If you're a new to voice overs, this may not have happened to you yet. But it will!
At some point, you may get called in to read a script by a repeat client who you think you know. You will walk in anticipating a script on a familiar subject matter only to be blown away by a left field commercial -- one that might not jive with your personal views.
What do you do when you're asked to voice a part you aren't comfortable reading for moral reasons?
Knowing how to handle the voice jobs you don't feel good about reading will help you deliver the goods. Handling the situation gracefully will prevent you from burning bridges, and your clients will respect your professionalism in the long run.
Take it from Mel Allen, who was once hired by a company to voice a "feel good" piece about their commitment to the environment. He says:
"I knew they had recently been fined by the EPA for illegal dumping, and I was handed the script in the studio. It was a two-minute narration piece that I wasn't comfortable reading, but I didn't feel like I could back out. At that point, I had to weigh which was more important -- my word that I would do the job (even though I hadn't seen the script beforehand) or my moral disagreement with the piece."
What did he do? "I completed the project for them, but after I completed the project I informed the producer that I wouldn't be comfortable doing a piece like that in the future."
The producer admitted they were not comfortable with the script either, and they respected his honesty. Because of the way he handled the situation, Mel actually got more work from them in the future -- work he felt comfortable voicing, that is.
Furthermore, Mel says, "I learned from this experience, and since then I have never given full commitment to a project without seeing the script first."
If you have this similar experience, try getting into character first. Become the person who would voice this script with conviction, even if it's hard. There are hundreds of voice talent who will never become voice actors. Figuring out which describes you will only come in time.