One of my lovely clients, Susan, wrote me recently. She was distraught.
She had been asking one of her high-profile clients, an author with a series of books she’d been hired to narrate via ACX, for feedback on her work. She was concerned because she was getting quick approval on her first 15 minutes, and then — radio silence.
But she was concerned about something else.
Susan knew that I advise clients to stay on their authors to give them feedback on the work, chapter by chapter, as they work through their books.
The author had contacted me to audition for the first series — but the timing wasn’t great and it went to another producer. The following week the next series was up on ACX, this time with a stipend attached, and I auditioned for it and received a contract to produce it the following day.
I uploaded the first 15 minutes of the first book, and it was accepted the next day with no comments — just to continue by ACX, which I did. Upon uploading the additional files (it’s only two hours long) each time I uploaded I kept asking for feedback, otherwise figured no news is good news, and if not to please contact me should you have any edits/corrections, otherwise I will assume we are good to move forward.
Well — I uploaded the first 15 minutes of the second book and the same thing happened — it was accepted the following day. I expressed that I had other work/contracts and wanted to stay on track but with no feedback wasn’t sure where I stood and still don’t. It’s just super odd. I know if they didn’t like what they heard by now, they would have said something and not accepted the first 15 of the second installment.
And that’s absolutely correct. You can ask for feedback, but you don’t want to hound them – and if they don’t get back to you, you don’t want to complain unnecessarily. If they give you feedback, great. And if there’s something like a pronunciation you are concerned about, well, that’s why I advise you to message frequently, both on ACX and via email.
Then, I got this from her:
Well I just checked my e-mail for the first time since I wrote to you, and was informed by ACX that the first two books in the series have been approved. No edits or corrections. It would have been nice to hear some feedback but at least they were accepted with no edits.
Thank you for listening and for your input as always dear coach and friend! :)
Ah. That’s different.
What I don’t want you to do is to fall into that trap – if your client doesn’t have any comments or corrections, then count your blessings and move on.
Do not put any other meaning on that – assume that you did a great job, and that they simply don’t have any corrections. Or maybe they didn’t feel they needed to listen because they trust you, or whatever it was – you probably won’t ever know what life did to get in their way.
Bottom line: it’s nice, but you don’t need feedback to be a great artist.
Don’t look for it. Just do your work and own it.
We can have that feeling every time we get a pleasant “Thank you, that was great.” from a casting director or session runner. We wonder how we failed to get the effusive “AWESOME!!!” that we look for.
Here’s my advice: act for yourself, not for others. Enjoy hearty approbation and lavish praise, but don’t be disappointed when, in the business of show business, someone doesn’t hold your hand and tell you just how great you are. This is a business – some people have schedules that are too filled at the moment for niceties.
Get the information you need from your client, but don’t be that guy (or girl) when it comes to feedback.
Do you worry when you don’t get feedback on a performance? Do you wish casting directors would tell you what you did right and what you did wrong? Join in the conversation below.
Hope this helps.