never get asked back to a recording session in one easy step

Advertising is one of those business where great work really can come from anyone, regardless of title, seniority or age. In fact, it could be argued that in this youth movement of an industry age counts against you far more than it counts in your favor.

The problem with youth though, is that it is young. Inexperienced. Impetuous.

A junior copywriter that I manage has gone with our ECD to record some radio spots, and it was a pretty big deal insofar as work was cleared off of her schedule so she could spend two days in a far off city doing these records.

Then I get a call from her this morning.

Apparently, the talent (it’s one of these lame “real people” campaigns and so the talent was, predictably, not all that talented) was getting a little nervous because, in addition to our ECD and this junior we had two account people and there were four people from the client all jammed into the booth. So the client had asked that some people step outside and wait in the studio’s reception area and this junior was one of them.

And she was upset.

Apparently she had told the ECD, when there was a break, that perhaps she should take the train back to our offices and do some work there because maybe her time would be better spent that way. In our conversation, she tried to position it as though she were just looking out for her work and doing the right thing for the agency, but she was really upset at being asked to leave and was throwing a fit.

She even said: “why did [our ECD] keep the AAE in the room and ask me to leave – my title says creative, I should have been there.” Of course, I had to say that the AAE might be necessary as a liaison to the client and for expertise in legal and other feedback when the scripts (as inevitably happens) get cut and anyway the ECD has done these sorts of things before and knows what he is doing. Perhaps you should listen to him.

Our ECD can’t believe that this girl would act this way about what happened seeing as he had personally asked her to be there.

I can’t either.

You are young and inexperienced. You have never been at a radio record before. There is more than enough to learn by sitting in the reception area and talking to the people who work there, to the producer, hell even to the client that was kicked out of there. Plus, at least you are on the sidelines. The sidelines are the springboard to getting in the game (you’re not getting in the game from the stands or from the home office) and as long as you stay upbeat, happy to be there and trying to learn you will have success.

Throwing a fit (even though you don’t think it is one because you caveat it before saying that perhaps you should train back to the office and do other work) because you got asked to leave and think that you are wasting your time is not good.

Although, positively, it means that you are unlikely to be asked back into that situation.


5 responses to “never get asked back to a recording session in one easy step

  1. What, no producers in the booth? Your team travels light.

  2. I forgot the producer…good thing he doesn’t know that I have this blog. He would be very insulted.

    The ECD was only there because the client is an old friend. I can’t wait to be an ECD.

  3. ouch did she ever make a mistake on that one! You are right dailybiz … she’s not going to get invited to another one of those any time soon!

  4. @Jane & DB: Look at it from her perspective though.
    Here’s an opportunity she’s been looking forward to, probably told all her friends, her parents, he college classmates about.
    She’s actually been invited to take part in something big and she’s been planning it in her head for quite a while. Likely didn’t get a whole lot of sleep the night before.

    Then, just as she’s about to start seeing it happen, she gets asked to step out in the hallway and wait outside. Which must have totally made her feel like excess baggage and reinforced whatever insecurities she may have had about not knowing what she’s doing.

    So she reacted the way many of us do to disappointment, which was to throw a little fit.

    Your ECD could have come out to give her an update at some point, seen if she could have been given a set of headphones to listen in with… something to make sure she felt like she was part of the process and not cast out like some bothersome little girl. (And let me say that he may well have done all of the above or similar- your post doesn’t specify.)

    Years ago I was supposed to go on a shoot for a spot I’d written that I really liked and that a top director was shooting. 2 days before we were to leave for the shoot, the agency decided there wasn’t money for my partner and I to go out to LA. We were brokenhearted, but the CD worked out a deal where we’d fly out the night before the shoot (vs. the week before) and crash in his hotel room so that we could be there. (The agency eventually relented and put up the $200 for my partner and I to get our own hotel room) We were forever grateful and would gladly have given our left nuts for the guy.

  5. @ TT: You make a great point. I would be crushed, totally crushed if the same thing were have to happened to me.

    To be fair, I do not know everything that happened since I wasn’t there; I just fielded the call and am likely going to have to deal with the frustration from both her and the ECD.

    I really like this ECD a lot and, from having been on shoots with him, know that he is the kind of guy to put “the little people” in positions to taste the glory, to get involved, etc and so on. That is one of the reasons I am so surprised at her reaction – he is not the kind of guy to ask her to leave unless he feels like it is absolutely necessary.

    But you are right – I would be gutted if it were me.

    I can remember my first radio recording like it was yesterday. I overdressed, turned up too early (the studio was across the street from our downtown office) and spent the day completely over the moon.

    It was fun to just be on the sidelines and that is what I wish she would recognize – it was a big deal to get so conspicuously chosen for this (and she should pat herself on the back). Enjoy it. Learn from it. Roll with the punches. It will only make you look better to stay excited and make the best of the situation.

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