Posted on

Defining “Upbeat” For Voice Over Auditions

Upbeat Voiceover AuditionsUpbeat. It appears in directions almost as frequently as “conversational”, “non-salesy” and “non-announcer.” But have you ever really thought about what upbeat actually means?





Today I auditioned for three different jobs that used the word “upbeat” to describe the read they were looking for. All three of those auditions provided links to videos to offer further reference to what they wanted.

What Is Upbeat?

If you listen to all three of those voice over reads, I think you’d hear three different things. I did. But each one of them was used as a reference to the term “upbeat.”

Most people hear upbeat and think fast. Or at least quick. The dictionary defines upbeat using the words, happy, cheerful and optimistic.

So what does “upbeat” actually mean to you when you see it written in audition instructions?

Tips For Voice Talent

As a voice talent it’s our job to interpret the meaning based on the script in front of us. That isn’t always easy. Sometimes you may have more than one idea or interpretation. That’s fine. Put them all in your audition. Make sure you let the client know this so they listen all the way through.

It’s also important to thoroughly read all the instructions provided. Take note of any additional descriptive words the client uses. These can help guide you.

Also make sure you take the time to listen to any references provided.

Tips For Voice Seekers

As a voice seeker, the more specific you can be with your direction, the more likely you are to receive auditions that will match, or at least come close, to your original vision. After all, everybody is going to define upbeat differently. As is the case with my other words you may use.

Be clear. Paint the picture if you can. Whenever possible a reference is one of the most helpful tools you can provide, be it an audio file or video.

QUESTION: What do you think of when you read “upbeat” in audition instructions?