Recording a voice-over might be sometimes a moral maze. Have you ever refused a voice over job because ethically you were just not comfortable with it?
There are various areas of the voice over industry where doing a job might not sit well with your ethics. Examples might be voice overs for alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, animal treatment, political parties, defence, firearms, pornography, fast food to name just a few.
Can you really afford to say no? The job might be lucrative. It could lead to future work and after all, aren’t we voice over actors at the end of the day? Shouldn’t we be able to put our principles to one side and just get on with the job?
This is easier said than done. There is the question of being associated with particular products or services that might come back to bite you in the future. Although you might be selective about which voice overs you promote through your website and your demo, once you’ve recorded a job you do lose a certain amount of control. Your voice over could be placed on YouTube and Vimeo for all to see and you’ll spend the rest of your career worrying that somebody will recognise your voice if they heard you!
Voice over can sometimes be a moral maze. For example, would you do a voice over for a payday loan company in the knowledge that so many people get into huge amounts of debt by using companies like this?
There is also the question of how much research you do about your client before you decide to work with them. You might be asked to do a voice over for a clothing company who has been accused in the past of providing extremely poor working conditions in a third world country. Are you comfortable with this?
Where we draw the line in terms of what is acceptable and unacceptable will be different for every voice over artist. If you are well established then maybe you can afford to turn work down but if you are new to the industry, you could be turning down a gig that could launch your career.
At the end of the day nobody wants to be branded as a voice over artist who will do anything to make a quick buck but we do have a living to make and if we refuse a job, you can be pretty sure that another VO artist will be prepared to take your place!
What do you think? Have you ever turned down a job because you were not comfortable with it? It would be really interesting to hear your views on this subject.