An acquaintance of mine has a long-time friend of 30-years or more. They share personal stories, they shop together and socialize. They enjoy each other’s company and have close family ties, but they DON’T talk politics.
It happened. Once. And when they realized they were on opposite sides of the fence, they agreed to keep the topic OFF the table.
The problem with that is because they are otherwise SO friendly, they could probably HAVE that conversation and maintain respect, while getting closer to understanding each other’s position. This country USED to have that kind of dialog.
But, alas! No more.
The political landscape is now defined by extremes, and never the twain shall meet, apparently.
I’m not here to lament that fact, but to help you find voiceover work in that environment, and still have a clear conscience at the end of the day.
The question is popping up a lot in online communities these days, and I’ve always felt there were two ways to mentally approach the challenge of accepting work doing political ads.
#1 Do it all
Under this approach, you either (a) don’t care which side wins (a rarity these days), or (b) you care, but like all starving voice actors, you need the money so you take the job for a candidate you despise because if you DON’T do it, someone else WILL, and you would rather have the moolah than them. Or (c) you stand on your belief that an actor can do ANY role, so it doesn’t matter your politial bent. Work is work.
#2 Be Selective
With this approach, you get to sleep at night. You hold on to your integrity, and you don’t have to compromise your ethics. Yes, you could voice that spot for the hated opposition, but what if they win? Then you’d kick yourselfl forever that your excellent performance made the difference in their success. Unconscionable! The downside to this choice is that you’re effectively eliminating half of the possible political VO work.
Me? I would choke, and be so unconvincing delivering copy for the opposition that I would fail any audition for that side.
Staying in my comfort zone ensures I maintain my integrity, and slake my conscience, knowing that’s worth a lot more than dollars when my head hits the pillow at night.