A discussion group I take part in at Yahoo.com centers around the world of voiceover work. Recently Dave Stone posted some thoughts I thought so valuable that I asked him for permission to quote them here.
You want to do voice-over work? You want to build a client list and a track record? Then take the job for the money being offered. Smile. Expect that you might be put through the mill so that the client gets the read he wants out of you. Smile. Read the line. Now, read it again, but differently. Smile. Expect that if the producer or client aren’t having a good day, you may – unfortunately – take the brunt of that. Kindly thank the client and the producer when they’ve finished with you and you’re sweating because the booth wasn’t air conditioned. Expect not to get a check right then and there. Expect that you might even have to wait 30, 60, or 90 days or more for it. Expect that you even might have to call or send a second invoice before you get it.Some or all of this may not happen, but it is reality. Again, this may not happen, but if any of it does, you’d better learn to deal with it. If you can’t, then you’ve got an ego problem, and you’ll need to dealwith that first.
In our subsequent communication, Dave offered some additional thoughts, also well worth a moment of your time.
There are, of course, other scenarios voice talent could encounter. One example, which would probably take place in a commercial rather than narration session, would be having to take direction from as many as four people (producer, director, writer, and client). This means first, not losing one’s cool, and, having to interpret all of the direction and deliver… something. Many newbies don’t realize, that in addition to this being an extremely competitive industry (which means, of course, you have to be at least ‘good’ to get anywhere), doing voice-overs also requires a thick skin because there is so much rejection, frustration and something more that I just can’t name right now. Above all, there is absolutely no room for attitude. Those just beginning their careers need to know that if they really want to reach the status of ‘always working’ and ‘often called-back,’ it’s going to take quite some time and dues-paying before they are called to the studio to have money thrown at them.