To be clear, it’s still far too early to claim how deeply we’ve all been impacted by recent events. No one can tell you precisely what the next week, month, six months or year will bring.
What we do know is our literal reality is currently wrestling with our virtual, or perceived, reality in a way that will likely leave a lasting impression on our collective psyche. (Okay, and on our own personal psyches, as well.)
As Voice-over Industry Experts, my colleague Jeff and I have always done our best to offer each individual voice talent the most insightful, personal advice possible. But, like any of our seasoned professional colleagues who cast, produce, coach and counsel, we’re not fortune tellers. Never have been.
Nevertheless, we can offer educated opinions and guidance based on more than 30 years experience of what’s consistently needed and wanted of you as a professional voice talent, because a majority of these elements remain unchanged.
1. You’re always expected to approach every audition as if it were a booking.
2. You’re always expected to deliver your professional best, even if you’re only just starting out. This requires training in advance, regardless of how much or how little experience you may have.
3. And, yes, training remains a constant. Even when times are good coaching can be a difficult pill to swallow because it requires you invest in your self. However, without it, you’re generally considered unreliable and unprepared. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know, y’know?
4. The standards required of your voiceover demos remain the same, because we still create them to service professional producers and casting, first and foremost. Your demos define you professionally… or they don’t.
5. Without professionally produced demos, it’s nearly impossible to land reliable talent agents who have access to better paying work—just as it’s always been.
6. And, as always, as the saying goes, “The grass is always greener, where ever you water it.” Keeping busy matters, but it can’t be random busy work. Having a constructive regimen is the best way to sharpen and maintain your skills. Without one, your abilities will atrophy from lack of use. A workable regimen comes from proper coaching as well. It’s literally our daily practices that builds careers. Therefore, how and where you concentrate your efforts will define the outcome and your ultimate success.
1. Your ability to record quality auditions (and therefore proper voiceover sessions) from home is imperative now. Otherwise, you honestly can’t work in voiceover today, because no one wants you in their recording studios until we have a vaccine, or something comparable. No more relying on your agent or your local studio to record, since they’re all working from home, too.
2. This may mean you need professional recording and/or editing assistance to make the production process as seamless as possible, and to deliver the final audio product the client is counting on. Accomplishing this may require you either upgrade your home recording set up, and/or hire our studio to professionally connect you with the client, allowing you to concentrate on your performance. (But only once we’ve already determined your home recording set up is up to the task.) Having these details worked out well in advance of booking a voiceover job will improve the odds of repeat business with this potential client because it will define your professionalism and reliability as a voice talent.
3. Keep in mind, this is a process, and can take a couple weeks, depending on the immediate assets you currently have in place, or if you’re starting from scratch. Now’s your chance. Jeff delivers an affordable Home Recording Diagnostic for immediate guidance (possibly) BEFORE you purchase anything or to make a few quick corrections to your existing set up. Waiting until the opportunity presents itself will likely backfire on you, and could ultimately kill your professional reputation rather than help establish or further it.
Other than that, the demand for voice talent hasn’t let up. In fact, as a Union talent, I’ve personally seen a noticeable up-tick since the crisis began. (So much so, my family now refers to me as “Typhoid Mary” after voicing so many projects to accommodate changes in operations because of the dreaded Corona Virus.)
In fact, many production clients are repurposing footage for production projects and incorporating updated voiceover to deliver seemingly new commercials, corporate industrials and mission statements for web sites. I expect this to continue for the immediate future, but only time will tell.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to stay on top of the various changes as they develop and how they may impact you and this remarkable business. We’ll remain in step with the current situation as it continues to evolve, and we’ll advise you as best we can with the facts at hand. We’ll continue to concentrate on what we know, rather than what we don’t.
We hope to continue to inspire, encourage and advise you the best we can.
So, please, stay playful. Stay healthy. Keep busy, and keep your circle of people tight. And, of course, stay HOME. It saves lives!
Copyright © 2020 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.