So my agent calls me late Thursday night asking if I'm free for a last minute advert for tv: a new musical tomorrow morning, The Neil Sedaka Story. YES! So I get up early, go to the studio on the other side of London and do the session with the client on ISDN. I read the short script every way, from hard sell OTT to soft and smooth, to casual and everything in between. After giving him 20 different versions, he thanks me and I'm done.

I go off to do my drum teaching and when I get of the train back in town, I get another call from my agent asking what I'm up to as they have now re-written the script and can I get back down to the studio? Yes I can! So off I go... this time he has decided on the feel and I'm in and out in 15 mintues.

Monday morning I get a call from my agent: "guess what Darren, they have decided to make another script change, are you free to go to the clients studio in Soho?" Yes! I march off and am greeted by the client, who is in his office, not recording studio, office! He records me in the stairwell (echoing and reverbing like crazy) with a big, fluffy mic that you see news reporters holding, going into a video camera!!

I poing out that "I don't mean to be rude, but these aren't the ideal acoustics" So we go inside and re-record in his office with the fluffy outdoors mic, with the sound of the London traffic going by and the sound of my voice bouncing off his walls! He then finds a smaller mic and decides that this will be better, no pop shield, just a mic which he holds. So I read the script and he tells me he's happy. Job done! Very very bizarre and shoddy, but at least he's happy.

Today I have a nice chat with my agent, telling her about the make-shift session on the stairs and in his office and we laugh. I tell her that I'll be amazed if my v/o is good enough quality, but as long as he's happy...

Half an hour passes and my phone goes again... yes, you've guessed it... my agent! "Darren, you're never gonna believe this, but they've made more changes to the script (4th time now). Are you free to record today?" I tell her that unfortunately I'm not as I had to take my wife to hospital, but I can be free tomorrow for her. She tells me that she'll call the client and ask.

I then get another call with her appologising and telling me how pissed off she is with them. They definately can't wait and will now have to go with another voice. If anything happens and they can, they'll use me, but basically I've lost the gig. So I get my original session fee, plus 2 aditional fees for the re-reads, but loose my buyout.

MUPPETS!!! The script was so short to begin with (10-12 secs), why on earth would they feel the need to re-write the bastard 4 TIMES?!! It was basically the following:

A new musical, The Neil Sedaka Story, featuring the music of this rock and roll legend. At the Bristol Hippodrome from the 29th March, till the 3rd April. Book now!!

Now THAT'S what I call being given the run-around!!

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Comment by Elisha Anderson on April 5, 2010 at 1:24pm
That is a bummer, and proof positive that most clients don't know what they want. I've worked on the other end and was ALWAYS amazed how often things would be re-written. Is it really going to effect whether the target buys or not if there is a couple word change? I don't think so. I guess at least you got your other fees, but still, bummer.
Comment by Darren Altman on March 25, 2010 at 1:26pm
Don't think so Lynne, I guess they had to actually make a decision and get it done by a deadline. Just unfortunate that they had enough time to dick me around!!
Comment by Lynne Darlington on March 25, 2010 at 1:06pm
Run around indeed Darren! It would be fun to hear the story the newly hired VO - I'll bet it may be the whole story all over again!

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