Stephanie Ciccarelli, voiceover maven and Author of Voice Acting for Dummies, has given me permission to share this bit of advice from one of her recent emails. She is aiming at voice artists, but the advice is equally applicable to story performers and writers:
When we accept a job we need to think of these things:
Are you able to fulfill the client’s artistic and technical requirements? VoiceMatch scores aside, some of the criteria a client has may be more specific and go beyond what our systems can match for.
At this stage, you’ve got to think like an agent and evaluate opportunities at this level objectively. To do this, you have to know your voice and its capabilities. Be honest with yourself both in terms of your artistry and technical skill. You will also need to balance this information with your own personal interests and desire to pursue the opportunity should you meet the project’s artistic and technical requirements.
This area may very well be one of the hardest for talent to master because everything looks so good! Every role, script and project presents fresh opportunities, copy and inspiration to tackle. Let’s not forget though that time is finite. With this truth in mind, you may need to pass on opportunities that look like fun but may not at this juncture be income generating.
Like any good businessperson, you’ll need to consider whether or not the actual doing of the work within the client’s budget is in line with the fees you would charge for the job. In other words, would you be able to cover your own costs doing the job at the rate a client has stated or for within their budget range?
Although it may seem like this would be a pretty cut and dry consideration, even seasoned voice over professionals may be interested in a job that might have a budget lower than what they would typically work for and struggle with whether or not they should submit. Sometimes a piece of work strikes a chord with you and the budget plays second fiddle to your personal interest and desire. Ultimately, it’s your call.
Lastly, do you have the time to devote to the work? Are you able to send in a read for consideration? Check your calendar! Time is one of those limited resources. If a client needs the work to be done by a certain date, you need to have an opening in your schedule that accommodates that need. This is of particular importance for jobs where a client participates in the creative process.
If you can’t complete the recording or have it delivered by the time a client requires it, this is one of those situations where it is better to err on the side of caution and pass on the audition. Not all jobs require that you are working at a certain time of day but some do, especially if it is an ISDN session or one where you need to be directed.
Let me know if you’ve found this helpful!
With warm regards, Stephanie Ciccarelli