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Voiceovers and Red-Headed Stepchildren – The GKN Weekly Update 8/18/15

Voice talents are the red-headed stepchildren of the media & entertainment industry.


And we’re angry!

Think about it

Most of the technology we use are a bunch of stretched out sweater hand-me-downs. With a few exceptions (Twisted Wave, Harlan Hogan’s Porta-Booth, and a precious few others), almost none of the microphones, headphones, or software is designed specifically for voice talents.

The rate structure only gives us leftovers, and we have to eat that over the kitchen sink! Have you ever gone to the SAG/AFTRA website to figure out how much to charge for a voiceover gig? It’s like a bad day at the DMV.

And to ensure we get a super-atomic wedgie and stuffed into our own locker, you can go to four different websites and get five different rate suggestions for the same project. How much should you charge to narrate a 15-second local radio commercial, not including tags?

  1. Voice123 Rate Card – $107.00

  2. Rate Card – $200.00

  3. Edge Studio Rate Card – $50 to $200

  4. Voice Over Resource Guide – $278.60

No glass slipper for us.


How do you navigate an industry that has no college major, no technology base, no universally agreed-upon rate structure, and an obtuse union?

Let’s hear what our fellow red-headed stepchildren have to say…

Liz DeNesnera says, “You make sure that you are providing a product/service that your clients & the market continue to buy. You remain professional in all your dealings (this includes providing said service at a rate you and your client can agree upon), learn from those who have gone before you and help those on their way up as best you can.

Karen Souer says, “Seek your experts. Vet your experts. Always evaluate and re-evaluate what you’re doing-comfortable paths will get you left behind. Have an open mind, value yourself, value your product, and aggressively seek to make it better.”

Laurel Thomas says, “In an unstable world such as this, look at your opportunity in it as “blazing a trail” for all those who come after you. If you are setting the standards, so to speak, how do you want the industry to look and feel like? Is it professional or desperate? Is it high-level or low-brow? Are your rates applicable to the work or are they an insult? Act like you are the first one to be in this business and think about how you would want to be remembered as having started it all.”


Happy Lemonade Day and Be An Angel Day! Kinda lines up with the Quote of the Week, ay?

From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…

Tom Dheere is a 19-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.


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