As part of the process of launching World-Voices.org, we thought it would be prudent to set some standards of expectation. As a true professional Guild, we feel this is warranted. We’ve composed those expectations in the form of statements of “Best Practices”…not only for voice talent, but for producers and coaches as well.
I’m including the statements for Best Practices for Voice Talent in this blog today, but you can see them on our World-Voices.org website, and they’ve been posted on John Florian’s VoiceOverXtra site as well.
While the document you see below was mostly penned by our counsel, Robert Sciglimpaglia, the entire board (Dustin Ebaugh, Dave Courvoisier, Chris Mezzolesta, Dan Lenard, and Kat Keesling) have reviewed and approved the final form you see. They are not set in stone, and can be changed by a vote of the membership, and we are very close to opening up the doors for membership sign-up.
Please take a look at the points we’re making below, and let us know if these ideas ring true. If not, please let us know. All of our executive board members will receive your thoughts by using the following email address: [email protected].
For Voice Talent
World-Voices Organization is mindful of the fact that many working professionals already observe these practices in their day to day businesses, but in order to create a handy reference accessible to all, and in furtherance of our mission statement to “educate”, which includes talent of all experience levels, it is suggested that in order to achieve the best possible outcome in one’s voiceover career, and for the sake of uniformity, that these practices be followed.
World-Voices Organization is also mindful of the fact that some of these rules may be covered under SAG-AFTRA or other performance Union rules. World-Voices Organization takes no position on whether a talent should or should not be a part of any Union or other organization. That is an individual choice to be made by each individual talent and World-Voices Organization does not intend to replace those entities. Membership in this organization is open, and all voice over talent are welcome.
Voice talent should always strive to:
1. Be honest and forthright about availability for jobs and auditions. When accepting a job, remain committed to that job unless an emergency arises, such as sickness. A higher paying job does not constitute an emergency.
2. Work under a written contract wherever possible for new clients. This may also be achieved via an exchange of emails with the specific terms included.
3. Invoice clients for work as soon as possible after completion of services, preferably within 24 hours, unless on a monthly retainer or other arrangement with existing client.
4. Arrive at all auditions and booked sessions on time and prepared.
5. Include in one’s demo actual samples of past work as best reflective of the talent’s abilities. However, if having paid for a demo that was professionally produced, demos should reflect the talent’s current level of experience and should not reflect more range than what can actually be reproduced in a studio session.
6. Understand the voice over industry and business, stay current with the current trends in the industry and business, and keep techniques and skills current as per industry standards through whatever means that is right for the talent, including but not limited to, training and practice.
7. Follow direction in a voice over session and not render opinions unless requested. Always perform to the best of one’s ability, regardless if the session is paid or “pro bono”.
8. Always act like a professional at all times during a session, meaning refraining from outbursts or profanities, or performing under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
9. Follow the rules of studio etiquette and observe the specific studio’s rules, if any are in place.
10. If recording a session on talent’s own equipment, make sure files are recorded in the format requested, are recorded to professional studio norms and standards for the type of job being performed, and are delivered within the time frame promised.
11. Never disclose the client’s name, nature of their project, or content of their project without the client’s permission, preferably in writing, unless same is a commercial, in which case not disclose any of the above until the commercial is released and broadcast. This includes posting information on any Social Networking sites, websites, or using files on any professional demos, or as a sample on a website.
12. Never hold oneself out, in advertising or otherwise, as having worked for a specific client with the intent of making one’s status or ability appear higher in the industry, nor take any action to mislead anyone into believing you have worked for a client when you haven’t. This is not meant to discourage the use of “samples” on one’s demo to illustrate the talent’s skill or range.
13. Not display client’s intellectual property, i.e., scripts, logos, etc., on talent’s website or otherwise publicly display such intellectual property, without the client’s permission, preferably in writing.
14. Refrain from speaking publicly or posting on social media negatively about fellow voice over artists, and never speak ill of a competitor in an attempt to procure employment, or “win” a job, or otherwise.
15. If talent is a member of a performance Union, talent will follow any rules as set in place by that Union and these suggestions are not meant to supersede those Union rules, including but not limited to Global Rule One.