The other day as I was looking through my server logs and noticed I was getting some traffic from a site I hadn’t seen before so I clicked over to check it out. The site was Clark W. Michael’s. So, I wrote him a quick note of thanks for the link, and to let him know I’d added him to my voiceover blogroll.
His response to that email prompted some correspondence I thought useful enough to share, so I asked Clark’s permission, which he has graciously granted, to post here.
Thanks for the link back. Appreciate it. I usually take a look at your blog about every morning and find it helpful and enjoy the friendly tone of your site.
Thank you. I’m delighted to know you’re enjoying the site. I’m happy to take a few minutes to try to answer your questions. You’ve made some important observations, to which I’ll respond in a moment; but first a couple of concrete suggestions:
1. Join the VO-BB.com. Lurk. Read the archives (I’ve read all of them, which took a long time, but was worth every hour it took.) Lurk some more. Post some questions when you feel like you’re ready. Post some answers when you have them. It’s a great on-line community and you’ll be glad you’re a part.
2. If you can possibly work out the schedule and finances, join us in Las Vegas at the end of March at the V.O.I.C.E. conference. It’s going to be an incredible time of learning, meeting loads of other people at all kinds of difference stages of their career, etc.
I’ve put the responses to your questions below, in among your questions. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’ll do my best to answer.
I’m a radio guy and just beginning the arduous process of seeking voice work. Not easy at all. I’ve got a lot to learn and have come to the conclusion that I need to get on the phone and solicit work if I’m going to find any.
Work rarely falls into our laps with gift-wrap and a bow. While I’ve had that happen a few times, it’s usually the result of relationship that have been built over a long period of time; and not just some random event. But, before you start making phone calls looking for work you need: 1.) training (as you note above, there’s a lot to learn); 2.) a great demo for each category of voiceover work you’re trying to find (imaging, promo, commercial, narration, etc.); 3. a plan for how your not only going to “put yourself out there” but how you’re going to keep track of what’s working and what’s not working in your marketing plan. (Without this plan, and the ability to track and compare, you’ll never know where to concentrate greater resources and what to leave behind.)
I have an account with Voices.com, but that has proved rather fruitless.
My experience with Voice123.com and Voices.com has gone like this: I get cast about 4 times as often through Voice123.com as I do through Voices.com and most of my work through Voices.com has come as a result of direct contacts while my work through Voice123.com has mostly come through auditioning. But, I have a good friend for whom almost the exact opposite is true. Most of his work has come through Voices.com and little through Voice123.com. There’s no magic formula. When you audition, you do the very best work you can, send it, and forget it. Maybe every 3 months, you do a little comparison to see what’s working and what’s not (see my note above about planning, tracking and comparing); but I look at my membership fees at these sites as exactly what they are: advertising dollars. I spend it for the the doors of opportunity it opens, not for guaranteed work.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that radio and voice over are almost two different worlds.
You’ve just said a mouthful!
One would not assume that until investigating what it is you guys do to make a living. Hard work. Lots of rejection. I would guess most of the time you never hear back from the people for which you audition. That’s certainly true for me.
Correct. I rarely hear back from auditions, unless I’m cast. Of course, that’s what you want to hear!
I admire your tenacity and am realizing that that seems to be the key character trait necessary to find steady work.
Without persistence, you’ll give up. No one ever won anything by giving up. No one ever succeeded at anything by giving up.
I image you’re quite busy doing what you do, but if you have time — I’d sure appreciate any hints you can offer to steer me in a productive voice over direction.
See points #1 and #2 above.