OK, I’ve been on the Internet with a website since before Al Gore had anything to do with his infamous statement about moving forward initiatives to blah, blah, blah – invent the internet. See the Snopes info here >>>
This is a good thing. A real good thing.
I don’t have to buy key words. I come up in searches. A lot. Just a fact of having a web presence since 1996.
Lately it seems that people have been doing searches for voice talent in San Diego. Which makes my website come up even higher on the search results because of the addition of the city. This has led to more VO projects, but also much more than voiceover work.
As I have mentioned before, my background is as a producer/writer/on and off-camera talent since – well, since a long time ago. I stopped producing a couple of years into the turn of the century and the writing a couple years after that as my voiceover work took over.
Some of those people searching “voice talent San Diego” really need more than just a voice for their projects. How do I know that? From the way they approached me. From the information they provide. From the website links they send. You learn to analyze this information and use critical thinking. Sometimes a script is just a script. Sometimes it is more.
And when they get to me, they get more than a voice talent.
They get an award-winning producer and scriptwriter. Someone with social media savvy. A sense of humor. Someone who stays up with the trends. Someone who can tell them that they need more than a voiceover talent to really tell their story to their audience. But also someone with enough experience in the business to be able to tell when someone actually wants some guidance on their whole production, or when to keep my mouth shut and just read it the way it was “writ.”
There is nothing more satisfying than working with someone to find the “right” way to tell their story. To be part of the whole process.
As “talent,” I love it when I get a great script from a creative production company or ad agency, where I know that time has been spent with the client to understand their needs. Written by a scriptwriter who understands that writing for the eye and for the ear are two different animals.
As a writer and producer, when a script arrives that needs help I have to walk that tightrope of performing the script as it was sent to me, or opening the door and showing my producer/writer hat. Sometimes it is an easy choice. The script was translated by a non-native English speaker for example. Newly hatched voice talent might have a harder time expressing the need for script doctoring to their clients, but we are part of the team and in some cases we need to make sure that the dollars they are spending are not wasted.
Sure, there will be times when it is best to keep your mouth closed and read it the way it was written. I frequently remind newbies that just because you recorded something and someone paid you to do it, doesn’t mean that it should go on your demo.
At some point though, you develop the skills to look at a project and determine if it would be good to broach the subject. It’s not that hard, but if you don’t have ANY background in production or scriptwriting, it might be a good thing to take a couple of classes or watch some award winning corporate pieces. The more you know about effective video storytelling the better job you will do…even if it is only recording the VO.
As successful voice talent is more likely to feel comfortable speaking up when the time is right – and become a vital part of your production team.
Today’s working voice talent have a lot to offer. Just do a search and read their bios, listen to their demos. Add them to the production team.