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Which questions did I not ask?

 
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1900
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:19 pm    Post subject: Which questions did I not ask? Reply with quote

An invitation to audition was presented, and the only info given was:

"It would be a :30, a :15, and a :06, for $1000 full buyout."

...to which, I replied:

"Thanks for your email; it's great to hear from you! Are you able to tell me a bit more about the project, such as the subject (what type of product or service), whether this will be a commercial and, if so, where (in what regions) it will air and for how long?"

Even if these questions were enough to prompt a further response, what else should I have asked or ultimately should?
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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4337
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who, What, When, Where, and Why come to mind.

Who is it for?... might compete with something you are already doing...

What, is sort of answered. But yes commercial, industrial, internet, etc.

When - do they need it finished?

Where - are you recording? Their studio or yours. Will they want ISDN, IP DTL, Source Connect, Phone patch? Are they directing you or are you going freestyle/naked?

Why - did they choose you? And, Why so little money?

F2
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Last edited by Frank F on Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1900
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Frank.

I am assuming that at least some of your suggested questions will be answered when I receive a response.

If I don't receive a response, I will assume I've already asked more questions than they were prepared to (or wanted to) answer, thus relieving me of having to ask anything further. But your last suggested question will definitely have been answered. Wink

Prior to the quoted text I pasted, they had asked if I would be interested in their project. While I know more questions ultimately need to be asked, when I receive an audition request from someone new (as is the case here), I start out asking just a few basic questions so that I can determine if I am interested. If there is no reply, I will not have wasted any more time because they may be looking for someone to jump at $1000 without asking any questions at all.

Then again, I often tend to over-analyze things.
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Mike
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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4337
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do so little auditing these days that if and when I do get a request it is usually met with a resounding - "why?".

In my world auditions are a waste of time and effort, and I have very little patience for waste. If the client/customer does not know me (and my voice/sound) then "why" would they want me? If they have someone else in mind, then "why" are they asking me to audition?

You are sounding more and more like you are bringing back "The Year Of The Spine". As someone once said to me: "What you want wants you." So reach out get what you deserve, not the kibbles and bits in the first offer.

Good luck Sir!

F2
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10499

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, it's about the question you ignored.

"Would you like to audition for this job?"

No = No need to reply.
Yes = Send audition.

Would you like to negotiate? My guess is the fee is what the fee is, were that not the case there would've been a rate request.
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Bob Bergen
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't state your further info inquiry as a question. "Are you going to tell me more?" That's a tad brusque and awkward. Take the reins. If you have ever had an audition from an agent, use the info they shared as a template. All agency auditions come with this info. (or should) If a commercial you might have a conflict. Or, just don't want to do it for the terms they offer. Whatever. "Please let me know more about this job/project, " etc., and have them fill in the blanks. It would matter not to me "why" they want me.

As for auditioning, as that has come up a few times in this thread, I audition daily and love it! Often I am more creatively fulfilled in the audition than on a job. This is where I get to stretch the creative muscles. This is where the fun is. I got into this for the fun. And, I know that often when not chosen for the job it has nothing to do with my audition being bad. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it comes to choosing the talent. Today's audition is an insurance policy for another one, or a gig. Auditions are a way to not just get the intended gig, but an opportunity for future gigs.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See above.
Read and inwardly digest.
Action upon this very day.
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused. I wanted to know what I was auditioning for. And I didn't say, "Are you going to tell me more" (which does sound brusque). I asked the client, "Are you able to tell me a bit more about the project, such as the subject (what type of product or service), whether this will be a commercial and, if so, where (in what regions) it will air and for how long?"

The first half of that question (if answered) would tell me if I was interested in auditioning or not. Because, over the years, I've received a fair number of requests for products or services I do not support, I prefer to weed out that stuff right away so as to not waste anyone's time. Others have answered "are you able to tell me more" by saying, "Sure" or "Of course," etc. Is putting my desire for more information in the form of a question really such a bad thing? I worded the question purposely so as to NOT sound brusque.

The second half of my question (if a commercial, where and for how long it would air) would've resulted in the client either happily providing the information, as others have (at which point we could move forward)... or deciding I asked too many questions.

This client has offices in the U.S. and several other countries, and I don't know which of them contacted me. As of this writing, there has been no reply. That could be related to a time zone difference, or that they are gathering additional information for me. Or, it could mean they're not going to respond at all, in which case, I have my answer: by asking only two questions, I've asked more than they wanted to answer and, thus, it is a project (and, perhaps, a client) I can do without.
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Lizden
A Zillion


Joined: 04 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mike,

So they just sent you an email with this info:
"It would be a :30, a :15, and a :06, for $1000 full buyout."

To which, you replied:
"Thanks for your email; it's great to hear from you! Are you able to tell me a bit more about the project, such as the subject (what type of product or service), whether this will be a commercial and, if so, where (in what regions) it will air and for how long?"

In my opinion, you asked the correct questions to start a conversation.
- What is is for?
- Is it a commercial (I suspect yes, given the times)
- Where will is air? (Broadcast, online....)

These are not unreasonable questions to ask, especially in today's P2P, "new media,", let's-get-something-for-as-little-money-as-possible-from-the-desperate-VOs world we are in today.

I don't think that you left anything out in your initial email.
You started the conversation.
Whether they choose to answer it or not is now up to them,
but I honestly don't think you left anything out.

You can certainly follow-up with a "Just following up on the email I sent regarding this project. Would love to discuss it further with you."
But that's totally up to you.

If I got an email like you did, I would certainly ask the same questions you did before submitting an audition.
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Jack Daniel
Backstage Pass


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 488
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your questions were fair, but if relevant details are withheld, it's probably for a reason. And not a reason you'll like. The words "full buyout" almost always mean trouble.

As to auditions in general, they are simply a part of life in the big leagues. The fact that they are also a part of life in the minors does not alter this fact.

I may have done several campaigns for the same studio in the past year, but they will want to hear me audition on the new piece, since though they know my sound generally, they don't know my sound *on that piece.* Even Bob Bergen, as he has often said, has had to audition again *for his signature role,* and that's just a fact of life. And many of us have had the experience wherein we were the reference and yet didn't book the job.

It's true that some gigs are just handed to you based on past performance and relationships, and that's a thing of beauty when it happens. May it happen more often! But frequent and inspired auditioning keeps the pipeline popping, often in interesting new ways.
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Lizden
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Joined: 04 Dec 2006
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Location: The dark recesses of my mind

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, that auditioning is part of the process these days,
but I don't think Mike's questions were out of line.

This was not an agent-sent audition.
This was from a prospective client to emailed him directly.
Asking the questions he did, before auditioning, in this case was totally OK.
(In my opinion!) Smile
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1900
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Liz.

Yes, to be clear, I am not at all opposed to auditioning; in fact, I am happy to. I just want to know beforehand whether the product or service in question is one I support. If it is, and I feel the rate being offered is fair, we can move forward.

But if a client isn't willing to volunteer anything more than the length of the piece and their offered rate, they should be prepared to answer a few necessary questions before I agree.
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Mike
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The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.

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