Monday, August 15, 2011

Quality Matters

Over the weekend, my friend Dan Friedman wrote a fantastic blog about the correlation between studio quality and voice over rates. I highly suggest you check this blog out if you haven't already (and all of Dan's blogs...he really knows his stuff!)

This blog struck a bit of a chord with me. Throughout my career, I have regularly been approached by people wanting to break into the industry. I can usually tell within a few minutes (or a few lines of an email) if someone will succeed it or not. Like all industries, you can't just wake up one day and be a success. Otherwise I would have been a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist! No, you have to study, train, practice, take a few hard knocks and make the decision to move forward no matter how many times you feel rejected.

I've spent 15 years learning how to be a voice actor (obviously, I started at the age of 6). Yes, I've been working while I've been learning- but each time I turn on the mic it's a new chapter in the lesson plan. Every session is different and I've had to learn to be as good with my people skills as I am with my acting skills. And that is just the beginning! A voice actor must also learn how to run a business, how to market themselves, how to invoice and collect on debts, how to budget...and oh to build a studio from the ground up, edit, produce, render, ftp...this could go on and on. As with any job, one must be dedicated and educated to pay the bills.

Which brings me back to Dan's blog. A professional studio is not cheap. And while cool gadgets have made it possible to record on the road, there is no substitute for the quality of an actual studio. Case in point- last month I took off to the mountains of North Carolina for a week. I decided to only take my iphone and my Macbook. No mics, no audio interfaces, no ability to record quality audio. Why? Because I knew that where I would be staying would not be conducive to recording quality audio. I was, however, a mere 2-3 hours from a professional studio that I knew I could rent at the drop of a hat. Now, for auditions I did have my iphone and the ability to send samples if I needed to.

During this trip a job came up. A really cool job. One worth driving down the mountain for. We scheduled the day and time and then I discovered this would be a 2 part gig. Half of the script would be recorded while on vacation, half when I returned. I immediately let the client know that while I was more than happy to make this happen, I was concerned that the audio would not match when the entire thing came together. In the end, they decided to wait until I returned home from vacation. (a couple of days later, and they were my first session when I got back)

Quality matters. It really matters. If you are putting time and money into something, don't you want it to be the best it can be? Our clients feel the same way. And it's my job to offer the best I can...with my talents, my equipment, and my business. And yes, quality does cost money. But as we've all learned at some point in our lives, some things are worth the little extra expense.

1 comment:

Dan Friedman said...

Love this Kara and thank you so much for the mention. You truly exemplify the attitude and professionalism that everyone in this industry should have. YOU ROCK!

Dan Friedman