One of my greatest pet peeves is telling someone who I am paying what I want and them telling me that’s not what I want. A couple of years ago, an industry contact got me a great audition with a huge Voiceover agency in NYC. I submitted my first audition and they loved it but they stated the quality was not there and for me to record it again. They even went out of their way to send me scripts. Truth be told, I did not have a professional recording studio in my home and I called one of my old stations to ask if I could use their studios and they were hard up for money and wanted to charge me to use the studio. I was insulted since I had worked there for several years but down the line I realized, I SHOULD have done it. I went to a voiceover “Professional” who had her own cheap studio and when I started to do the reads, she would not give me headphones and she told me I didn’t need them but I KNEW I did. My professional training as a radio announcer and voice actor requires that I hear my delivery. It’s the same as a singer in the studio who has to hear themselves sing so they can make sure they are on pitch and their tones and modulation are on point. At any rate, I needed to get this second tape to the agency ASAP. So I did it in a few reads. I was absolutely not confident that the reads were good and the woman told me I was wrong and that my reads were so good that she wanted to use me for some other projects. This is another one of those situations where I should have used my gut and went to the station instead where I would have had to pay but I would have been in control of my audition and could have stayed there all night if necessary. This woman was in a rush to get me out of there and to just get my money.
I submitted the audition to the agency and they had a meeting and listened to is and declined me. They stated the reads were not good and to try out again in 2 years, that’s friendly language for “don’t call us, we’ll NEVER call you.” I was furious. More upset with myself for not following my gut and leaving that woman’s studio. Needless to say, she never called me for the extra work either, she just wanted my money. I’m about to audition again for another major agency and I’m going to make sure i’m on point this time and I do it myself.
The message in this story is when you are paying for something you have the right to expect what YOU ask for. The same goes for your customers. Never ASSUME you know what they want or take anything for granted. The customer is indeed always right, even when they are wrong in your eyes. I make a concerted effort to reach out to my clients and double-check certain things with them all the time like do they want their personal cell numbers on ads for Radio Facts email blasts or do they want their email address written out. They ALWAYS thank me for double checking. It’s better to get this done BEFORE I send out the information than to have them be upset when it’s too late. Make sure you listen, write down and confirm when someone is paying you to do something.
My best in business