A blog about the basic things voice actors should never forget when working online
Voice Actors Working Online
Given the way online casting started many years ago, quite often those who work in the offline arena instantly dismiss online work as being “unprofessional”. If it is on a website, it must be “one of those jobs”. Right?
Wrong. You may even deal with people who tell you things like, “It is unprofessional to have to pay to use a website to find voice-over jobs”. Voice talent, out of loyalty to others, may listen to such advice that may or may not be helpful to the voice actors career.
What voice actors should never forget
What voice actors should never forget is that the online industry, just like offline, is still an industry of “people” working with “tools” to submit recordings.
When you deal with people, tools, and a process for submitting it, but then suddenly something breaks down in the process, it is up to people to make sure it gets fixed. Just this last weekend, we experienced such a thing when a server for Realtime Casting literally blew up. (pics below)
Maybe we had a bit of philosophical moment, but if you did not know, working for a website can be a bit like working in a firehouse. When something blows up and the alarm goes off, there are no poles to slide down or trucks to drive. Instead, there are people with mobile devices dropping everything they are doing, leaving the dinner table, or running off to make sure it gets fixed and work is not interrupted. There is making sure there is no loss of work. These very same “people” happen to be in the voice-over industry and we know the people we are helping because the industry is small. Is this a new way to work? Yes. Unprofessional? Doubt it, seriously.
Back to the point, what voice actors should never forget is how every person who seeks to improve an industry does so with the same professional belief system of those who choose to say, “It is not professional to work online”. What voice actors should never forget is that someone who appears to be against your choices may simply be thinking of their own agenda, but it does not make them an expert on a topic.
What voice actors should never forget are the people behind a website. Voice actors should never forget the need to adapt to new technology as well, and why adaptation need not mean “low pay”. For example, Realtime Casting only posts Union work.
Why Voice Actors Should Never Forget
In a time where all information is shared online so freely, and advice is easy to come by, it is easy to get lost in the belief that all you have to do is listen to your friends and stay loyal to the people you want to work with most.
We live in a time where we are faced with a daily assault of blogs, advice, and questions never heard before in the voice-over industry. We seem to believe we know everything. We all know from Google searches just “what should be done”, but not “how to do it.” Voice actors are faced with confusing questions never heard before:
a. Should I pay to be on a website?
b. Should I get involved in social media?
c. Who do I trust will offer me the best work?
d. Who can I trust to give me selfless, honest advice?
We need to remember that “people” are behind the process of getting voice-over work online. In order to make this a tangible business, and not just some code thrown together with great marketing, we need to remember the “people” because the best work online comes from “people” with experience in the offline industry, first. If we sense certain people offline are failing us in any manner, believing it is a website issue is a dismissive way of choosing not to examine what really happened. Focusing on the people behind “what and why” lets us know, “I should work with these [certain people]”.
Knowing who to trust?
Voice actors have a challenge ahead of them in the 21st century of voice-over work: They must discover a way to know ‘who to trust’.
Trusting someone based on a website appearance is not enough because servers can…well…blow up. Trusting “people” and how seriously they take the challenges facing their website and the voice-over industry? Trusting people who love the industry you want to be a part of, and have a career in? This is a proper investment. A poor investment is believing something someone says because they heard it from someone else.
Today’s voice-over industry is about working “smarter”. Advice from people, who do not have your best career advancements in mind, is a way to hurt your career by being loyal to poor advice and ill-informed professionals who do not know what you deal with.
Footnote: We apologize for the server outage this weekend. WOW!