The Relationship Between ISDN Voice Talent and Producer

In the conclusion of this interview, Professional Voice-Over Artist Debbie Grattan and Joel Newport of Harvest Creative Services talk about building a relationship between voice producer and ISDN voice talent. Read part 1 of this interview here.

ISDN Voice Talent, Debbie Grattan: How frequently do you veer from your personal “go-to” list of professional voice-over artists?

Joel Newport, Producer: More than I would like. You have to understand, we’ve had the same clients for 14-15 years, so in order for me to stay fresh as a facility, I have to continually give them new ideas and new things. Some clients will audition 40 to 50 people for a single radio or tv commercial spot and do five spots a year. That puts considerable pressure on me to keep my ears open for new talent.

Joel Newport, Harvest Creative Services - On Relationship Between ISDN Voice Talent and Producer

Joel Newport is a writer, producer, and sound designer for Harvest Creative Services in Lansing, Michigan. He has directed voice talent for radio and TV for over 19 years for clients like Meijer, Detroit Free Press, Anheuser Busch and more.

Having said that, there is always my inner circle of voice-over actors. In all cases, we try to offer our clients the best professional voice-over artists for their job, whether that’s a talent we use a lot or somebody new.

Debbie: Besides Google and pay-to-play voice-over sites, are there other ways an ISDN voice talent can market their voice over services to you?

Joel Newport, Producer: I encourage any talent that I’ve worked with to put me on an e-mail contact list to remind me that they’re out there.

For new talent, there’s nothing wrong with an introductory e-mail with an mp3 voice-over artist demo attached. I know that most professional voice-over artists have voice over demos on their site, but an mp3 demo is going to catch my attention more than a website link. If I like you, then I’ll go to your site to find more voice-over samples.

Debbie: What advice would you give a professional voice-over artist who wants to work with you?

Joel Newport: Take suggestions and criticisms, and be willing to look at yourself and use that to your advantage. We audition a lot of voice actors in order to find the right person for the job, and many times VO talent will stop communicating with me if they weren’t selected. That’s a mistake because it’s not that I didn’t like them, they just weren’t right for that particular job.

Debbie: What are your thoughts about social networking? Is that a source for new voice work opportunities?

Joel Newport: I’ve definitely discovered some voice-over artists on LinkedIn, but so far it seems the best voice-over talents aren’t the ones doing social networking. I’m always amazed when I find a great, new voice-over artist who’s been in the voiceover business for 20 years. It just shows that no matter how much marketing you do and how much you put yourself out there, there’s still more people who don’t know you than do.

Debbie: Do you have any advice on demo reels?

Joel Newport: Very few voice-over artists can do everything. Play to your strengths and only put your best work on your reel. While I won’t book a talent strictly on a demo reel, I will give them the opportunity to submit an audition if I’m impressed with their voice demo samples, and I will eliminate them if some of the work on their demo reels isn’t very good.

When it comes down to it, everybody in the voiceover business is trying to do the best job possible. I’m honest with talent, even if it’s a hard conversation. If I hear something in a voice but they’re “just not there yet,” I’ll tell them to keep practicing and send me another demo in six months. If they never contact me again, that tells me they weren’t serious about it. If they send me another demo and I hear improvement, then that’s a different conversation.

Be sure to also read the first part of this interview ISDN Voice Over Studios are Key Component for Voice Talent.

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