The thing the coaches, agents, clients often don’t tell you ,or stress, are often as numerous as the things they do share. And it’s not intentional. They’ve just been in the industry for so long it never occurs to them you might just not be aware of some sobering facts, they long have accepted as the way of the world. Other VO’s might hint at it but no one wants to dwell on the nuts and bolts of what really goes on while pursuing that next gig. Reality can suck as easily as landing the jackpot.
So, I’m going to share those unspoken facts about the reality of VO, particularly for fresh talents jumping into the competitive pool. First, take any VO promo coach you find on social media with a grain of salt. Many professional VO’s have to pay the bills by also coaching. They depend on the wannabes who will drop out after a couple of weeks or months, so they often don’t bother with sincere and extensive mentoring It’s just not their thing. So many aspiring voice actors, drop out for all kinds of reasons but are happy with their investment in an introductory class. But the point is these VOs have to sell you a class as a side gig to keep their primary career thieving. One intro class will not make you marketable or competitive so DO NOT waste money on a class that promises a “pro demo” at the end of a workshop. few Even if its with the best coach on the planet!
Be prepared to make a MAJOR financial investment in your dream of a VO career. $10,000 is not unrealistic! Think of it as enrolling in school for a college degree that will probably mean a few years of sweat equity as well. Since I chose to do this as a second career and didn’t want to fall into every rut in the road, I researched the best VOs and instructors out there. They run $150 an hr and up because they are the best and really don’t have to coach. Their career and reputation are made. They don’t care about stroking anyone’s ego. That’s why you get objective and honest feedback and excellent training.
What I also decided to do was hire help with developing my “brand” logo, website and marketing. This turned our to be crucial. It brought me a manager, several agents, and a webmaster. This was worth every penny. Unless you have talent and experience in this area, don’t wing it. With all this being said, I’m assuming you have the talent. If not, you might rethink this being a viable line of work for you. however, determination and stubbornness can move mountains eventually, but so can spending money wisely.
It all comes down to this: Even a misfit and late bloomer will succeed if you follow these simple rules of what not to do!
- Don’t plan on having a life while you are getting started. Plan on friends and family assuming you’ve moved away .
- Don’t expect to get rich. At least you wont have any taxes to worry about.
- Don’t quit your day job. You’ll end up homeless and recording in your car.
- Don’t stop coaching. You don’t know what you don’t know.
- Don’t stop marketing. Same as above, you don’t know who you don’t know.
- Don’t assume this is a part time job for a little extra money. It’s a full time job for no pay.
- DON’T take shortcuts. the industry will laugh at you!
Now, don’t you feel inspired?