How to Eliminate Voiceover Tech Anxiety According to a Casting Director

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Photo Source: Kate McClanaghan

If you’re like most performers, you’re more talent than techie. And when it comes to voiceover that can pose a problem—especially since so many auditions and gigs are done from home today. Rest easy. There’s hope.

First of all, just because someone asks if you can record and edit doesn’t mean they expect these services from you. Especially for free.

Granted, the question can be unnerving at first. You aim to please and fear you’ll lose the gig if you don’t answer “yes.” And certainly in today’s competitive online voiceover market, talent can work themselves into a frenzy worrying (and assuming) they’re required to offer a myriad of production options or lose the job. If this is your situation, we suggest you answer the following commonly asked questions as we have below:

Potential Client: What are your rates?
You: My rate is determined on a case-by-case basis. We begin by determining the intended (and ultimate) use of the final audio, the length of usage, and so on. Do you have a script prepared, and a timeline to have the project completed?

Potential Client: Do you have your own studio?
You: Depending on the project and provided that my home setup meets your project’s audio standards, I do have the ability to record from home and upload the uncompressed audio to your engineer to complete the production. We can patch through Skype or phone patch on these occasions. Beyond that, I have two professional studios* I work out of that offer full production options with ISDN and SourceConnect, should your project need it. However, their production services are above and beyond my rate as a voice talent.
[* Yes, two studios. Not five or 10. More than that confuses the issue. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., it’s very likely you can find at least two studio options nearby that will service both you and your potential client if need be.]

If you aren’t prepared to deliver production services expertly, then the backlash will prove far more trouble than it’s worth. You won’t be able to sort out issues as they arise without being seriously out-of-pocket—and they will most certainly come up, and all because you promised more out of pure desperation rather than out of actual expertise.

Instead, eliminate the tech anxiety altogether and concentrate on delivering the very best performance possible. You’re only being paid as a voice talent, not as a professional recording studio, recording engineer, producer, casting director, and talent agent, all rolled into one. In fact, it’s very likely you’re not getting paid enough to offer the services each of these professionals spend many years becoming known for; even if you are a seasoned professional in any one or more of these areas. Professionally speaking, you’re typically concentrating on one task at a time.

Your potential client may ask if your rate includes all of these added services, but it’s out of their lack of production experience that they would even ask in the first place. They simply don’t know. It’s your job to inform them and manage the expectations from the onset.

Be smart. Concentrate on being the best voice talent you can be above all else. And over deliver!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Ready to put this advice to the test, Check out our voiceover audition listings!

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Kate McClanaghan
Kate McClanaghan is a casting director, producer, and founder of both Big House Casting & Audio (Chicago and Los Angeles) and Actors’ Sound Advice. She’s a seasoned industry veteran and actor who has trained actors and produced demos for more than 5,000 performers over her 30 years in the business.
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