SHUT UP ALREADY!
Published February 17, 2010
Today I speak for producers.
Those guys (men and women) who often decide which voice to use…which talent moves ahead in his/her career…who is actually the best voice for their product or project.
And here’s what they want us voice talents to know: It’s not about us.
Just today I was in a session with an engineer from one of the production houses I work with. He asked me point blank, “Let me ask you something. Yesterday I was in a session with a talent…the client was on the line…and the talent just went off on how I was handling the session. Am I doing something wrong?”
He actually caught me by surprise because I think he’s one of the best I’ve worked with, and I certainly didn’t think the way he ran a session was inappropriate. But what is even more disconcerting is that the VO talent mouthed off in front of the client.
WHAT??? Shut up already!!! It’s not about you!
The more I thought about that the more agitated I got. On the one hand, it just made me look better to the producer and the client, but on the other hand it was an insult to our industry. No matter what you may think, how you represent yourself represents the rest of us. When a voice talent leaves a good or bad impression on a producer or client it affects how they think about voice talent in general.
So with that in mind, here are 5 things to consider:
1. The most important thing in the world at that time to your client is that project. Not you. Not what you think about the copy. Not what you think about the production. And not what you think about the direction.
2. Piss off the client or the producer and you’ll never work for them again. Do me a favor would you? When you decide that the producer or the client is a moron, would you please let me know? I figure they won’t be hiring you again and I might as well get my name in there. I could use the work.
3. The producer and/or the client generally know that they want. They’ve been working on that project for a long time – much longer than you’ve been a part of the project. They’ve got the sound they want in their head. They thought you can deliver it. It’s your job to figure out what they want, not theirs to convince you.
4. Along with being a voice talent comes a responsibility for professionalism. Unfortunately too many talents have not lived up to that. There is no union, association, or universal criteria that guarantees that. It’s no wonder producers and clients are so hesitant and guarded with us.
5. Voicing your unrequested opinion…or even showing an attitude in a session is not only arrogant but ignorant. It just proves how out of touch you are with the process. Shut up already!!! It’s not about you!
The good news is that the VO talents who violate these principles are few and far between. To you producers and clients who may read this, know that the vast majority of voice talents get it – we’re just part of the process; one of the tools in your toolbox.
Guaranteed satisfaction. It’s a creed most of us voice talents live by. And it can only happen when we really understand how we fit into the scheme of things, and then make sure the people we work for are happy they used us. It is, after all, about them.