Greetings and Salutations,
As a voice over artist… one of the things that I think is necessary for us as an industry is that we help each other. We don’t do that… we think we are by talking about how we should avoid getting colds or suggestions of what hot beverages will sooth our voice… or bribing our sound engineering crew into liking us with donuts and cookies.
But the fact of the matter is that as much as we want to help our fellow VO artists… we still want to horde what treasures we have found so that we may have an edge on the competition.
Peter O’Connell said in his recent free ebook “The Voice Over Entrance Exam” on page 43:
“There really is no competition in voice over as actors are only ever competing for the subjective ear of the producer doing the hiring. He or she decides how talented any voice talent is based only on that producer’s opinion that day; since no voice talent can control that, I believe we work in a business pretty much void of competition.”
Think about that… we are in a business devoid of Competition… yet we have workshops designed by some of the biggest and most influential voice over coaches that are designed to give you the competative edge over other voice over artists by giving you Voice Over Resources that the other VO talent don’t have.
Which means that the idea that we are not in a business that harbors competition is wishful thinking.
Its not… Peter is actually correct… but there are other factors that do have elements of competition in them which are a part of the voice over industry.
1. The Audition Junkie: The idea is to secure as many possible jobs by auditioning to as many gigs as possible. The logic behind it is solid.. you have 50 voice over potential jobs… audition to all of them and you might get a chance at securing at least 2 or 3. So the competition here is that you submit your audition before the hordes of other voice over artists get wind of the Gig. You don’t want the producer to get Audition fatigue before they get to your audition now do you?
2. The Agent: Having someone bring you the jobs best suited to your vocal range and abilities right to you without having to invest the time and effort into going out and finding those jobs is a God Send. And of course they take a chunk of your income… The connections your Agent has can be considered a competitive advantage … especially since your agent will not even take you on as a client if you aren’t of a certain caliber as a VO talent. Its their reputation on the line as well you know!
3. Social Networking… One other great thing about being part of the voice over industry is the workshops and the conferences and the conventions that VO talent attend which can facilitate amazing connections that we can make with our fellow VO artists and producers … The more people that know about you the better your chances of being the first choice when a producer starts looking for talent… The more people that you know and that like you the better your competitive edge at securing work. There’s nothing wrong with being nice! especially if it helps land you a gig 🙂
So although Peter, in essence, is right that it might all depend on how the producer felt that specific day at that specific time when listening to all the different auditions… There are other competitive advantages you can give yourself to secure more work. We are human… the idea that something is not a competition is alien to us.
Bryan Cox recently made a book available that speaks about going out and being proactive about securing voice over work through your local community businesses. The book has many good ideas … and is free … but the author does suggest that making a donation would help. Unfortunatly to someone like myself who does not live in North America it isn’t really how the voice over business works in my part of the world so much of the wisdom he has shared is not applicable to me. But for those of my readers who live in North America… I think Bryan’s ideas could be very helpful to you especially with the state of the economy these days.
So here is my 2 cents worth. It’s a big world out there with many industries that might need voice over work done. I want to make a directory of all the Internet based voice over industry websites that can help get other voice over talent in contact with Voice Over Work.
I will make a dedicated page for this Directory on my blog. And what I will do is leave the comments section in it open… If you, the reader, know of a good voice over site that can help others find work… leave a comment with telling me of the site… I will visit the website you suggest and if it checks out.. I will delete your comment and add that website to the list.
Pretty Straight forward right? But Let’s try to go a step further… if you know someone who works at that company personally then please contact them and get their permission for us to post their names as contact persons for that site.
Tell me what you think… I know there are tons of other voice over directories out there… and I will be taking links from them (why re-invent the wheel?) … but I will also try to maintain this list so that if any of the links are dead… they’re out.
This is allot of work for me … but as I told you before I am here to help… the majority of voice work doesn’t fall in my category of specialty (Arabic Language VO) … But I don’t care… If it benefits you… It benefits me.
I will need your help to compile this… don’t skimp out on me!
Here is the Directory so far
Comments and suggestions please!
I completely agree with your statements and the quote you’ve included. I learned to think about other people’s skills, practices and standout techniques during my career in massage therapy – because there is a number of times when a CMT will refer out to someone else that might better serve the client or patient’s needs. The participants in that community are very good at recognizing each other’s strengths, and are supportive of one another’s business.
There is plenty of work in the world. We can share news of auditions and casting calls and, while looking for work for ourselves, be on the lookout for things our fellow VO talents might be the right fit for.
I like how you put that, “If it benefits you, it benefits me.” Altruism is a gift in itself. Truer words are rarely spoken.
Thanks so much for you’re kind words. If there is anything you need help with …just ask. Great job so far on you’re fantastic project. Keep it going!!
This is a really great article as always & will be a helpful industry resource indeed! You truly are the best & I value your feedback & friendship!
You are an amazing blogger. You manage to get to the essence every time – just like you did here on competition in voice business. Your writing is extraordinary – from brutally honest to brilliantly compassionate. I hope you saw on VO Planet that Michelle cited you as her favorite blog. I couldn’t agree more. You take risks, offer insights – but more than anything, you offer a most entertaining source of learning – need I say how I love your Directory. Canada’ s loss is Cairo’s gain.
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