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  • The other side of the booth2

    The other side of the booth…

    What’s it like on the other side of the booth? As voice over artists we are expected to jump the fence, go into the studio, perform, take direction and be a mind reader!

    But what do the creative team expect from the voice over artist and are their expectations sometimes unrealistic? Let’s discuss…

    OK, one thing that we can be certain of is that no creative team wants to work with a diva so if you’re a VO artist who is precious about their art and has a tendency to go into major sulk or fits of temper when the gig isn’t going your way, then it’s probably best you stick to working in your home studio and work on projects where the client and creative team aren’t sticking their nose in all the time!

    However, there are things that we can be more diplomatic about and generally be more professional if we take a few deep breaths before we go into the booth and think about the people on the other side. The creative team are not your enemy. They want the gig to go as smoothly as you do and if the overall experience for everyone is a friendly and enjoyable one then guess what? They’re probably going to hire you again.


    So, with that in mind, what can we do as VO artists that will make the gig a more pleasurable one for all concerned? Here are a few thoughts:

    –       Stick to your own job. There’s nothing more irritating for a client or a creative team to be told by a VO artists that the script has spelling or grammatical errors or needs to be read in a certain way. However tempting it might be to point these things out, you will get off to a bad start straight away if you do these things. If they ask for your input then that’s fine. If they don’t ask, don’t volunteer it.

    –       Get the big picture. Understanding the context of the VO job that you are doing and where it is going to be used and when/why etc. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions because this will demonstrate how you understand the pace and nature of delivery. No point doing a faster paced read if the voice over needs to be tied up with images afterwards. Understand the job you’re working on.

    –       Stay Focused. This is where having a degree of fitness can help. Sometimes it can be a long gruelling day in the booth for all parties. The team that have hired you are going to expect you to stick with the pace, take direction and retain your energy and concentration levels. So, in other words, don’t have a late night the evening before and be fit and ready for the gig, however long it takes.

    –       Be professional after the gig. What we’re talking about here is invoicing correctly. Include all the relevant details, don’t invoice months after the job and under no circumstances give them a handwritten invoice! Let your invoices reflect your level of professionalism.

    –   Do not talk about money. You should have negotiated your fee before the recording session. If there is some bad surprise about the conditions (script too long, famous brand) then be discreet and talk about your disconfort privately before recording with the person who hired you. –

    So what do you think? If you’re part of a creative team that has worked with VO artists then please tell us about your experiences? And for all you VO artists out there, what other advice would you give to enhance the overall experience?

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