Here’s an exercise in determining your comfort zone…
A few weeks ago, a client asked if I could provide the voiceover for a video he’s entering into a contest. I’ve done this many times over the years for other clients so I was happy to do so. He sent me the script and I banged it out. One of the lines seemed a bit…off. After he got the audio files he agreed that the line didn’t seem right and asked me to redo it. I had plans that evening so I couldn’t get to it until the next morning, ergo I couldn’t do it in time before he had to submit it. Off it went.
Here’s the video. Before you watch it, keep it mind that it’s for a way-out-there fake product so it’s supposed to be humorous, even though the video takes itself seriously…
Did you figure which line I’m talking about? If you didn’t it was the line, “Conquer the girl or the job of your dreams“.
If you noticed it, did you find it offensive? Funny? In bad taste? Harmless?
If you didn’t notice it before, how do you feel about the line now that I’ve pointed it out?
If the #MeToo movement wasn’t happening, would it have changed your opinion of the line?
Does it matter that the video promotes a fictional product?
BTW the video didn’t win but it got an honorable mention that it was a great ad. No mention of the line in question.
You may be wondering what I thought of the line. It made me wince a bit. Why? It felt aggressive. FYI the word “conquer” means:
overcome and take control of (a place or people) by use of military force.
successfully overcome (a problem or weakness).
climb (a mountain) successfully.
Not the best use of the verb, but I credit the client for realizing that and asking for an alternate read.
TIP OF THE WEEK
If you are asked to read a line and it feels like it’s out of your comfort zone; say something, especially if you feel it’s inappropriate or may be misconstrued. Even though you’re the messenger and it’s not your words, they’re still coming out of your mouth and your projects represent your business. There are many voice talents out there who won’t do certain spots due to religious, erotic, or political content. If it’s not in your comfort zone, don’t do it!
NEWS AND NOTES
November 1st to December 15th: ACA Enrollment is here! You still have plenty of time to sign up, but don’t dawdle!
Tuesday, November 21st: my next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar topic will be ‘Managing Your Money’. Click here to sign up.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.
Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.