Monday 15 June 2020

Can having a pet help or hinder a Voiceover Artist?

We love our pets here and between us all we have a veritable menagerie of cats, dogs, fish, birds and even a few microphones. We love them all but can they help or hinder us as  voiceover artists?

At times we have found that voiceovers often find themselves talking about their animals in our recording studio while we wait to work with clients who dial in.

Most voiceover talent would say that their pet is a great asset to their mental well-being. After all, studies have shown that pets can reduce heart rate and encourage physical activities such as walking in the case of having a dog. In this case, you often have to get out because your dog will want to and well, at times they won’t take no for an answer.

However, some of our voiceovers, despite loving their pets, are either allergic to them or the pet can get a little feisty at not being heard while they are in the booth. Some voiceover artists that are allergic to pets may also be allergic to pollen and even the weather. So if this is you, then there are a number of things you can do when you are about to get into a voice booth and you get an allergic reaction:

1.       Keep the booth pet-free – if you or a visiting voice talent is allergic then ensure that you keep the recording booth pet free. Our recording booth once had a visit from a cute little pup and we needed a good fur clean up afterwards. You never know when you might be allergic.
2.       Consider medications BUT – it may be that you need to take medications but please discuss with your GP or even an ENT specialist about your work and how certain medications can dry your mouth or over salivate it causing many mouth clicks.
3.       Re-home the pet – actually no. Pets are for life, not just for Christmas as the saying goes so Fishy, come on here and let’s have a cuddle.
Some voiceover artists face issues with their pet interrupting a session or two such as purring or barking etc. Again there are some strategies that you can put in place that can help:
1.       Recording booth – ensure the pet is not in the voiceover booth when recording – we do have a few cats that wonder in and snooze and then get a little surprise when their owner records causing a few surprises of their own.
2.       Double doors – if you can, get a double door system so you have a door to the booth and a door to the room with a booth. This will help to reduce any extraneous noises such a barks, whines and scratching that can interfere with a performance.
3.       Food and water – ensure that before a voiceover session your pet is watered and fed and is happy that you will be out of sight for a bit.
4.       Sitters – some voiceover artist use a sitter such as a family member or friend to take a dog out for a walk or entertain the pet while they are in the booth.
5.       Editing – if the dog barks then as long as we all have enough takes around your audio we will be able to silence or cut out the bark and the final take will be fab.

So pets can both be a wonderful recording assistant and our voiceovers have a few tales (tails surely?) to tell about them all. Give the dog a bone or rather a fish a call and we can help you with your next audio project.