Last night I went to the Audio Publishers Association Mixer in New York City. I go as often as I can because it’s a chance to hang out with old friends, make new ones, and squeeze in some networking if it comes up.
I often talk about the do’s and don’ts of networking because it’s so easy to do it right and even easier to do it wrong.
With that in mind, here are five questions that you should never ask a voice talent:
1. How much money do you make? This one goes without saying, but I have been asked that question before. In America, it is considered quite rude to ask. Why? Most people feel it’s nobody’s business. While I agree, another thing I’ve learned is that it’s a frequent source of embarrassment for one or both parties involved. If asked, just say “Enough to pay my bills and have a little fun.” or if you wanna keep it light, “Not enough!”
2. If you’re union, do you do non-union work? This is far ruder that the money question! A union talent doing non-union work is considered unethical. How often do you go around asking people you just met if they steal office supplies from their workplace or accept kickbacks? How well do you think that would go over?
3. How did you land your best clients? Really? You want their phone numbers, too? Actually, somebody did ask me for a list of my clients once! Remember this story…?
4. Who “sends you out”? In other words, which agents send you out on auditions? While I don’t think this question is as rude as the others, it’s still pretty tacky. I think it’s tacky not because of the question itself, but because of the question that almost invariably follows, which is, “Can you introduce me to your agent?”
5. How many hours a week do you work? This isn’t blatantly rude like the first four questions, but I think it’s pretty nosy. Usually it’s asked by people thinking about becoming a voice talent or people who regard you incredulously or enviously. Some wanna-be’s are basically asking how little time can they put into it. The other people usually hate their jobs and have a “Who the hell do you think you are” attitude. How much time I put into my career is my business. Some people work 60 hours a week and are below the poverty level. Some people work ten hours a week and are millionaires. There is obviously not a correlation between ergonomics and income and it is very difficult to quantify or qualify that in the voiceover industry. It just doesn’t match up!
TIP OF THE WEEK
I must admit that I have asked fellow voice talents some of these questions when I was starting out. Oops! These are questions that pretty much everyone wants to know but it’s just not appropriate to ask. If you are asked one of these questions by someone new to the industry who means well, educate them, but do it nicely! Treat them the way you would want to be treated if you unknowingly committed a faux pas. If they’re a clown, then have some fun with them!
NEWS AND NOTES
Happy We Move Animals Week!!!
Well, it’s not like it’s a national holiday or anything but hey, a guy can dream, right?
BTW I made a Facebook Event to promote the show. Please Share it with your friends so we can drive up those ratings and get the show picked up for a full season. Thanks for your many kinds words and support!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
I watched a bunch of new movies over the holidays but I didn’t get a chance to share them. Some were just released, others I just haven’t seen before. Here they are…
Philomena, Red 2, The Prestige, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Eyes Wide Shut, 47 Ronin. Hugo, Her
BTW Walter Mitty and Her are going to earn some serious Oscar nominations!
From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…