I’m in the firm camp that the entertainment industry and it’s archaic ways are slowly eroding due to the speed of the Internet and that is a good thing, but there are caveats.
- VO work is like anything else, it’s a business and you have to treat yourself like a product. When you have that mindset, then you will look at what you’re doing differently.
- You can make it if you do a lot of work. Lots of it and most of it will be bad. A lots of people will quit because it’s a tough pill to swallow that they have to work beneath their talent, but it’s paying your dues. Pay them. It’s worth it.
- Know what you like. I’m selective of my gigs because I’m weird. I’m in my late 30s and I still play videogames, watch anime, read comics and manga on a DAILY BASIS. I do grown up gigs when paid to, but I prefer to put my heart in the mediums I love. I do work where my employers will get my best. Know what you love and lean on the door to get your shot.
- I am in the unpopular Fiverr camp; I think Fiverr, and its similar sites, are great for new VO artists to make contacts and get modestly paid. Fiverr and ACX are platforms to hone your contract negotiation, vocal skill and customer service. I participate on the site and I rarely do 5 dollar work that doesn’t last 10 minutes; I’m too expensive for cheapskates and we rarely cross paths. My typical rate is 200 an hour and my fiverr clientèle pay that because they know they are getting quality, prompt delivery and attention until they are pleased. You can see who some of my clients are via soundcloud.
- You can make it if you branch out and do things that others won’t. Many forget that Whoopi Goldberg was a phone sex operator and Chris Parsons, the voice of Gladiolus in Final Fantasy 15, got fired from Sony and answered a Craigslist ad. Yes, a Craigslist ad and he’s been working every since. Doing naughty books, weird commercials and other oddity projects will get you known if you’re good, on time and consistent.
- Lastly, you can make it if you don’t have a chip on shoulder or a huge ego. There is nothing wrong with firing clients if they are unreasonable, cheap or just hard to work with, but never have an attitude you’re too good for anything. Just do the work, keep the reel, do more work and stay hungry.
Good luck. I started doing VO work since 02.16 and I’m consistently working now. That’s under a year. If I can do it, then you certainly got this.