You’d be surprised how many “instrument failures” happen, especially during competitions when the stakes are high. It’s an easy excuse for people who don’t want to own up to the fact that they weren’t properly prepared.
An oboist can always blame it on the reed. A violinist forgot to bring the right bow, and the trumpet player suddenly had a stuck valve. I’m not saying these things never happen, but when they do in situations where it matters most, it is conspicuous, to say the least. It’s also unprofessional.
In the voice over world it’s quite common to blame the equipment, or inadequate soundproofing when things go wrong.
“I hate that leaf blower” colleagues cry out. “I could kill my neighbor’s dog.” “If only I had a better microphone.”
It’s not the fault of the leaf blower or the dog. Those are things you can’t control. And what you cannot control, you cannot change. What you CAN change is your recording space and the quality of the gear you buy. It’s going to cost you, but what’s the alternative?
My wife is a professional pianist and flutist. Her instrument collection is worth more than the house we live in and our car combined. Without those instruments she wouldn’t be in business. Compare her investment to what most voice overs need to set up shop, and all of a sudden it’s not so expensive anymore to be a voice actor.
Here’s what I have noticed. The people who tend to complain and blame the most, have usually failed to make a significant and sufficient investment in their career. They operate in the bargain basement of the industry making bottom dollar, which keeps them on places like Fiverr.
I have very little sympathy for their laments. You’re either an amateur or a pro. Advertising yourself as a pro means you need to live up to certain minimum expectations. You can’t deliver quality work using crap tools. Any carpenter could tell you that.
You can keep on blaming the neighbor’s dog or a leaf blower, but it’s not for the neighbor to adapt to your circumstances. It’s your job to adapt to theirs.
And please, don’t accuse me of being unreasonable. Every profession has a barrier to entry. This is yours.
My advice to you is simple:
Get a proper and quiet recording space and buy pro audio equipment. If you can’t, open a savings account! It took me five years before I could afford a soundproof booth. Before I designed and built it (on a budget), I often had to record at night when the neighborhood was sleeping. It wasn’t fun, but I had a dream that kept me awake. A dream of becoming a full-time voice over professional.
Instead of pointing fingers at the things I could not control, I took responsibility.
And…. stop blaming the instrument, especially when the instrument is YOU.