While recording voice-overs in a professional studio is tons of fun, there are a few things you should never do during a VO session.
1. Be Late – In the VO world, time really is money. If you’re requested to be at a recording studio for a gig, it usually means someone is paying for that studio time. Make sure you arrive on time, and preferably about 5 minutes early. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to deal with traffic or parking issues.
2. Be Unprepared – There are a few basic essentials you’ll want to have with you in the recording booth – a bottle of water, a throat lozenge (especially if you’re a bit under the weather) and a pencil. When the producer requests changes to the script, – which often happens in a recording session – the last thing you want to have to do is ask for a pen or pencil.
3. Be Unprofessional – Remember that just because you can’t hear the people on the other side of the glass, it doesn’t mean they can’t hear you, and often times you have no idea who is in the production room during a session. Profanity is an absolute no-no, and the best rule of thumb is to speak only when spoken to.
4. Try To Be The Director – You’re being hired to voice a script that was written by someone else. Never offer script suggestions unless specifically asked by the producer. That being said, as an artist it is absolutely your right to interpret the copy during a read, and await direction from the booth. They’ll tell you if they want you to read it differently. But never, ever, change the copy on your own or offer unsolicited suggestions.
5. Take It Personally – You never know when you walk into the recording booth how many takes will be needed to get the read the producer wants. Be a good listener and never take direction as a personal affront. As a professional, your job is to take the direction and give the client the read they want…even if it takes a while.
Avoid these pitfalls, and your recording sessions will be smooth sailing!
All the best,
Mike Lenz is an entrepreneur, professional voice actor, audio book narrator, author, podcast host, husband and father. His ebook, Paid To Talk, is available on amazon.com, and his podcast, Mike Lenz Voice – A Journey Into Voice Acting, can be heard on iTunes starting June 1st. Mike is passionate about sharing stories from amazing and inspiring people from all areas of the voice-over industry, as well as sharing his insights with aspiring voice actors around the world. Mike lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.