the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Thursday, December 16, 2010

technical difficulties!!

One of the kinds of work I do is voiceover (voiceover is the kind of acting work that is voice only - all radio work, and any time in an on-camera setting when there is a voice but not an actual human talking, that's voiceover). 

Voiceover has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years - the equipment has gotten cheaper, and the tech has gotten easier.  It's near impossible to be a voiceover actor without at least having the ability to record your auditions at home (which means you need a mic, a quiet room, and editing software).  I've been doing auditions at home for about a year, but typically when I book, I get asked to go to their studio to record the job. 

However, yesterday I got asked to do a job where I'd record the job from home.  I've got my cell phone earbuds on underneath my studio headphones, so that I can hear the client when they call, and I've got my software program open (Audacity - it's a free download and super easy), and I'm using this new thing called Dropbox - a cool way to send the audio files to the folks at the other end via what seems like magic elves to me.  We're nearing the 1/2 way point of the 2 hour session, when Audacity starts bugging on me - the program crashes almost every time I hit 'stop recording'  I take a suggested break to reboot my computer, and then when I get Audacity open, it doesn't recognize my mic.

I'm troubleshooting as fast as I can, with suggestions from the audio engineer at the other end of the phone, when my screen freezes.


I tell the client what has happened, they get off the phone and I spend the next hour working through the problem.  When I'm finally able to call them back w/working equipment, we need to reschedule for another day.  They were cool about it, but this was really stressful for me. 

I was glad for the chocolate sorbet in the freezer, and while I'm confident that I've fixed the original crash issue, I've got my fingers crossed for today's rescheduled session.

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