Pivoting, changing, and reinventing. All industries have used at least one of these words to describe the impact of a voice actor working from home during the pandemic, and our industry is no exception. It’s been a challenging year and a half, but thanks to technology and a little out-of-the-box thinking, it’s easier now, more than ever, to find just the right voiceover talent for that upcoming project.
Great talent is everywhere
Remember staying home, binging Tiger King in one weekend, making sourdough bread, and finishing the next puzzle in your stack? Me too. I also remember noticing that top casting directors, who would normally only consider talent based in New York City and Los Angeles, were now open to hearing auditions from voiceover artists like me who are based in other areas (Buffalo, New York represent!). Looking for talent beyond specific geographic locations increases the chances of finding just the right person for that next project.
Studio quality at home
More production studios, post houses, and engineers are realizing that there are voiceover talents with true professional setups at home. Brands like Pillsbury, Panera, and Hoover have brought me on for projects that I’ve voiced in my own professional home studio. For the past decade, I’ve recorded, edited, conference-called, and participated in live-directed sessions from my StudioBricks OnePlus booth with a Neumann TLM-103 and a Sennheiser MKH-416 Shotgun Microphone, an Audient id14 Interface, and a MacPro Editing Suite.
I’ve even been able to provide pristine raw audio that’s ready to mix via services like SourceConnect, ISDN, ipDTL or CleanFeed and I’m comfortable editing my own audio for industrial projects like e-learning or explainer videos.
Problem-solving on the fly
I’d love to think that technology works great all of the time, but let’s be real — whether collaborating on projects on-site or remotely, there are times when things don’t go quite as planned. Voiceover artists who have their own professional setup at home know their equipment inside and out. They become their own in-house tech support to troubleshoot their equipment and come up with solutions so that the end result meets (and exceeds!) the client’s standards.
Case in point: During a scheduled live-directed session with a client on the West Coast, the power went out across the entire Eastern seaboard. They were supposed to be recording me remotely through SourceConnect, but after I realized it wasn’t a problem with my router and that actually thousands of people were without power, I quickly set up a Zoom meeting for the entire team to join. They listened in and directed me while I recorded the session on my side and uploaded all of the takes to send to them after we finished. Ultimately, the session went perfectly — I was able to deliver exactly what the engineer needed to build the spot with my takes.