Thursday, February 05, 2009

Choosing Voice123 Talents Can Be Hard!

It is said that, 'Being negative is much easier than being positive, because positive beliefs require great efforts to maintain.' I witnessed this first-hand last week when I posted a project looking for voice overs for our upcoming SmartSearch feature. It left me feeling positive that Voice123 talents know what they are doing. One of the obvious difficulties I had is that I know many of you, and I started to understand immediately that this would be difficult because no one likes to tell someone they respect, 'Not this time'.

So, to be fair, I closed my eyes and just listened, not looking at names. This made it even harder because now, after posting a project in which I stated what I wanted, I was hearing things that made me think that maybe voice talents knew what would sound better, even more than what I had originally thought would work.

That simple fact alone... told me that we have an amazingly competitive batch of talents on Voice123. I subscribe to the belief that 'you can only sell what you know how to sell best', and that 'the best salesperson convinces the buyer that they are insane for not wanting to buy from him/her', by being dedicated and committed through a passion to what they believe in. Yet, that belief can only be enforced after one learns exactly 'what works' and 'what does not work'. Each person, having his or her own product to sell, be it 'voice' or something else, has to find that 'zone'.

I listened to 163 auditions, and all the best one's I felt that were 'in the zone' had the following attractive attributes to them:
  • They read the copy as I had requested with real and conversational tones.
  • The reading gave me a bit of themselves 'in the moment of the reading', not an impersonation of someone in the moment.
  • Honestly, the sound quality on ALL OF THE AUDITIONS was excellent, whether it was a dry read or not. I did say that I was fine with people adding music because I would need a producer.
  • When I expressed interest, those talents did not 'leave me hanging', and got back to me immediately.
  • The remarks were very friendly. Granted, this may be my preference, but I prefer 'friendly' in an anonymous environment. I always hold the door open for people, as I believe positive action enforces positive behavior and sets a standard for others to follow.
All in all, it was not easy, because I knew I would be telling people I know could do the job in a flash, that I could not use them this time, and it seemed to come straight down to a business decision as to 'how the project would play out'.

I did, however, and from a talent's point of view this is important to know, get a collection of talents that I hope to use again for other projects, like this one, and their efforts were surely not wasted on me. In fact, you should never feel that doing your best is a waste of time. People notice it, even if they don't say anything, and they are quicker to pass around your name because of your dedication to quality.

I will let you know who was selected very soon. I think I surprised myself with how this worked out. As for those who submitted, and were not chosen, THANK YOU! I will surely hold onto you for the future!

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