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Voice Actors: Elevate Your Game with Zoom & Teams

Voice Actors Zoom Teams

While most voice actors working exclusively from home have embraced Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other platforms as a way to interface with their clients, I've seen a lot of push-pack on social media both questioning why any client would ask for it and expressing outrage for being asked to participate via conferencing software on directed sessions- or even casting. This ties back to a point I keep making that there are two entirely different voice acting industries. Actors who have made a living doing in-person sessions for most of their career seem to embrace connecting via Zoom as a "closer to normal alternative", whereas folks that have always been remote tend to loath it. With that in mind, I thought it would helpful to take a moment and break down how participating via Zoom benefits voice actors- and why I personally insist on it for every remote session- and casting.

Script updates and sharing.

If you've done any directed sessions at all, you know how often scripts can be tweaked in real-time. Perhaps the account team had some late-breaking legal changes., or maybe the writer had a more clever line to toss in. The script could be coming in long and need shorter rewrites. It is much more efficient to drop the doc in Zoom chat to instantly share with everyone rather than having to email and wait for you to receive the changes. Lately, clients have taken to sending a link to a shared document so that everyone sees the adjustments as they happen!

Zoom and Teams gets Voice Actors in on the action!

Being on the call with the everyone makes you a part of the team! One of the things I like to do for my clients and the actors is share my screen. If we're doing a TV spot, I might be sharing the video. If it's radio, I might share my entire Pro Tools window. This not only allows you to see what's going on (rather than sitting in the dark waiting to hear from people), but it allows you to see how you're voice is hitting picture or cutting into the job in case you feel you want to offer adjustments. I find that actors appreciate being able to see whether I'm rolling or still editing in case they didn't hear me slate a take! They also get a kick out of seeing the editing and mixing happen.

Voice Actors Elevate your game with Zoom and Teams
On Zoom, you're a connected part of the team!

Elevate your Game as Part of the Team.

When you're part of a video call with the clients, you're more a part of the team instead of a disembodied voice on Source Connect. It's a chance to get to know the names and see the faces of the people you're working with. You don't need to keep your camera on the whole time, but it is really nice for everyone to see each other from time to time. When I run remote sessions, I connect Zoom and Source Connect so that everyone can hear everyone all the time. This is also helpful so you can hear client feedback and stay aware of what's happening in the session. As an engineer, I get really frustrated by actors that aren't paying attention remotely. We might pause to have a discussion about the read, and then address the actor- who then says "I'm sorry, what are we doing?". Your job is to pay attention to what's happening... but that's another whole discussion.

Whether it's casting or a booking- if you're given the option to participate via Zoom or other format, it is to your benefit! Don't be misled by voice actors who don't know or understand the production world on a large scale. This is how jobs are happening, and it's the closest many actors will come to in-person sessions (which I MUCH prefer to Zoom, as I've written before).

I hope this helps! If getting set up and being ready for this workflow continues to elude you, feel free to reach out for help- or consider a replay of my connectivity class. I cover this all in great depth.


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