Your agent gives you a call and says that you booked a job that you auditioned for weeks ago. If you are anything like me, you auditioned for it and totally forgot about it, so the call is a welcome surprise. But then you are told that the recording is scheduled to take place at an outside studio. “Ok” This is different but as a pro, I’m ready to record wherever I need to.
But this still takes me for somewhat of a loop. Back in the day recording voiceover almost always took place in big time studios. Some talents were even flown in from whatever city they lived in to record in NY or LA. Some of that still exist but far less than ever before. Technology has eliminated the need for talent to come into “THE BIG STUDIO” as often. Things like ISDN, Source Connect and now new technologies like IpDTL have made giving talent direction in the comforts of their homes a lot more convenient.
And convenience is the name of the game in my voiceover business. I’ve spent a lot of money and time building a home voice over studio with great sound so that I can turn work around quickly to clients. But sometimes clients want VO talent to focus on voicing work and not engineering. That’s when the “In Person Studio Sessions” comes into play.
What To Expect?
When you get into the studio there are several people who may be there. There is the sound engineer, producer, client, copywriter and sometimes other talent. This may vary but you should understand the role of each one of these people in the process. There me be a lot of chatter around you as each person discusses the script, the sound and the voiceover read. Try to pay attention so you can get it just right for everyone in the room, although only one person will give you actual directions. It’s also good to know who everyone is because there may be an opportunity to network here.
Also there will be a script laid out for you, most likely in the booth. You should have received this script before the session but be aware that sometimes there are last minute changes that happened before you got there. Sometimes these changes occur while the client, producer and engineer confer about your read. You won’t always hear what they are saying and this can be nerve wrecking, but be careful not to let this unnerve you. A tense body is never good for your reads.
You Should Be Prepared
Preparation starts before you get to the session. You may get instructions from your agent. Be sure to follow them carefully. Know your lines if they have been given to you. Go back and listen to what you submitted for the audition. You may have recorded several takes and don’t know which one booked so get familiar with all of them and consider new reads just in case. Google the directions to the studio. Know where it is and how long it will take to get there in heavy traffic. Just like with a job interview, you want to get there 15 to 30 minutes early. And just like with a job, be familiar with the product before the interview. You won’t be asked questions about it but it will help you with the read. In the video I recorded related to this blog, I recorded for bump patrol, a product that I actually use.
Lastly remember that you are not recording voiceovers in your own studio. You are in someone else’s territory. Don’t touch anything!! Even if you are familiar with the kind of equipment in the studio, it is not yours. And also remember to dress appropriately. You want to be comfortable but not bummy. I wrote an entire blog on image that you may want to check out. This may be your chance to network for future work. When doing so, be cool about it. People do business with people they like. If they ask you for a card, have one ready, but also remind them that you work through your agent.
With everything to remember you keep in mind that this process should be fun and relaxed. If you spend most of your time in your own studio recording yourself, here is an opportunity for you to record and not have to do any editing. Use your body when needed to get the job out. Ask for feedback. You never get that at home alone. And remember that you booked the job above all other talent who auditioned so there was something they saw in you that got you in the door. Don’t Worry. Be Happy!!
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