If you’re like most actors, you’re more talent than techie. And when it comes to voiceover, that can pose a problem, especially since so many auditions and gigs are done from home today. Rest easy. There’s hope.
First of all, just because someone asks you whether you can record and edit (and basically produce) their project after they found you through a pay-to-play (P2P) voiceover web site, or through a friend, or what have you—doesn’t mean they expect these services from you. Especially for FREE!
Granted the question can be un-nerving at first. And we understand you aim to please, and fear you’ll lose the gig if you don’t answer ‘yes’. However, you’ll be in over your head very quickly and ultimately shoot yourself in the professional foot if you commit beyond the limits of your technical abilities.
Of course, there is one sure way to completely eliminate ‘tech anxiety’ if you’re simply a voice actor with limited production skills, and that’s simply under-promise and OVER-deliver!
The truth in most cases is you’re simply required to be a talent, not a techie.
Certainly in today’s competitive, online voiceover market, talent can work themselves into a frenzy worrying (and assuming) they’re required to offer a myriad of production options otherwise they will ‘lose the job’. This is one of the greatest obstacles you may be facing when you’re first trying to establish your voice over career. The fact is there’s a simple solution to this conundrum and that’s leave it to the professionals.
If this is your situation, we suggest you answer the following most-commonly asked questions as we have answered them for you below:
Potential Client: What are your rates?
YOU: My rate is determined on a case-by-case basis. We begin by determining the intended (and ultimate) use of the final audio, the length of usage, and so on.
Do you have a script prepared, and a timeline to have the project completed?
Potential Client: Do you have your own studio?
YOU: I do have the ability to record from home and upload the uncompressed audio to your engineer to complete the production, and depending on the project, provided my home set up meets your project’s audio standards. We can patch through Skype or phone patch on these occasions.
Beyond that, I have two professional studios* I work out of that offer full production options that offer ISDN and SourceConnect, should your project need it. However, their production services are above and beyond my rate as a voice talent.
Keep your responses brief and honest.
If you’re a voice actor who’s still mastering recording your auditions from home, (and there most certainly is a learning curve to recording your auditions remotely) and you agree to delivering services beyond what you just read above, then you will be promising services you won’t be able to deliver, and that can only lead to disaster.
If you aren’t prepared to deliver production services expertly, then the backlash will prove far more trouble than it’s worth. You won’t be able to sort out issues as they arise without being seriously out of pocket, and they will most certainly come up, and all because you promised more than you were able to deliver out of pure desperation rather than out of actual expertise.
Instead, eliminate the tech anxiety altogether, and concentrate on delivering the very best voiceover performance possible. It’s best to manage the expectations of your potential clients from the onset and leave it to the professionals.
You’re only being paid as a voice talent, not as a professional recording studio, recording engineer, producer, casting agent and talent agent, all rolled into one. In fact, it’s very likely you’re not getting paid enough to offer the services each of these professionals spend many years becoming known for; even if you are a seasoned professional in any one or more of these areas. Professionally speaking, you’re typically concentrating on one task at a time.
Your potential client may ask you if your rate includes all of these added services, however it’s out of their lack of production experience that they would even ask in the first place. They simply don’t know. It’s your job to inform them.
Be smart. Be a voice actor, instead of a Jack-of-all-Trades master of none. Concentrate on being the best voice talent you can be above all else.
Be a professional voiceover from the very start, and under-promise and over-deliver!
* Yes, two. Not 10, not 12. TWO studios. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., if we produce your demos, it’s very likely we can assist in helping you find a studio option that will service both you and your potential client if need be.
Copyright © 2017 by Kate McClanaghan. All rights reserved.
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