I’ve heard talents comment on the writings of potential clients. Some talents have a vast knowledge of proper English grammar and note the “obvious” mistakes made by some book authors and copywriters. While this may endear a talent as a shrewd and skillful grammar expert, is it a talent’s place to critique his or her client’s writing? Knowing when and when not to comment as a voiceover talent could go a long way toward future success.
Talents sometime express their frustration with the writings of clients on the web. As a voiceover talent and while your comments may be correct, you must consider if commenting is appropriate. If you have accepted a voice over job and later find that you “cannot possibly” live with the way the copy or book is written, I suggests the below actions:
- Politely contact the writer and ask for clarification. The writer/author may have made a mistake and may want to correct the copy in question. If the copy is not an error, continue and read as specified by the client.
- If you cannot quickly reach the writer, note your comments separately, but still read the copy as written.
- Forgive the writers; hold off on negative social media or web comments. None of us are perfect, so let’s do our jobs and move on. It’s great that you have knowledge of proper English writing and grammar usage. Perhaps, you can volunteer as a freelance editor in another venue. Still, give the copy your best voiceover skills as if Shakespeare wrote it!
Conversely, reading copy is a type of taking direction. As a voiceover talent, we know how important it is to take direction well when doing a job. Knowing what is required in a voice or acting job is important. Voice actor Tom Deere notes this point in his article, If You Can’t Or Won’t Listen As A Voice Talent, You Won’t Make It.
I believe it’s better to seek and respond to jobs that are suited for you and your delivery than to just apply because they are looking for a talent. Both you and the client’s time are valuable; try not to waste what is valuable. You’re a superstar!
(By the way, the image in my above graphic is originally from a well-written book. It’s just an illustration. )