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Should You Bring Cookies To Recording Sessions?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 13, 2009

Comments (8)

Chocolate Chip CookiesWhen you go to a recording studio for the first time to work with their crew, there are a number of ways you can make a good first impression so that you're asked back again like being prompt, sensitive to direction, gracious and friendly, but what about other gestures unrelated to your performance and punctuality?

Recently, it was referred to on an expert panel at Voice Coaches that cookies and cheesecake were brought to a recording session, appreciated by all at their office.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

While cheesecake may be be a bit much, what might you bring to make a good first impression to a studio session?

Is Bringing Treats Acceptable?

Someone who had read the expert panel discussion emailed me and asked if I thought bringing cookies or cheesecake was ridiculous, a distraction or welcome, to which I replied, "I can see cookies being welcome so long as they are peanut-free. I know that if someone brought me cookies, I'd be happy! Likely it depends on the people working on staff. If you know them well enough, do what you think they'd appreciate. If it's your first session at the studio, bringing some cookies or the like would be memorable and also make a good impression, demonstrating thoughtfulness and generosity."

I imagine there are people who bring coffee, donuts and the like. If someone came to my office with Tim Hortons or something special that I didn't anticipate, I'd certainly be grateful for the unexpected gift and remember that down the road.

It wouldn't set a precedent, mind you, but it is always nice to be surprised when a person does something out of the ordinary that makes you feel special.

Remember, people may forget what you say, but they'll never forget how you made them feel.

Have You Done Anything Similar in the Past?

Do you make a habit of bringing something to sessions to share or do you find that doing so is unnecessary or unwelcome?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Lynn Seeden

Related Topics: baked goods, cookies, expo, recording sessions, studios, Tim Horton's, voice coaches


Comments


    Stephanie, a great performance will leave a much better taste in their mouth than cookies.

    I would never cast talent based on which one would bring treats. It seems a little like a bribe. Maybe it's a guy thing. It could become problematic for you: If you become known as the cookie lady, what happens when you're pressed for time and show up for a session sans the expected sugar?

    Posted by:

      Good thought... I have not done it on a first gig but have brought some high end cookies (peanut free of course) occasionally to a recurring, lucrative medical VO gig. Whole Foods Oatmeal Raisin are spectacular, by the way.

      Cheers!

      David

      Posted by:

        Hey Stephanie,

        Although I've never brought baked goods, I have given little bags of chocolate (gee, now I sound like Julie!)

        It also depends on the client. For a client where I was doing a number of sessions for a Japanese game, I gave them some hand-made origami cranes. I've also given rubber chickens to some studios (yes, there's a VO story behind them ;-)

        I think it's ok to give something small, if you know the client and the gift is genuine.

        Currently, I'm giving little bags of M&M's... with "JoeActor.com" on them, of course...

        It can't hurt to be friendly.

        Posted by:

          Hello Stephanie!

          Yes, I can relate to this Vox Daily. I recall my first gig ever - at a major NYC recording studio where I was the 'Dad' and another Voice Actor was brought in to be the 'Mom.' She went in first while I waited around, studied my script, drank water, ooooh'd and ahhh'd at all the furnishings in the lounge area, and the equipment in the studio that my wide open eyes could see; gazillion channel mixing boards, pre-amps, sound analyzers, Neumann mics.... it looked like the bridge on a famous TV starship with lights all aglow everywhere. In a few minutes, my fellow Voice Actor suddenly ran out of the studio into the sumptuous lounge area to get some water. The producer then asked me to 'go first' instead. Although hired for an hour, I "nailed" the script in about 40 minutes (so I was told), whereupon the other Voice Actor was ushered back in to the studio. The production assist told me that the other Voice Actor had mouth noise that was coming through the mic, and still had a problem. I immediately opened my briefcase (now transformed into a Voice Actor's studio survival kit), and produced my airtight container of Granny Smith Apple slices. Unknown to my fellow Voice Actor, I quickly explained how these juicy pieces of apple help combat mic muck mouth. It helped turn this recording experience into a positive one for her too.

          The point is that doing a good turn to help the producer achieve his/her recording goal, even if it has nothing to do with you, can go a long way. Leave the donuts home, bring apples, and remember the golden rule.

          All the Best,

          Noel Gibilaro

          Posted by:
          • Noel Gibilaro
          • May 14, 2009 9:35 AM

            Stephanie,

            Although I have not brought goodies or gifts to an in-studio session, recently I sent a Thank You gift basket of Wine, Cheese and Chocolate to a new client. I posted a similar question on another forum and it has been interesting to see the various views of this practice. In my instance, I sort of felt compelled to say Thank You in some shape or form outside of sending them the recordings they asked for. And since they found me and offered me the chance to record a good number of Radio and TV Commercials for them, so far 6, to me it was just a small token of my appreciation for their trust in me. Even if they stop using me today, I still feel good about sending the basket. The client was happy to get it.

            Posted by:

              Stephanie-

              From the studio's perspective... we love the thought. And although we never expect it, it is very nice every now and then. I do remember everyone who has brought something. Although I wouldn't consider it bribery, it does make them stand out to me, as do folks who send thank you cards and who are genuinely friendly and upbeat.

              Over all, make a good impression! What ever you do, the objective is to have us keep you in the forefront of our mind, so when we are casting a VO job, we immediately think of you. This can be done with a call, a card, cookies, chocolates, etc. But... the most IMPORTANT ways of doing that are: Being on time, Being professional, and yes, bring that apple and water... aka Be prepared!

              Posted by:

                I bring trail mix but don't share. Then I throw almonds at the engineer when he/she isn't looking. Sometimes I bring nachos and do the same thing with little pieces of corn chips. After the session I have 20 cheeseless, unsauced pizzas delivered to them using the name "Jeff Jefferson". Later that night I return and t.p. the parking lot leaving a note saying, "Just playin'-- you know I love you."

                Posted by:

                  Hi Stephanie,

                  At first blush the idea seems nice, but signals "new", rather bring something the next go-round if there is one. And that's a perfect time to really build-n-bond.

                  I like the Maya Angelou line too, deserves a credit though.

                  Posted by:
                  • VOX Daily Reader
                  • May 15, 2009 3:24 PM

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