How to ‘Book Out’

Seaside road

Summer is calling. We’re moments away from family reunions, vacations, and long weekends. So, here’s a bit of advice that will keep you in good graces with your talent agents and potential clients: if you know the dates you won’t be available for auditions or jobs, be sure to book out.

Booking out should be done by e-mail or online, depending on your agent’s specific policies, typically a week or so in advance of the dates you won’t be available to accept auditions or bookings. Otherwise, your agents will figure you’re available and count on you.

Additionally, if you know you won’t be available for the dates of the shoot or recording session, you should not accept the audition. Never audition for anything unless you intend to accept it. That’s common professional conduct whether you’re a union talent or not.

Yet, it never fails. Just like clockwork, some huge gig will come calling the moment you head out of town. It’s Murphy’s Law. But don’t let that stop you from taking some well deserved down time.

Certainly, as a voice talent, there are portable recording options, provided you have:

  1. A quiet place to record
  2. Access to stable Internet service
  3. A reliable computer and mic
  4. The skills and experience to execute an effective audition or session remotely

Of course, depending on where you may be heading, finding a local studio may also be an option if you happen to snag a truly worthwhile job during the one week out of the year you planned your vacation. Bonus!

Other than that, if you neglect to book out, you’ll end up making everyone associated with the project miserable, especially yourself, and you could very well destroy your professional credibility because you didn’t think booking out mattered all that much. Be sure to check with your talent agency to determine their preferred booking out policies and procedures, and follow them to the letter. As long as it’s in writing, and done well enough in advance of your departure, all’s right with the world!

You’ll enjoy yourself that much more if you keep your agents in the loop and let them know when you’ll return and be ready to work. It’s the professional thing to do.

Copyright © 2016 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.

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