Voice Over Agents Offer Clients Tips
Voice over artists trying to break into the industry and seasoned veterans alike can gain much from representation by voice over agents. The experience and insider industry knowledge they are able to share is invaluable to the artists they represent.
Tips from an industry professional
No matter the level of experience you may have in the field of voice overs, there is always something that you can learn. Below is some advice from one who is involved in various facets of the industry.
- Never give a dull read. Remain upbeat, energized and responsive.
- Make sure that your slate reflects the tone of the read. If your slate is bouncy and cheerful and the audition itself requires a more somber tone, the transition will be too jarring and sound odd to your audience.
- Always follow the directions. Agents always include the vital information that is required for a successful reading, but it is up to the talent to take heed of it. Don’t lose a job simply for failing to read and follow the instructions.
- Prepare. If the service or product is unfamiliar to you, remember that Google is your friend. A quick search can clarify any uncertainties. If the pronunciation is unclear, call the number on the website and ask how their business or name is pronounced. There is no need to identify who you are and why you are asking. It could make the difference between being hired and being passed over for the voice over job.
- Show initiative by submitting auditions before the due date. Faster turnarounds are usually rewarded by additional work from agents, as they recognize your eagerness for new opportunities. Many clients make decisions early on in the audition process, so waiting until the final day can cost you the job.
- Be willing to take a chance. Expand your skill set by submitting tapes for voice over jobs that may be somewhat of a stretch for you. Even if you don’t get the job, you will gain experience that can be useful for you at future auditions.
- Even for short auditions, it is a good idea to offer three takes on a single slate. This both demonstrates your versatility and gives the client several options from which to choose.
Make the most of your opportunities
One of the most important benefits of being represented by an agent is that you will be privy to more voice over audition opportunities. Whether you are looking for a variety of different opportunities or prefer to focus solely on one type of reading, your agent can filter potential jobs and send qualifying ones your way. This can help you target specific markets without wasting your time doing auditions for jobs in which you have no interest or aptitude.
Your agent can also help you capitalize on your voice over strengths, as well as identify areas where you are weak so that you can improve your overall performance at auditions.
What about joining the performer’s union?
At some point in their careers, all voice over actors face the question of whether or not to join SAG-AFTRA. As with most decisions, the individual’s specific circumstances should be taken into consideration. The first thing to do is understand that joining the union means you no longer are able to accept nonunion jobs.
For a seasoned voice over actor, this might not be that big of a deal. Chances are good that someone who has already established themselves in the industry has a fairly steady revenue stream generated from leads from past jobs. Joining the union at this juncture of one’s career can be an investment in a successful future of voice over work. The pay scale is higher for union jobs, and artists are often paid residuals.
However, newcomers with few or no jobs under their professional belt might be better served with delaying their union membership. An inexperienced voice over artist will be in competition with experienced talent with contacts and established leads, and clients prefer experienced artists every time.
Nonunion artists with demonstrable skills and/or natural talent should have few problems finding agents willing to take them on as clients. Agents understand that everyone has to begin somewhere. As your experience grows, so should the opportunities you are offered. If your agent isn’t sending jobs your way, it is time to either re-evaluate your career choice or find a new agent who will promote your abilities effectively.
Additional voice over resources
It is always a good idea to take a few classes in the industry. Even voice over actors with experience can brush up on their skills and learn new techniques to further their careers. Whether it is a weekend seminar or a class that meets a couple times a week for a few months, there are always ways for an old dog to learn new voice over tricks. Your agent is a good source of information for the availability of informative classes that are worth taking. He or she can also recommend some coaches in your area that can work with you one-on-one to develop or refine your voice over skills and improve your chances of getting some well-paying job opportunities.
What to look for in a voice over agent
Give a wide berth to agents who charge you in advance for representation. You should not have to pay their marketing fees or to produce a demo, although all serious voice over artists should have a demo available. Your agent will be paid a commission for each job that you do. Depending on the market, the agent and your level of success in the industry, their fee is usually between 10 and 15 percent.
Voice over talent should seek agents with thorough marketing experience so they can saturate the market with your demo and get you the maximum number of potential auditions. Agents should be established enough that it is clear they are not a fly-by-night operation, yet hungry enough to be willing to put in the work that promotes their talent.
If you are serious about securing representation in the voice over industry in south Texas, PB Talent could be your niche.