Recently, I heard from a fellow voice actor who expressed frustration with one of the “pay-to-play” voiceover sites. She (let’s call her Jan)told me that she had recently subscribed to the site, but hadn’t won any auditions yet. Jan wondered if I had any tips on how to win a gig; she also wondered if it is just a “numbers game” or is it that certain people are hired for most of the jobs?
Here is what I told Jan. First, let me say that it didn't happen right away for me either. I had been getting most of my voiceover jobs locally or regionally up until late 2006. Then, a friend suggested I join the online sites to increase my business.
I started with two of them in January 2007, and didn't get my first job until May. When I won that first one, I went back and studied what I had written in that proposal, and how I produced the audition.
Then, I started browsing other talents' pages and I listened to their demos. I "borrowed" several ideas from the people who seemed to be most successful on the site, and the more I polished my audition process, the more jobs I booked.
I definitely do not believe that it is a numbers game. I have often heard others say that you shouldn't audition if there are already over 25 or 50 auditions submitted. Baloney. More than once, I have had a client say, "We listened to over 180 auditions, and you were the best of them" or something like that. Point is, if you feel you are right for the gig, you owe it to yourself to audition - no matter what that number says.
Also, download some of the demos of the top players, and compare them to your demos. Are they comparable to your demos? Get a friend to listen, and get unbiased opinions. Demand honesty. Flattery will truly get YOU nowhere.
Just hang in there, Jan. It will happen. Case in point, another VO friend of mine hasn't scored a job on the “pay-to-plays” since he signed up a year ago. So he started examining things more closely. Not to pat myself on the back (but don't mind if I do - heh-heh), I directed him and produced 3 new demos for him. A couple of weeks ago, he got his first job, and it may go national! Also, he has been in contact with someone who may use him in movie trailers. Pretty cool to see someone make so much progress in such a short amount of time - but only after he struggled for a year.
Again, ignore the numbers and the naysayers. You can do this, and you've got to go through some minefields to win the battle!
Here’s to Jan’s future in the VO world!