All of us voice over actors have been there before, where we said or did something that had us asking ourselves, “Why on Earth did you say/do that!?” And while those foot-in-mouth moments are certainly cringe worthy, they’re not the end of the world. Still, you’ll want to avoid them wherever possible, and the best way to do that is to be prepared. In this two-part series, I’ll share some of the top mistakes that VO artists make, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Poor business etiquette. In this industry, it’s all about who you know and how you treat them. The most successful voice actors are the ones who practice good etiquette when it comes to dealing with clients. This includes being responsive, representing themselves honestly, being able to answer questions about themselves and their business (i.e., experience, rates, etc.), and practicing good manners in general.
2. Not following directions. Both before, during and after recordings, it says a lot about a talent when they’re able to follow directions correctly. Coming prepared with whatever is asked of you, following audition guidelines, performing background research when asked, and taking direction/feedback/critique and properly applying are just a few of the ways an actor can make or break themselves in a client’s eyes. Be careful with your emails that you communicate effectively and not succumb to all the hip, common email jargon out there. At least, not at first. Take your cues from how he/she relate to you and follow suite when replying.
3. Not taking their career seriously. Many people get into VO as sort of a “back-up” career, or something on the side to earn extra money. And while this isn’t a bad thing, you can’t treat it as your back-up career, and you certainly don’t want your clients to see it that way. If you do that, you’re not giving it 100%, and your clients won’t take you seriously. Even for folks who are 110% invested in voice over, it’s vital that your clientele knows this. Take pride in what you do, and remember that sometimes, it’s the little things that people notice. Check for typos, call when you say you will, and most importantly, act like a professional!