As a general rule, when you’ve been hired as the voice for a project, keep your opinions to yourself. If you’ve been working in voiceover for any length of time, you probably already understand the wisdom of this advice. You see, you’ve been hired to tell the story the way you’re directed. Doing a good job following direction is key to getting hired again. Because being good at following direction will help you stick in the minds of the director and producer with whom you’re working.
But, as my friend Mary McKitrick points out on her blog, there are times when it’s important to go ahead and speak up. Knowing when and what to say is the tricky part, of course.
I have, at times, offered a thought or opinion while in the booth. Most often this has happened when there’s a discussion taking place about some specific bit of copy. As an example, recently I was recording a project in which a given word was used three times in a single paragraph. No one noticed the redundancy until we were in the session. While the writer and producer were talking about alternative language, I asked if it would be OK to make a suggestion for an alternative phrase. I was given permission, offered my suggestion and a variant of it was ultimately used.
It’s vitally important to be polite in these situations. And if you wonder whether to say anything, most of the time (to quote some of my Mom’s advice) it would be better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.