I just saw this posting on a job website and had to share it before it was taken down. Finally someone is speaking out! I did a quick edit on 1-2 things (plus removed the website's name) but other than that it's pretty much 100% as seen on the job website.
I'm getting annoyed at how some voice seekers have become almost condescending towards voice actors. The tone with which they write their job descriptions and the budgets that they post are down right insulting. Yes, I understand that many voice seekers are ignorant of the voice-over world, its rates, and what voice talent have to go through to get to a level of professionalism. But gimme a break!
Ok. So you wanna be the next Sponge Bob or Porky Pig or Joker or even just a smaller character in an animated series. It's a good goal. Goals are good. But if you are just starting out as a beginning voice actor, then you'd better stop packing your suitcase for your big move to Hollywood. There are so many smaller things you need to try before making it big as a voice over artist.
After briefly mentioning the new voice over job that I got back in August I've received quite a few emails asking me to talk about some of the juicy details. Since I aim to please, this post will be all about what exactly the job is, how I landed the job, what the job entails, how much time I spend everyday on the job, and anything else that pops into my head as I write.
But before I begin to divulge, let me say up front that I am bound by a "somewhat relaxed" NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Which means that there are specifics about the job that I'm not allowed to talk about, but I can talk about it in general terms.
So now, here are the most asked questions about the new job and their answers:
This isn't a detailed scientific study. This isn't even a controlled experiment. It's just an observation of a single occurrence. And yet every voice actor in the industry has seen something similar. They know this is going on and they know it's causing the slow decline of the voice actor's salary and the cheapening of our image as highly-trained professionals.
It's called 'lowballing" — the practice of bidding extremely low on a project in the hopes of landing the gig — and it really does hurt!
Here's the latest occurrence I stumbled across...
On a voice over job website (which shall go unnamed) a client (who shall also go unnamed) posted a job for a 1-hour narration. The budget listed was between $350 and $500. About one week later that same client posted another 1-hour narration job. But this time: a budget of $50 to $100!
Think about it from the client's point of view...
If you (as a voice seeker) post a job with a budget of, let's say... $350, and then you get offers to do the job for as cheap as $50, wouldn't you then set the budget of your next job to only about $50? I don't know about you, but I certainly would!
If everyone is willing to work for peanuts, then why would a voice seeker offer prime rib?
Everybody wants to get a great deal. And if there are talented voice actors out there willing to sell themselves short and bid ultra-low, then why wouldn't voice seekers take advantage of it? If voice actors are always quoting a low price, then why wouldn't voice seekers start stating that their budgets are smaller than they actually are?
Now YOU think about it...
For MANY projects, the voice over is just as important as any of the visual elements. And some projects don't even have the visual elements! Your voice will help companies sell thousands and sometimes millions of dollars worth of their product or service. And they'll be laughing all the way to the bank at the great deal they got from the voice actor.
Come on, people! Why would anyone take our profession seriously when we ourselves are willing to accept table scraps as payment for professional jobs?
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Recently I was hired to voice as a young "cool and hip" 25 to 30 year old guy for an in-house video. I got the script along with the storyboard a few hours before the recording session. I then dutifully analyzed and practiced the script a few times. I was ready, willing, and feeling like a "cool and hip" 25 to 30 year old guy (in a 41 year old body )
The session proceeded as usual, ending with a satisfied client at its conclusion. Nice and smooth. Another day at the office. Except that the final read was almost 180 degrees different from what I had prepared.
It's every voice actor's dream: working full time purely as a voice actor. But how can one do it? Is there some magic to the whole process? Is it being connected to the right people? Is it just dumb luck?
'Nope' to all of the above.
Actually, success can be broken down into 5 simple steps, and voice actor Richard Horvitz tells you all about them in his popular 1 hour and 40 minute audio seminar that you can get through Dan O'Day's website.