In a perfect world, every voiceover job I was asked to do would be 100% aligned with me. There would be puppies and rainbows and the elusive unicorn. I’d book and record them all, retire young, and spend my days relaxing, watching reruns of Duck Dynasty.
Alas, it is not a perfect world.
According to recent statistics, there are approximately 100 zillion voice talents online trying to earn some kind of a living from doing voice work. Actually, I forgot about Jake Foushee. Make that 100 zillion and one. What this means is, competition is stiff and you want to book as many gigs as you can.
But when do you turn down a job? Do you have any lines drawn in the sand? Do you have a code you follow? Have you ever even considered it?
I won’t say yes to every job. In fact, I’ve wanted to throw up on more than one occasion because I’ve turned down a job with a great budget. Then I remind myself, money isn’t everything. My personal and professional integrity means more.
So when do you say no? Here are some of my personal criteria.
1) When the script contains profanity: My parents would slap me silly as a child if I ever swore. To this day, I still believe if I swore my mom would somehow find out, drive to my apartment, open the door and slap me.
2) When I don’t agree with the message: This could be anything from a political ad to a moral standard. If I can’t support the message of the script I won’t attach myself to it.
3) When I won’t endorse the product: I don’t drink alcohol. Ever. Refer to point one. Same reason. Therefore, I wouldn’t feel right reading a script for a bar or nightclub or a specific wine or beer. If I won’t use the product personally, why would I endorse it?
4) When I get a bad vibe from the client: I need to feel like I can trust a client. I need to feel like I can partner with a client. If I don’t like the way they conduct themselves or their business, again, I don’t want to be aligned with that. Not every client is worth it.
5) The grandma rule: Everyone should have this blanket rule. It goes like this… If I’d be ashamed, embarrassed or humiliated for my grandma to hear/watch something I voiced, I likely won’t do it.
It’s hard to say no to jobs. But it’s harder to rebuild your credibility if you lower your standards or stray from your own code of ethics.
Your rules are going to be different than my rules. That’s great! It means that you’re not going to be trying to book some of the jobs I want, and I’m not going to be trying to book some of the jobs you want. My point is simply that you take some time to consider your own standards so that you know when to say no and walk away from a job.
Have you got rules you follow? I’d love to hear them. Share them in the comments below.