I had a session with a great client this morning, and about halfway through, they asked me to re-do part of the copy, giving feedback on my performance, and what they wanted instead.
Then they apologized and said they hope it didn’t upset me or offend me.
I was kind of surprised, to be honest. They said they’ve worked on-set with talent who have taken offense to being directed or felt like it was a personal attack on them as an actor.
It’s weird to even have to say this but, dear actor friends… it’s our job to be directable. It’s not about us. It’s about what we can bring to the job.
I thanked the client for their consideration and replied, “I grew up in the theater. Trust me when I say this doesn’t offend me” and added, “I’m totally okay with whatever feedback you’d like to give me, so I can deliver the reads you’re looking for”, which I think they appreciated.
So, fellow VO talent, please put aside your egos and let your client direct you. They are trusting you with their work, they selected you out of the other voice talent – let them do their job so you can do yours.
I’ve been fortunate to have worked with really great directors in my time, and I felt safe in their hands. When your director/client has a vision for the project, they know what they’re looking for, and they want you to succeed. After all, they hired you! So, let them direct you, and be directable. Give them the sound they hired you for. They know you can do it, otherwise they wouldn’t have picked you.
Put the ego to rest, and let the collaborative, creative artist come out to play instead.
*Note: this should go without saying, but if the client is asking you to do things you are not comfortable with or things that are not safe – that’s an entirely different situation. Please take care of yourselves and be safe out there.