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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Key To A Successful VO Job - Be Prepared

Over the past few years, I've been fortunate to have gotten work on a fairly consistent basis. People tend to ask me what it is that I do that leads me to get work. As we all know, the world of voice acting is pretty competitive, but there are a few things you can do that will hopefully set you apart from the pack.

#1. BE PREPARED: I can't emphasize enough that being prepared can make all the difference in the world. Recently I was hired to voice an audio project involving a business project for salons and spas. The job was booked for a full day - 9am to 5pm. When I received the copy, I did what I always do - I read through it completely to make sure I was prepared. As I read through it, I thought to myself "this shouldn't take eight hours."

When I arrived at the studio for the job, I was ready to go. I had my water, my pencil, a snack if I got hungry. I was wearing professional but comfortable clothes. I had the copy with me all organized by section. As we began the recording, things were going very well. The producer complimented me several times. At some point after we had been recording for a few hours, we took a break. The producer came in to the recording booth and told me that if we kept up this pace, we would be done by lunch!

Now remember that this job had been booked for a full day - and better yet, I was getting paid for the job - not by the hour. The result of the recording session was that we did get done before lunch. The total time in the recording booth was four hours. As the producer brought me into see the project manager (so I could give her my invoice) he told her that he wanted me put on the short list of voice talent for future projects.

#2. BE PROFESSIONAL: As we talked later, the producer told me that several years ago they had brought in an actual salon/spa owner to voice a similar project. This person had no VO experience and was not a trained voice actor. They thought he would be good because he "knew" the industry. He ended up recording all day with this person, and not being satisfied with the end result. I had made quite an impression and the producer was convinced of the value of using a proffesional. Think about it - for a producer, time is money. He now had half of a day to go back and complete the editing on the project. I'm sure he appreciated that, and will think of me the next time he has a big project that he knows has to be done quickly and done well. I made sure to give him my card and asked him to keep me in mind for future projects.

If I had not read through the script beforehand, I may have stumbled more and taken more time. If I had arrived without water, or a pencil, and had to ask for these things, it would have taken more time. If I had dressed sloppily, it would have given an impression that I was lazy. Remember, you are the talent. You are selling you. You need to look the part and you need to be able to deliver. Always be prepared and always be professional and word will spread quickly - and you will get more jobs!

Keep Talking!