I was awarded a job from a voiceover site today but before the session I got this very interesting request from the client which I've posted below.. Please read and respond with your thoughts.. Thanks

"Before we talk on the phone, it might be helpful listen to a full draft of the script in the same way you did the demo. That way we have a reference/base to work with. It was really helpful to hear the first demo. Could you do a draft of the full script before we meet?"

What would you do?

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Comment by Rod Maupin on September 22, 2010 at 9:56pm
Hi Big Llou,

Steven's comments are great.

I have been doing VO for two years with technical long form narration for software developer training products. However, I have been a software developer for 27 years, and a full time consultant for 18. In 18 years of consulting I have never been stiffed, until this year in May.

I did a job for an out of state client on the East coast. No problem, I have worked with clients all over the world and never had a problem. Long story short, the guy didn't pay me. Turns out, his company is ficticious. You go to their website, it looks like a large company with vast expertise and an international clientelle. However, you call the phone number on the contact page, and it's always busy. Always. You send an email to the address on the contact page, it comes back that it's not in service (that particular email address).

I did some research on the guy. Turns out he is a lawyer and I will probably never get my money.

Now, I employ an approach just like Steven outlined. Someone contacts me (it's usually over email), I go to their website, and call the number I see. You have to determine if they are real or not.

If they call me, I tell them I will need a good faith deposit before doing any work. I'm talking software development work here and not VO. But checking out an iffy-sounding client is the same process.

Hope that helps.

Comment by Mike Hudson on August 26, 2010 at 6:54pm
Interesting delimma. That's a big audition. Like doing the whole play or reading the entire script. All I can say is, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and acts like a duck, well buddy, it must be.......
Comment by Melanie Haynes on August 26, 2010 at 5:52pm
Uh, no. I haven't run into many deadbeats, but there are some, and this just sounds too dicey.... You can always politely explain that it is not your operating procedure and if they're legit, they'll comply with what you need without any bad feelings. (And I wouldn't waste your time recording the whole thing and watermarking - just in case they are trying to rip you off...)
Comment by Dorothy Fahn on August 25, 2010 at 6:51pm
Oh no. Forget it - never give them an entire recorded script, uh that's what the session is for! They could take it, run with it, and never contact you again. You could offer to record a different paragraph or two, then if they really want to hire you, they'll understand that's your policy. And with that iffy beginning, you might also request payment at the session. If they're legit, they'll understand and try to work with you.
Comment by Philip Banks on August 24, 2010 at 2:10pm
In 20 + years of VO work I have never been asked to do what the client has requested. If I knew the client and they had a good record of payment with me then I'd consider it but other than that unless is was a mega paying job with an impressive company I would politely decline.
Comment by Barry Trussell on August 24, 2010 at 1:05pm
So you gave them a custom demo with a portion of their script first? The only thing I would consider is doing another small portion of the script and explain why doing the entire script isn't possible without an agreement for compensation. Small favors are fine but nobody can afford to work for free.
Comment by Denise Nelson on August 24, 2010 at 12:57pm
Good question Big Llou I'm glad you asked. Well, I'd definitely watermark the entire file or send a lower quality file that can't be used for broadcast or anything professional. But I'd definitely call their bluff if its a scam...only if the gig was $$$-worthy ;-)

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