Becoming the Voice of Ulta Beauty: Auditioning, Fears, and Supporting Your Competition.

So far, 2017 has been ROCKING, and here's a HUGE part of why:

I got cast as the voice of Ulta Beauty!! It is SUPER FREAKING AWESOME and I am so beyond beyond honored and thrilled. (Gee, can you tell?)

What does it mean to be the "Voice of" a company?

In this awesome case, it means I get to provide voice over for the radio commercials, TV commercials, internet commercials, in store info, and anything for which Ulta needs voice over. I get to use my range to adapt to whatever kind of commercial voice they need, whether it be friendly, conversational, genuine, bubbly, or something smooth and sultry. Kinda like Flo from Progressive, but using only my voice. It's been a ton of fun thus far, and I've been working with some amazing people. I am so thankful for this opportunity! 

How'd it all go down? It all began with a voice over audition, as so many voice over bookings do! In Los Angeles, we predominantly record auditions from home, which requires a stellar at home set up. You can see a photo of mine here. When I lived in NY, voice over castings were conducted much more often in person. It might've changed a bit since then, but it was very interesting for me to observe this immediate difference of life as a voice actor in NY versus LA once I moved to LA. There are pros and cons to both, of course, but I love auditioning in person. For the Ulta audition, I had the awesome benefit of getting to record my audition in person, at the wonderful VO casting house, Voicecaster, in LA. I LOVE in person auditions, because it allows me to get out of my head and to do what I do best, act! Recording at home makes me put on a director's hat while trying to take off my voice actor's hat, and you just can't wear two hats at once. I definitely find myself wearing conflicting hats and having a hard time judging my voice over auditions objectively. I care so much about those darling little mp3 darlings before they get released into the universe! I hold them so dearly, and work [sometimes too] hard on them. But when I go into a studio in PERSON to record, I get to see another human being (maybe even more than one!) which is enjoyable, because being at home submitting can be isolating. AND I get to be directed by someone other than my darling mp3 clutching self. It rocks. Especially when it's Andrew at Voicecaster! So he directed me, like the rockstar he is, and it was super fun, and I left. 

Now here's when it gets really tricky. Do I replay the audition all the rest of the day in my head, kick myself over new ideas that pop up or what I "should've done" and didn't do? YES. But I'm working on it. I'm working SO hard on just letting those little babies go. Letting them go off into the judgment ether for the casting professionals, clients, and the million other people who are involved with assessing whether or not my voice is right for a project or not to decide. It's not my decision. And believe me, this control freak over here would LOVE to be able to control everything in life, but I chose this industry, and I can't. And here, I think you MUST believe in some kind of higher power- be it God, the Universe, Karma, or your cockapoo. Because if we rehash our past audition decisions, we drive ourselves CRAZY. We need to leave that shiz in the ROOM. The letting go part is always the most difficult for me, but sometimes, it actually works! And this time, thank God, the universe, and my cockapoo, it WORKED. 

Crazy thing happened right before I went into the recording studio to audition: I ran in a friend, who's extremely talented. Well, actually, this isn't a crazy occurrence at all, because the LA VO community is small and this happens all the time. The crazy part was that I let this affect my confidence SO greatly. I freaked out right before going in to the audition room and thought, "well, she's obviously going to book it, and I'm not, and I'm the worst... downward spiral etc etc..." I let a TON of enter my mind and affect me, and it was neither fun nor helpful to what I was about to do. I had to talk myself out of this insanity and quickly. It's SO easy to get intimidated in these situations, but when you play in the big leagues, you're going to be playing with other people in the big leagues. That's the point and it's where you want to be playing! We need to keep reminding ourselves that we are MEANT to be here, and also, that one person's success doesn't mean our failure. I'm working on this big time. I'm trying to start thinking that we rise TOGETHER. Now, someone could challenge this and say, "but there's only one job and you want the same VO job as someone else, so you can't support your competition." AU contraire mon ami. This is also where we need to believe in that higher power. When we don't get something that we want, we need to believe that that is opening us up for something greater and more perfect for us. I've witnessed it in my own career. There have been jobs that I have wanted more than ANYTHING in the world and have been heartbroken not to get cast in. I may have shed buckets of tears (I'm human), but I keep moving forward, because clearly, this means that it wasn't meant to be and that something even more right for me is around the corner. I've witnessed it with my own eyes, and you will too. I would love to hear your stories of examples of this in your life and work, so leave me some comments below. 

So, duh duh duh DUH! I booked it! It was SUCH an incredible moment when both of my agents called me on the phone to tell me the incredible news. When they were together on the phone, I of course thought, "Oh no, they're dropping me, I'm the worst," because my fear voice is a SUPER loud bitach. But she needs to simmer down now. Does booking this awesome job mean that I was the best voice over actress in Burbank? No. Does it mean that I was better than my awesome friend? No, it doesn't. She's amazing too! We can both be amazing, together. It means that I was the right person, in the right moment, at the right time. Maybe I reminded a producer of their best friend growing up. Maybe sometimes I remind producers of their exes and, consequently, don't book jobs. I can't change any of that. When it works, it's freaking INCREDIBLE. And when it doesn't, it freaking STINKS. But luckily, we keep on moving forward, and hopefully, take the time to celebrate our wins. I'm going to go pop some bubbly... bye for now! 

With love and bubbly voices,

Caley