– by Albert Berkshire
It’s odd how we, as writers, producers and voice actors will do just about anything to get the attention of an agency or production company. It’s the hunt for the job and the need for good quality clients. The kind that pay a decent fee for our rare and wonderful talents.
Too early to be self-indulgent? Maybe. But read on, and you’ll understand.
Most of my colleagues have been writing, producing, casting, directing and (voice) acting for a long time. Over these years, most of us have established pretty good relationships with great agencies and production companies – big and small. Some others haven’t, and the state of their careers reflects their poor judgement and poor performance as a talent and business person. It is, after all, a business first! And in some cases, we’ve given exceptional service and value to some agencies, only to be ignored, neglected or just flat out stiffed.
Alarmingly, one shitball boutique agency stiffed me for over $10,000 back in my earlier years in the business. To the best of my knowledge, that agency which used to be called Sound Advice no longer exists. I still do. In your eye, shitball.
Okay…now that that’s been cached for all eternity by Google, I’ll move on.
I’ve done some wonderfully fulfilling projects. I have written, produced and voiced some hilarious radio creative and some gut wrenching, heartbreaking creative over the last 15 or 20 years of my career. I’ve picked up clients because of the creative, some because of my reputation for great customer service <pats self on back>, and some because I can do what they need within their budget.
I’ve also said “No, Thanks” quite a few times. Now, not to be in complete contrast to my marketing goals – both as Albert Berkshire – writer, producer and vice actor – and those of my company Great Creative.com – I find its more important to pick the right projects… those projects that will make us shine as a company, and that make me happy to stroll into the studio every morning.
So recently, when asked to book a voice talent for a client session, I said “No” to a really nice film-slash-production company. And I did it despite the potential for easy money for pressing buttons like a monkey. The reason I declined the project was because the talent and I have a great working relationship with a production company in the same market as these new commercials were to run.
Conflict? In my world, it is. You see, loyalty is everything to us in this business. We give our clients loyal service. And if we’re lucky, we get it in return. Most of us won’t voice two clients in the same product category, and for Great Creative.Com, we won’t solicit two clients in the same category unless they are in completely different markets. It’s our way of presenting our best work to one client per category, per market, per relationship.
So do I want Great Creative.Com to meet and attract new clients? “Hell Yeah!” But I’ll never let it happen at the expense of a solid relationship. No one’s money is that good.
Pick me? I sure hope you will. Will I pick you? Only if you are a fit for us.
Our reputation depends on it.
Albert Berkshire is a writer, producer and voice actor. He lives, writes and plays on Canada’s West Coast where his production company Great Creative.Com has earned a great reputation, and an equally loyal following. For a much shorter rambling follow Albert on Twitter @albertberkshire.