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Be Careful What You Wish For

It's usually best to ask for details before jumping into something with both feet.

I was recently connected to someone through an online, week-long Audio Description course. Part of the pre-first-day assignment had been to write a short, 100-word bio. The person who was the administrator for that part of the workshop was to compile all of the bios into a document to share with the 45 participants from five countries before the first day of class. I apparently was one of the first to send the bio in, so the person on the other end had time to read mine. I had mentioned where I live and that one of my hobbies is playing piano. She had been born and raised in the same area, had moved to be close to family and also was a piano player, although hadn't played much in recent years due to raising children and because of medical narration voiceover work that she 'dabbled' in. She was trying to phase out of her contract with this voiceover work so that she could spend more time on audio description.

A shooting star at dawn over snowy mountains.

Curb my enthusiasm!

I immediately wrote back to her: "My focus in VO has been medical narration and now I want to also add audio description. Feel free to pass on your medical-narration contract to me! I’d LOVE to do it. Maybe you can sub-contract!! (ha-ha)"

She wrote back that the company had asked her to put them in touch with other voice actors who would be willing to do some work for them. She added that there were pros and cons to the gig, and if I was interested, to let her know and she'd send along details.

Which she did, about 90 minutes later. I received an email that contained four long paragraphs of explanation and a list of pros and cons of working for the company in general and a description of their clients procedures and expectations.

After reading over the email a couple of times, I realized that this wasn't going to be a good fit for me. I have not worked with international clients yet and thinking about signing a contract to do so, just seemed like a little too much for me at this time. I think that my foray into non-US based work, for now, needs to be at the one-job-at-a-time pace.

Dream, yes. Commit? Maybe not.

For me, that old adage of 'be careful what you wish for' certainly did come true. I think it's always good to dream, and I will never stop doing that. While the first reaction in my mind had been "Yes, please, that is exactly what I would like to be doing!" I hadn't thought about all of the variations and requirements within the scope of voiceover work. I realized that perhaps the "I’d LOVE to do it" comment may have been a bit premature!

Next time I think I'll take a step back and ask for details before I get ready to jump into something with both feet!

Image courtesy of Benjamin Voros: Media from Wix.

Debra Elaine is a California-based Voice Actor and Medical Narrator delivering professional voice over from her home studio via ipDTL & Source Connect. Learn more >>


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