Lame Excuses 101 – An Entry-Level Course in Saying “No”

by | Nov 29, 2018 | Bad Guys | 2 comments

We’ve all been there. New clients who think voice-acting is just “talking”, and treat you like they’re doing you a favor by offering you ANYTHING just to record their drivel.

  • “There will be more work down the road if you do just this one for free.”
  • “Just think of the exposure you’ll get.”
  • “Give me a discount for this, and then I’ll pay you full next time.”
  • “There are lots of these modules, so I’m seeking a volume discount.”
  • “This is just a scratch-track, but be sure to record the whole thing, just in case.”

I could go on. I’m sure you have examples of lousy excuses of your own.  Feel free to tell us about them in a comment to this blog.

Here’s an article titled ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PEOPLE WHO WANT ARTISTS TO WORK FOR FREE…that is both hilarious and true and sad.

The point is that you would never tell say any of those above phrases to your plumber, or your attorney, or your dentist. These are established professions with certifications and rites-of-passage tests…many of them grueling. Because of that, professionals who carry the title of plumber or attorney or dentist stand their ground and have established fees for their work that they don’t compromise.

Yeah, Dave, but I don’t have the expertise to do a root canal, and ANYBODY can talk. That makes voice-acting less valuable. Oh really? Ask your dentist to sit in on the next studio session you’ve been called to, and see how well he/she does.

You bring a value and a talent to the table that very few can match. Don’t ever under-sell it. Click To Tweet

YOUR grueling rite-of-passage (since voice-acting has no accreditation process) is the thankless — sometimes mindless — hours of auditioning, practicing, getting coaching, paying for expensive equipment. Your genuine worth is predicated on the diligent hours of marketing, networking, Tweeting, FaceBooking, conferencing, and persistence you have to this craft.

Do NOT let someone toss that out the window with a careless throw-away argument.

You bring a value and a talent to the table that very few can match. Don’t ever under-sell it.

The word “NO” is huge and powerful. Just be willing to say it.





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  1. Trey Shelton

    Gees………now I’m all confused, Dave!

    Contrary to your mention of paying for expensive equipment, the World-Voices Organization Vice President of Technical Standards has led me to believe you don’t need expensive equipment, since talent level, mic technique and recording environment acoustics are the most important factors affecting success according to Mr. Lenard.

    In fact, as co-host of VOBS, as recently as this week Mr. Lenard underscored the fundamental importance of mic technique and studio acoustics, not expensive equipment. And the show primarily features discussions of relatively low priced recording and processing gear.

    Additionally and further to support the mantra of the acceptability of low priced gear, WoVo does not have a policy encouraging members to up their game via equipment quality upgrades.

    So…….the situation seems ripe for a detailed clarification of why You or Anyone needs expensive gear.

    As an industry veteran, Dave, can you please shed the light of experience on this topic for all the rest of us out here.


  2. Mike Sanderson

    …Are you just looking for an argument? Nowhere does Dave advocate for you to buy expensive gear; only that most people likely do.

    Further, ‘expensive’ is a subjective term. A $300 microphone or $200 for soundproofing might just qualify as ‘expensive’ for someone just starting out. Whereas, those of us who’ve been around for awhile might be curious to see what a $5,000 Manley microphone (also arguably expensive) sounds like compared to our U87.


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