I was listening to a 2020 episode of The Pro Audio Suite podcast with Marice Tobias (linked in the resources below) and something she said struck me:
"You probably won't book it anyway. Take a chance."
Paraphrasing there, but that's essentially the gist. Funny enough, I can immediately think of at least three spots I've booked where I took a big swing and landed them. Each time, I was actually told by the client it was because I took a chance.
First, and most recently, was a restaurant spot for the summer BBQ menu. I decided I was Joey Tribbani in the episode of Friends where he quit eating meat so Phoebe could eat it. Booked it nearly drooling on the mic, but we dialed it back quite a bit in the session.
Next was a spot where it was an internal video that was a spoof of a fragrance ad. My daughter had been watching Beauty and the Beast quite a bit, so I channeled my inner Lumiere and put on a terrible French accent. I even slated my audition with something like "This is Josh Risser and I don't know why, but I felt this needed to be in a horrible French accent".
Finally, I booked a toolbox ad because I said "the drawers are smooth as buttah" and really laid into the "buttah". They said they liked that I took that chance, but didn't want me to do it in the final spot. Sure. Whatevs.
So, maybe take that as a challenge for the week. When that audition comes in that begs you to take a big swing, do it. What can you do that still honors what the client wants, but helps you stand out from the dozens or even hundreds of other talents that are reading the same lines?
Oh, and Marice said you have about 3 seconds to stand out. So... Get to it.
Take a chance,
When auditioning how often do you fall back into your comfort zone read? Guilty as charged. These days companies are looking for ways to stand out; On the Internet, on TV, and even radio. How can your audition show the client that you're the one to help them get potential customers to pay attention?
This is probably the second question people ask me, right after "Wow! How did you get into a job like that?" There are jobs everywhere. Supply and demand seems to work both ways, so more jobs, more people vying for jobs, and more places to find those jobs, some of which are better than others.
When it comes to client work, I pride myself on never dropping the ball. Yet, when it comes to working on things that will move my business forward or make the Future Me a bit happier, I have a rough time getting my shit together. Lately, I've been actively trying to build routines and systems around things like marketing to keep the ball rolling, even on the days when I only want to hide in the booth and read.
When I built my booth, the walls and studs were screwed together with boring ol' sound transferring screws. Crazy talk! One helpful method of preventing sound transference into a room through the wall is decoupling the drywall from the studs (among a million other expensive things). Yet, these fancy screws with springs just may make that step a bit easier. Probably useful for converting a room to a sound proof studio.
Step 1: Read Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss to change your mindset on the negotiation process and get some perspective on how little your negotiation actually matters.
Step 2: Stop freaking out and just do it! Seriously, I've never lost a job because I asked for what I was worth, though I don't count jobs I happily turned down because the budget was too low. Also, clients in business are used to a little haggling over price. It's a give and take, if you give a little and they give a little, everyone walks away satisfied.
Now that we're moving through summer and feeling a bit like our old selves again, ads are really dialing up the goofy. This suite of alcohol ads from Mike's definitely hit the center of the Venn diagram. Right between "Summer Fun", "Goofy", and "With Friends".
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