I always talk about the money before I start a voice-over session. Always. Here’s why:
It was the mid-80s. I’d been modestly successful doing voice-overs in the Chicago market. A friend of mine, (maybe it would be more accurate to say, a guy I knew because I had worked with him for a while) called me one day to ask if I could record the narration for a publicity video being done for a Christian music festival in the suburbs. The recording was being done at his church. He promises I’ll get paid, but he doesn’t know how much.
I said “sure,” got the date, time and directions. And a few days later, I show up for the recording session. The guy who called me isn’t there, it’s another guy who is involved with this music festival. We read through and record the script. He says he’s very happy with everything, but would I please record it all for him again. So, I record the whole thing (a few pages, no more than 8 as I recall) again. He pronounces himself completely satisfied. At this point, I finally bring up the matter of how much am I getting paid. He’s not sure, but promises to send along a check in a few days. I give him my address and leave.
Three weeks later, a check arrives for $25.00. Yup, twenty-five dollars. Which is why I always talk about the money, before we record.