I received a note today from a friend named Dick. Here are the salient comments:
Just wanted to let you know Iâ€™m starting to get a little business. Voice123.com has produced two projects so far, and Iâ€™ve done a corporate narration for GlaxoSmithKline. Also doing some pro bono radio spots for a local Christian schoolâ€™s basketball team. Iâ€™ve been signed on to the roster of an audiobook publisher in England for when they need an American voice, but no actual work yet from them. Theyâ€™ve said I should be seeing something early next year.
And my reply, picking up on a memory sparked by the “very good idea” I noticed in Dick’s comments:
The pro bono work is a good idea. There’s a young lady in Pittsburgh named Kelly who did some pro bono voice-overs for our station for about a year, just to gain some “real world” experience. She is now a busy and well paid female talent in Western Pennsylvania. The experience you’re gaining can only stand you in good stead going forward.
Yes, if you’re just getting started in voice-over work, and you can find a radio station that will help you gain real experience, that’s a very good idea. Indeed, were I in that situation today, I would listen to the various local radio stations and pick the one that’s doing the best local production and volunteer there.
Two reasons: because they almost certainly need more decently talented voices because of the amount of work they have to do and because the direction you get will more likely be the kind that you need. Gaining experience doing cheezy, crummy voice-overs is worse than no experience at all.