Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why Smartphones Really Are Smart...

On November 21st, I embarked on a 3 week trip that would take me from Florida to Texas to California. As a full-time voice actor, this meant packing up the laptop, MicPort Pro, and my Lawson microphone so that I could continue working while I was away from my studio.

Prior to packing for my mega-trip, I took a day away from my studio to drive across Florida and watch a NASA shuttle launch (something everyone should do at some point in their life- wow!). I wasn't expecting much to happen that day, which is why I was shocked when I returned to my studio and discovered I had missed a very important e-mail from one of my clients. It seems he needed me to record a couple of radio spots and when I hadn't answered him, he was forced to get another voice. In our business this happens, but it's never fun when it does! Here's the kicker..he would have been able to record the following day if only I had been able to let him know I would be back in my studio by then.

Enter the Smartphone! I remember looking at Smartphones when I first moved to Florida and deciding I really didn't need one because I worked from home and rarely left my house during normal work hours. Shame on me. What I didn't realize is that not having access to e-mail 24 hours a day actually tied me to my computer, and therefore made it difficult to ever leave...for fear I might miss something. Had I had a Smartphone on the day of the shuttle launch, I would have been able to schedule the session for the following morning and kept my reputation for always being reliable.

So, what did I do? I bought a Smartphone the following day. Specifically the Blackberry Storm 2.

OK- back to my mega-trip (which I am currently in the middle of). I was on the road last week somewhere between Dallas and Lubbock, TX in an area so rural I hadn't seen a building for over an hour. 'Ding' goes the Blackberry. It was the SAME client from the shuttle launch day asking if I could record 2 spots the following morning. In a matter of minutes I had Googled studios in Lubbock, booked the studio time, downloaded the script, and confirmed with the client. All on my handy little Smartphone, and all in the most remote area imaginable.

Needless to say, the Blackberry had more than paid for itself with just one booking.

In our business it is vital to always be as accessible and reliable as possible. It isn't enough to travel with all of our recording gear, we have to be able to put it all into action in a matter of moments. Because I was able to book a studio and because I had my own microphone with me- I was able to ensure the same consistent quality my client had come to expect of me.

I may have been slow to grab onto this new technology, but I am ever so glad to have joined my smart friends by getting my own Smartphone.

6 comments:

Deelsu said...

gotta love technology. I haven't broken down and bought one yet but am pretty close to it.
Let's catch up when you get back from you big trip!

Greg Houser said...

You know Kara, there's another advantage to having a phone with e-mail access...

You can keep a copy of your demos on it and share them. I've lost count of the number of times where I've bumped into someone who cast VO talent and was able to either let them listen to my demos, or to simply e-mail them a copy of my demos.

Sure, it's a little extra effort, but the resulting opportunities which have opened up have been more than worthwhile.

-Greg

Voiceovers by Gregory Houser

Sandee Pangle said...

Great points Kara!

Scott Minor said...

Better than the wheel, not quite as good as fire!

Peter O'Connell said...

Sorry to have you learn the hard way pal.

If only someone had warned you about the smartphone's value.

If only.... ;)

Best always,
- Peter

Kara Edwards said...

Dee- I look forward to chatting when I return!

Greg- great ideas, thank you!!

Sandee- thank you!

Scott- so true! :)

Peter- yes, if only... ;)

-Kara