For most voice over jobs, you’re not being hired because you can impersonate someone else. You’re being hired because you’re you. Now what does that mean exactly? It means that you have a certain personality and sound that can’t be altered easily. You have a brand, whether you realize it or not.
Many voice over coaches encourage their students not to look at the “specs” for their auditions. The specs are often confusing. “We want someone who is conversational but confident, authoritative but not announcery, has great energy but not over-the-top, kind and approachable with a certain degree of seriousness.” Do directors actually think someone can process all that and come out with something that in the end fits everything on their list? It makes much more sense to ignore the specs, and instead focus on the message of the script.
To focus on the message of the script means to look for clues. Look for words that hint at excitement, or that hint at seriousness, or that hint at being conversational. Trust your gut instincts and just try to be you. Try to be the “you” which fits into the script. But don’t try to be someone else, or try to imitate that great voice you just heard that you think the client is looking for.
Clients want to hire the best “you” not your best impersonation of someone else. In the words of my coach Nancy Wolfson, “you are enough!”