10 May Can I get Rich Quick in Voice Over?
I have a friend from HS who wants to get into Voice Over. She is a lovely person. I’ve known her since HS. And she is indeed, a very talented On-Camera actor.
She ordered my three videos to start herself out and then went quiet. My Instinct was that she might think she was going to head on into VO and make a ton of money super quickly. I didn’t say a word, but instead waited to see when she would reach out to me again. This morning, I got an email from her:
I’ve been meaning to tell you that my manager pitched me to (An Top Los Angeles VO Agent) but they passed. Since I don’t have a VO demo, they just checked out my regular reel. We took that chance instead of waiting cause I don’t have the cash to get the reel done right now. My manager seems to think that agents aren’t really taking on new clients if they’re not established or if they don’t have a unique sounding voice. She doesn’t want me to spend money if I don’t really have it because I may get the same answer with other agents. What are your thoughts?”
I stared at the screen knowing full well my initial instincts were correct. She thought that VO would be a Get a top LA agent and get rich quick thing with VO. To be honest, I felt a bit insulted as well. People think that VO is a get rich quickly thing. To be clear: That is hardly the case.
So – I thoughtfully composed an email to her that was pointed and truthful and when I finished the email – I realized that other people needed to see this dialogue as well because it will shed some light on the topic.
My response to her email:
Ahh – I was wondering what happened to you.
Ok – so I need to get real with you on this.
I WISH your manager never submitted you to VOX. Yet. If and when you eventually make a demo – she can resend. We can resend.
Managers who pitch to VO agents succeed when they have people who are A,B, or C-listers etc….not newcomers to the VO field.
Your manager is an on camera manager and doesn’t have a feel of the VO community – or I should say – VERY Limitedly.
The fact is – agents DO definitely listen to demos and they DO take on newcomers. All the time.
My students, who are newbies, get agents all the time. It’s the agents job, just like in the on camera world, for them to be open to newer talent.
If my (and other teachers/coaches) students Didn’t get agents or succeed – then I wouldn’t teach. It would be pointless and I would be taking peoples money without integrity.
You DO have a distinctive voice. You ARE unique.
The fact is – VO is NOT a get rich quick industry.
It WILL take a bunch of work on your part. And you CANNOT rely on your manager or even agents to make money in VO. Even if you have an incredible LA agent – and even if you ARE or were at The top of the field – you cannot rely on them to make money in VO. Me, being a testament to that. That ship has sailed a bunch of years ago, sadly.
It’s a LOT of hitting the ground hard. And having patience and fortitude. If it were a get rich quick thing, everyone would be doing it.
So that all said: If you want to get into ANY new industry, it does take some investment. Of time and money. And VO is a new industry for you. It is NOT on camera. It is a different animal all together. It will require you to work at it in order to make it a money making business for yourself.
It sounds as though you have a lot of other things going on (like we all do) – but to get anywhere with VO it will require you to focus on it like you would with anything else you want to succeed in. And trust your coach. 😉
It is definitely NOT a matter of throwing together a demo and crossing fingers and hoping for the best. That VO world, like I mentioned, doesn’t exist anymore. So the question is- are you truly up for taking that on.
So those are my thoughts.
My instinct is that you probably have too much going on and maybe can’t truly focus on it because of all the other things you’re juggling to make money etc. But I could be wrong.
In any case – Keep me posted.
So there it is. The truth about VO and how All Full time professional VO actors that I know in the industry truly feel.