Voiceovers And Assumptions – The Not Silent Blog 9/24/19

A while back I wrote a blog about managing expectations based on your assumptions. Today let’s talk about examining your assumptions.

People enter the voiceover industry with certain assumptions and manage their expectations accordingly. After achieving (or not achieving) certain types of success, their assumptions may evolve. Some assumptions are accurate. Others, not so much. Here are some examples…

  1. Some aspiring voice talent assume you have to be in the union to be a successful voice talent.

  2. Some union voice actors assume that if you are a non-union voice talent, you are unethical.

  3. Some voice actors assume their only way to get into the voiceover industry is to use Pay To play voiceover sites.

  4. Some veteran voice talents whose voiceover careers pre-date the advent of the Pay To Play business model assume that if you use Pay To Play voiceover sites to find work, you are unethical.

Assumptions like these are not restricted to the voiceover industry, but that’s a rabbit hole we may not be able to climb out of. 😉

In case you’re not aware, none of these assumptions are accurate. I’m just going to touch upon one of these assumptions to make my point. This is coming from someone who used Pay To Play sites successfully for a few years than abandoned them since I assumed they are unethical by definition. By definition they are not but by application they can be.

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There are assumptions and then there is reality. The reality is this. If you are a 20, 30, or even 40-something and you have to cast a voice talent for the first time when you know nothing about the voiceover industry, you are going to use Google. The first results page is festooned with P2P sites. You will click on some of them, do a little research, and be amazed at how quick & easy it is to cast a voice talent for your project. If you or I were outside of the voiceover industry and were in the same situation today we would do the exact same thing.

If you use P2P sites to start or further your voiceover career and screen your casting notices effectively, audition professionally, and bid ethically, you are not unethical. You are being realistic in 2019. It can be a facet of your voiceover business model, but don’t make the assumption that it should be the entirety of your business model. Auditioning on P2P sites will only get you so far. Representation and direct marketing are powerful tools that will give you access to some clients & projects that P2Ps will not.

My point is this. The voiceover industry has changed drastically in the past few years and some stances are no longer accurate or realistic. P2P sites and a proliferation of non-union voice talent are here to stay. Examine your assumptions before you get left behind, if you haven’t already…

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Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business & marketing consultant known as the VOStrategist and produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”.

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