Sunday, January 13, 2008

Professional Voice Talent Behavior

This is a note about professionalism. As a professional female voice talent for many years who strives to conduct my business in the most professional way possible, I'm always surprised to hear about talent who miss the mark in their professionalism. I worked with a producer the other day who shared a tidbit with me about his experience with an online agent/professional voice talent web site. He was pretty steamed because after he had selected a gen Y talent and actually booked the session, he was then informed that the voice over talent was not available. So, he made a second selection and the same thing happened again. When he questioned the agency as to why they didn't know their talent was unavailable, their excuse was that "well, you know, he's only 20 and didn't let us know......" It made the online agent look pretty incompetent because they didn't know their talent was unavailable (twice!) And I'm sure they turned around and got on the cases of both voice over talents who were unavailable without bothering to let the agent know of their status!

We can all make mistakes and slip up from time to time, but it's so important to stop and think of each and every agent online or in person who represents you and have the business courtesy to let them know when you unavailable. When your agent doesn't know, not only does it make them look bad, but your future bookings may suffer as well. That producer will probably not ask for the voice over services of those two unavailable talents again, and he may not even work with that agent in the future! So, everyone is burned. Professionalism often equates to common courtesy - something that is often lacking in many business situations today. Customer service, knowledgeable response, or even just a response of some type is appreciated on both producers' and professional voice overs' sides of the fence!

On that note, how many times have you emailed an audition or even a voice file for a job to a producer and not received a confirmation that the producer received it? As a professional voice talent, I usually send another email double checking to make sure the file was received - especially in the case of a job. With the way things can get lost in cyberspace, I don't take for granted that I'll receive a bounce back message or an email looking for the spot. Follow up and customer service are as important as being there and being available for the job in the first place!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy New Year! Voice Over Goals for 2008

Well, here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. No resolutions, here. Been there, done that! Or didn't do that as the case may be.... But, it is a great time to take stock of where we are and what we want to accomplish in voice over this year.

Upgrading equipment is always a good goal. I got an early start this year with the new Sennheiser mic. I intended to get it sometime this year, but Santa surprised me with it! (I must have been a very good girl.) Anyway, I'm enjoying using it for voice over sessions and getting used to it's idiosyncrasies. It is very directional and very sensitive. It is also very precise, clean, clear, and crisp - and very lightweight! Had to make some modifications to my microphone arm to get it to hold the Sennheiser in position. I like working with the spring loaded microphone arms to easily adjust the mic and move it out of my way when I need to.

Another of my goals is to continue connecting with voice over agents in other parts of the country. I have added some new agents, and I will continue that endeavor throughout the year. I'll also be doing some very large mailings very soon to voice over casting directors and ad agencies. I'm just waiting on some new graphics for updated postcards and CD labels. The time it's taking for the tweaking is making me a little crazy now that the holiday madness is over, but we'll get there eventually. I'm really getting excited about all the updates, new voice over contacts, and the bigger, better voice over jobs they will bring! Cheers to all of us!