Michelle Falzon, a Voice123 voice talent and coach, was hired to work at Voice123 last month. When such a thing happens, as it did to many of us, we have to ask the question after a month, “SO! What do you think of the view from the other side?”. Indeed, getting a view of the bigger picture, where you see what all voice talent and voice seekers say, can be eye-opening and a bit of a shock.
I asked Michelle this question last week:
“If you could say anything to voice talent after one month here, to let them know what shocked you the most, and then help voice talent with your newly discovered knowledge, what would it be?”.
She replied to me:
“The biggest shock for me, to be honest, is how sensitive people are to a critique or rejection. I know being rejected is not a great experience. I am a voice talent myself and have used Voice123 for several years. I really can sympathize. No one likes to be told, “We cannot accept it” or “We have chosen someone else . Sorry.” These responses don’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy either, BUT as a voice talent, you need to take the good with the bad. You win some. You lose some. That being said, how you RESPOND to rejection is really important for several reasons:
1) Refusing to see that you need to change prevents you from actually changing! How will you ever improve if you don’t listen to critique? When someone critiques you or rejects you, look at the situation with an open mind. Do they have a point? Can you to take the advice or experience and use it to better yourself? Many people immediately get defensive and close themselves up, refusing to take in information that could truly help them in the future. Sure, sometimes people will be jerks, and you can disregard those people, but don’t disregard someone who is just trying to help, or get mad at someone who just happened to pick someone else for a gig. Look at the situation with an open mind and be willing to change, if necessary. (I believe Michelle is referring here to the Quality Assurance process behind voice demos on Voice123)
2) Be careful of the hidden messages you send to people, based on how you react to things. You never know who is on the other end of an email. I can tell you though…It is an actual person. Yes, a human being! When working online, it is easy to dehumanize others because you aren’t looking at them. You aren’t dealing with them face-to-face. You hit send and assume your reply falls into oblivion. It doesn’t though. I have already witnessed jobs and opportunities lost due to unprofessional responses, usually just due to misunderstandings that, if handled differently, would have had a better outcome for all involved. It happens more than I ever could have imagined. Really! Everyday! No joke! As I watch it happen now from this side as a talent, I feel like someone witnessing a bad car accident. You want to help, but it is too late and you just hope no one gets hurt.
3) Getting upset over things you haven’t fully understood yet. I am guilty of this, too. I have made a conscious effort to stop doing it. We see something we don’t like, get a gut feeling about it, and run away with our assumptions, fully loaded and ready to fire back at clients. NEVER respond to anything when you are emotional about it. It clouds your ability to see the situation for what it really is. Believe me, it usually isn’t as bad as you originally thought.
How does this apply to online voice-casting? In the following ways:
- Believing that “Not Likely” is a personal attack and that they hate you. Many times it just means that you weren’t the best choice for that particular project. However, if you do get many low ratings, then maybe you need to check your audio quality? You would be surprised at the number of submissions that contain excessive amounts of echo and hiss. If that is an issue for you and it gets ignored, you won’t book work. It isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed though. There are plenty of resources out there. Just ask, and we will point you in the right direction. We want you to be successful.
- Assuming someone is trying to rip you off, when they aren’t. I don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t be cautious. You absolutely should research every project details page. But that doesn’t mean you should attack people and assume your suspicions are reality. Now, of course, if you get one of those emails that say, “Hey, you’ve inherited 8 million dollars from a relative you didn’t even know!” Then, yes, you are being ripped off. BUT, if someone emails you and wants an audition without a watermark, 99% of the time, they aren’t trying to steal your work. If you have any doubt, check their voice-seeker stats. Seekers who abuse Voice123 aren’t allowed to hang around. If you ever do have a problem with a seeker, let us know. We won’t ignore it.
- Assuming that Voice123 is full of low-ballers. Yes, there are some clients that post projects with ridiculously low budgets. Conversely, there are just as many projects nowadays with budgets that are way higher than anything I have ever seen. Voice123 doesn’t have the same projects we saw back in 2005. It has changed in the last 5 years. You, the talent, teach seekers what is acceptable. If they post a project with a super low budget, don’t audition for it. When they come back to Voice123, and ask me, “Hey, why didn’t anyone respond?”…we tell them “You are well below standard rates.”…their response is usually “Oh! I didn’t know any better!”.”
Michelle Falzon is the voice of Shakeweight, a job she booked through Voice123 several years ago, and a skilled online professional. We hope her new insight sheds some light on some of the inner-workings, which you can use for your online career!
Any questions for Michelle? Let her know!