your agent calls or emails with audition or shoot information, make sure you get ALL the following information, even if you have to ask for it:
    • WHERE you’re going
    • WHAT TIME your audition is (be 15 minutes early!)
    • TYPE OF PROJECT (industrial, commercial, print, voice-over, live event, etc.)
    • WHAT CHARACTER type, or the character’s name you’re auditioning for
    • GET THE SCRIPT ahead of time if it’s possible
    • CALLBACK & SHOOT DATES (make sure you’ve available for them before you go to the audition)
    • NAME AND PHONE NUMBER of contact person
    • PARKING situation (do you need quarters for meters, etc.)

Photos and Resumes Pointers

  1. Always get your name printed on the front of your photo.
  2. 8x10 is the standard size for commercial work -- we prefer color photos, as they look much better on websites.  Black and white is acceptable, but color is better.
  3. Always attach a resume to the back of each photo, and cut it to the size of the photo. Stapling, gluing or taping is fine.
  4. You can print your resume on the back of your photo, if you have the correct kind of paper, and you make sure that the printing doesn’t smudge.
  5. For commercial work, we want to see your smile. Brooding, shadowy and mysterious photos are fine for stage work, but we really want to see you facing the camera and smiling, with plenty of light on your face for commercial work.
  6. Comp cards (cards with more than one photo on it, usually listing your physical stats) are used mostly in the print industry. Talent Poole accepts comp cards or head shots, or both.
  7. When choosing a photographer, interview them by phone or in person before you set up a session. It’s important to know if you feel comfortable and at ease with the photographer -- your photos will be much better if you do.
  8. Discuss with your photographer what type of wardrobe you should bring. Take a variety of clothes; most photographers will let you take shots in a number of outfits.
  9. You’ll want to avoid anything too “seasonal” -- no big bulky sweaters, and no skimpy, stringy little tops. You want your photo to work in all seasons, as you’ll probably be using it for a couple of years.
  10. It’s a good idea to use a makeup artist - especially for women; usually the photographers can suggest good ones they’ve worked with. It is the job of the make-up artist not only to apply your make up and style your hair, but to make sure that everything remains in good shape while the photos are being taken. Make sure they’re still “on-duty” during your session.
  11. Go into your photo session with ideas of what you want to do and what image you want to project. The more inventive you are, the more interesting your shots will be. Standing, sitting, leaning on a wall, sitting on a backwards chair, plopped on the floor...be creative!
  12. There are many, many formats for resumes. The important thing is that they’re easy to read. Information formatted into columns is usually easy to read at a quick glance.

Voice Demo Pointers

  1. Your demo should be 55-65 seconds in length.  Believe it or not, shorter is better!
  2. Your first piece should be your most natural voice.
  3. Aim for four to eight pieces on your demo.
  4. Stay away from accents and impersonations unless you do them really well. If you do use them, keep them short.
  5. The trick is to be able to read a lot of copy in a short amount of time. You’ll need to be able to speak quickly without sounding like you are.
  6. Watch for “popping” letters (mainly ps and ts).
  7. GOOD COPY IS ESSENTIAL! Start your demo with your most interesting and memorable copy.
  8. Humor is good. We love humor. And it’s memorable.
  9. It’s a good idea to have a mix of commercial and industrial copy on your demo.
  10. Smile while you’re reading the copy; it really does add warmth to the sound.
  11. Keep in mind variations in tempo, rhythm, energy level and enthusiasm level, as well as pitch and volume.

For more extensive details on how to make a great voice demo, please see our FAQ section.