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GKN Weekly Update 8/21/12 – Can’t Find Voice Work, Huh? Really? Really?!

Good morning, my fellow “Holy crap, has school already started?” non-believers! I spent the weekend at the beach and it was darn lovely. I hope you had fun, too.

Here’s what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately:

  1. Where’s all the work?

  2. The economy is really hurting my career!

  3. Why aren’t you helping me the way I want you to help me? (well, they don’t say that outright, but I hear it between the lines!)

I get phone calls, emails, and hear stuff like this when I attend events and I know I’m not the only one. Is it annoying? Sure, nobody likes to hear anyone complain but themselves. Does it make me mad? Not really, but it disappoints me.

Why? Well, it makes me realize a few things about the voiceover industry and the people who are drawn to it:

I’ve noticed that many younger people who are drawn to it want to do it for “extra money” or “it looks easy”. I’ve also noticed that many older people are drawn to it because they’ve been laid off and it’s far more appealing than hitting the pavement and finding another 9 to 5 job they will have just as little job security with.

So yes, looking from the inside out, it bugs me that people think that what we do is so easy. Nobody thinks they can pick up a violin and start playing it instantly, but every yutz with a deep voice thinks they can jump right into our industry and start making money. Kids, it just don’t work dat way!

I’m not trying to martyr myself here. We don’t dig ditches or work in a sweatshop. We freaking talk for money. However, just because you possess the vocal “instrument” doesn’t mean you know how to play it. Or sell it. Or market it. Or take direction in the booth. Or use a mic properly. And so on and so forth.

As to the veteran talent who are struggling, I sympathize. However, as a veteran talent you need to understand how the voiceover industry has radically changed over the past 15 years and how to adapt, both on a technique and a marketing level. Yes, the “Golden Throat” is not the dominant voice of choice anymore, but there is still plenty of work to be had.

That’s another thing that has been sticking in my craw: the economy has NOTHING to do with the amount of voiceover work that is currently available. Since the economy crashed in 2008; smartphones, Skype, and easy delivery methods like DropBox and WeTransfer have emerged. That means if you have an internet connection, you can find clients anywhere on the planet (especially in those emerging markets) and be able to audition, record, edit,  send finished sound files, AND get paid (PayPal, wire transfer, etc.) faster & easier than ever. So don’t tell me there’s no work. There is work EVERYWHERE and it’s not that hard to find. If you still can’t get enough work to support yourself; look at your demos, your website, your marketing plan, and your work ethic & tell me what you see.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Acting is listening.Voice acting is listening. Getting through life successfully is listening. Listen to the industry and to yourself. You may not like what you hear and if you don’t, change the music!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King Jr.

STUFF!: I had a BLAST at the New York VoxyLadies Mixer this past Sunday!!! The were many VO professionals there and I enjoyed hanging out with each and every one of them. I can’t wait to go to the next one!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…


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