Navigating Studios Reopening
(A How-To Guide from your friendly neighborhood CODA)
If you are NOT ready to go back to the studio
Perhaps you won’t feel ready for in-person work until there is a vaccine available or the number of cases significantly drops – you are not alone in this! It’s important to communicate your boundaries to studios – just like us, they are constantly re-evaluating how best to move forward. The studios are our partners and we all want to work!
Our union has encouraged studios to allow performers (especially those who are higher risk) to continue recording at home if they are able to. Performers are not required to disclose information about their age or medical conditions, but are encouraged to request recording from their home studios. Here are some ideas on how to frame your boundaries:
“Due to health issues in my family, it is necessary for me to be especially cautious at this time and continue to shelter in place. However, I will be glad to work on this project from my home studio.”
“I have a great at-home setup and would love to keep working from home. This could free up time to air out the booth and reduce the chance of transmission for those who do need to come in to record!”
If you really don’t want to go in but don’t have a workable home setup:
“I need to be careful with my respiratory health, so I am happy to come in, but it needs to be the first session of the day. I can be very flexible with scheduling!”
If you ARE ready to go back to the studio
While many of us have solid home set ups, many others do not – and are waiting to resume work in-person so that they can generate much needed income. If you fall into this camp, you’re likely to be looking for assurances on levels of cleanliness/decontamination. You have a right to ask questions and advocate for yourself to make sure studios are taking precautions just as seriously as you are! Here are some ideas for questions to ask:
“I am able to come in to record! I’m excited to be back, but I’m still practicing extreme caution at this time. It’s very important to me that… (examples below)”
Everyone at the studio is wearing protective masks in all common spaces.
The booth I work in has been vacant for at least three hours.
Only essential personnel are in the room, and anyone who can Skype in does so.
I do not need to touch any surfaces (door handles, etc.) as I come into and out of work.
I complete my paperwork remotely
“Could you walk me through what sanitizing will look like throughout the day?”
If you are working on a union production
You should refer to SAG-AFTRA’s “Safety and Offers to Work” email that went out last week; it states that all union work needs to be cleared before performers can work in-studio. If anyone is being asked to go in, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
The VO Department will check if the studio is following government guidelines and will review the studios’ safety procedures.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources – An evolving hub for members seeking the latest news, resources and updates about COVID-19
SAG-AFTRA VO Recording Protocols & Approved Audio Houses/Studios – This list of safety protocols was published on August 26th, and it is an evolving document. The list of approved audio houses are studios that have agreed in principle to adhere to these protocols. Please be sure to reach out to email@example.com if you believe a signatory is not adhering to all of these protocols.
We highly encourage writing firstname.lastname@example.org with reports of safety concerns on the job, but if for any reason you aren’t comfortable doing that, this tip box is for you! We will take these concerns to SAG-AFTRA on your behalf.