Voice Actors = People
This blog really needs to be written? Yes, apparently in this age of incivility, and accusations of “hate” being thrown around like radioactivity, it bears repeating.
Follow the bouncing ball with me, and I’ll give you the overview, then you can delve into my 3 reasons below.
You, the producer/client/agent/audio engineer want to make money in a specific, rather esoteric area of entertainment or business. You arrange for voice talent to contribute to the final product in a very specific way, and you’d like it to be done yesterday, and with reliability. Am I close?
Why Good Relations Help
Amazingly, voice talent are already with you in all this! They accept the basics of your situation, because it makes them money too. In a sense, they are equal partners in your opportunities, your fortunes, and (hopefully) the good outcomes. You need them/they need you. All is good, right?
Ah…no. I mean there are exceptions, but in more cases than I’d like to say, the talent is perceived by (ahem) some, to be at the bottom of the pecking order in the whole arrangement. As such they can be pressured, cajoled, condescended, badgered, disdained, dismissed, undercut, and led to believe they are bottom-of-the-food-chain annoyances. Again, I underscore…there are notable exceptions. But tighter budgets from HIGH above put everyone on edge, and bring out some of the most inconsiderate interactions.
Three Reasons to Remember
Voice actors are businesspeople. They by ‘n’ large operate on the same assumptions as you. They watch budgets, look for ROI, practice good bookkeeping, and engage in responsible marketing. They understand your pressures. They are willing to work under your deadlines to the extent possible. They are good communicators, who try to keep you apprised of their progress on your assignment. If they don’t…then, yes, you should fire them. (See my blog: When’s The Right Time To Fire Voice Talent?)
Voice Actors are Professionals. The talent you want to hire have self-respect. They’ve invested in their careers, sought expensive coaching/training and probably spent way too much on audio equipment and room treatments. They’ve been to expensive conference and networking events, buy all their own software, mostly do their own marketing, bookkeeping, and mailings. They ARE their staff. Many belong to professional organizations and take pride in their persistence. In the entire scheme of things, Voice actors see themselves on par with you.
Voice Actors are Creatives. Believe it or not, the voice actor you hire has possibly been around videogames, audiobooks, radio/TV comercials, medical narrations, and eLearning, etc. longer than YOU have. They are practiced at their art; and not just speaking… but writing, composing, grammar, spelling, and use of compelling syntax. They immediately know the difference between copy that’s well-written, and schlocky scripts that THEY are supposed to magically make great (just don’t change anything, right?). Do yourself a favor and ask your voice talent to deliver a version of your copy that is THEIR interpretation, and you may well be impressed.
Honorable Mention: Voice talent have husbands, wifes, kids and grandkids. They’ve struggled and worked hard, and demand respect for that. They know that to be successful, they have to help YOU be successful, and together you can be partners in each others’ success.
You’re not hiring some nameless, faceless hack. You’re more than likely hiring someone with pride in their work who respects you for same. Act like it?
There. I said it. I shouldn’t have had to. But I feel better now.