Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thoughts on Most Recent Voice123 Voice Over Project

This past week, due to an upcoming change in our phone system, I had the opportunity to post a voice over job on Voice123, which you can see here. The project closed on Wednesday, and I thought it would be helpful to share feedback about what went through the mind of this voice seeker (me) and my perspective. I believe this will assist all those who use Voice123. Knowing 'what takes place' is extremely important with any business to show you are aware of the needs of a market.

The first thing I need to do is to thank all of those who submitted. The submissions were all great! Maybe I felt there was 1 out of the 30 that I wanted to reach out to, and recommend that I heard an accent, or slight audio hiss, but this left me wondering:

Is it my place to offer advice because I posted the project?

Why? A democratic creative process is always difficult because everyone will like someone different, if they feel they like a voice for a specific reason. This reason cannot always be explained because a creative process involves 'emotion'. Explaining emotions such as, 'Sorry, you sounded too much like my mom', really do not help, nor do non-creative types always know how to explain what they feel. In this project, the internal debate seemed to always start off with, 'I REALLY think this is the right person because...' and it went on and on, each person trying to push for their choice. We all heard that each of these voice talent are professional enough to be the voice of this company's customer service line, which made a decision tougher.

I understand how many would love feedback, and I thought I could give it back to talent. How exactly can I explain to someone we want to use, that we could not, and then explain all the random thoughts that went on in the debating? With so many colorful thoughts, all you end up with is a gray area. I did directly invite two people; one did not answer. That really is ok. It made things easier. I do think for the purposes of networking online, I would have replied with a, 'No thanks! I am busy working on another project currently', if not interested. However, it is always wasted energy to take anything personal when working online. Being exposed to thousands of opinions each day in a global environment of varying cultures will wear you out, if you allow it.

So... how was a decision reached?

With almost every voice audition being perfect, 'hiring' becomes 'solving a puzzle'. I have been in situations offline, where I asked a manager for feedback on an audition I did not book. The casting director said I was perfect at the audition, but it turned out... 'my voice was perfect, but someone else was a better fit'. Go figure. Getting feedback in voice coaching and classes, always worked better because I had that safety net that allowed me to fail miserably, with only a supportive class that would see it.

We sincerely appreciate the professionalism of the auditions received this week, and that sign of respect, to take our job posting seriously, has us very proud of the professionalism of all Voice123 voice over talent.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
Voice123 Premium Forums
Steven's Blog
Twitter: @stevenNYC123


TastyKeish said...

It all makes sense to me now... :)
Feedback is in the ear of the beholder. Thanks for this post!

Tracy Pfau said...

Thank you for your kind input. Time is so important these days, so in sending your thoughts, I want to express to you that you are one of the good eggs! My perspective is -- I concur. When auditioning for something online, it is not always easy to race to be one of the first people to audition, so that you will be considered. Because auditioning under circumstances such as that-sometimes the client forgets about the interminable acts that a voice talent must do:
1. create the character quickly
2. get your studio up and running
3. get familiar with the copy
4. consider it's a global market and though you're in LA, some other talent might be 3 hours earlier than you or on the other side of the world at a different time frame AND YOU GOTTA GET THE PROJECT PERFECT AND SUBMITTED!
5. direct yourself - with the limited info you have on a project.

Thanks for both of your thoughts on the "listening end of things." I pretty much get it, but it's nice to read your thoughts as a reminder that there are always two perspectives. I wish more producers were as adept as you are. For there are many clients who post jobs with virtually no experience whatsoever and it's sometimes difficult knowing they pretend to be smarter than a fifth grader but, I treat every single hiring authority with the same respect - honestly, courteously and do my best to record what I think they want. That way you never get into any trouble. - Tracy Pfau

Sonja said...

This certainly was a helpful blog, believe it or not.
After so many "not likely" ratings a person starts to wonder if they're cut out for this. Recently I was given a "considering" rating and ranked 3rd out of 46. What a boost that was! And then it got me to thinking, this is just like acting (which I've done for years). A person may have the talent and they've nailed the audition, but their looks didn't match with the other actor, or their eyebrows were too thick, get the picture. So goes it with voice overs.
So even if your blog didn't give the detail of why someone wasn't chosen, you still gave insight to what happens with the choosing process.
I wasn't available for this particular audition, just in case you needed to know. ;)

C B said...

Thanks Steve,
A great reminder. From time to time I will simply email a client "Are we good?" and get back a positive one liner. That's from someone for whom I do a number of VO's. The folks that don't know me can't possibly respond to everyone. Once in a while, a seeker will email via 123 that they will consider me in the future. That's encouraging.

Tracy nailed it from my perspective. Fast is good but if I can not meet my standards then no response is better than one you are not satisfied with. After ginning up and producing an audition, it is nice to at least get the "considering". Have to laugh when I am ranked 2nd out of 20 and get an "unlikely".