An objective blog about beliefs surrounding online casting that deserve some mythbusting
With website casting an official part of the voiceover industry, combined with open and social discussions about the voiceover business, it can be very easy to believe the first thing you read that validates an emotional opinion.
And that would be your first mistake: “You allowed yourself to be convinced of something based on your own words being fed back to you’. In an age of data science, following the X’s and O’s in the playbook just does not cut it.
Today, we would like to mythbust today about online casting. Admittedly, some of these apply to Realtime Casting. This information was collected in a scientific manner over the course of the last 10 years.
MYTH #1: “Clients post jobs on multiple websites to find the cheapest talent and get more reads!”
Busting it: It did happen years back in growth stages of websites. Everyone saw it, but it was more common when there were fewer casting sites. Now there are hundreds of casting sites, often with the same talent on them, with little or no value to any client attempting to create the illusion of value. So…Oddly, you are more likely to see jobs on multiple websites for the following reasons:
- One website taking work from another site and presenting it as their own.
Why does this happen? Simply put, you are not the only person fighting for clients, but more so:
- To create the illusion of job activity
- To on-board & guerrilla market new clients to see their own website
- Clients forget where the talent came from online, then finds them on multiple websites
- Website limitations #1: The website was difficult to use. (Did you know the main reason for multiple profiles on websites is simply because of lost passwords?)
- Talent doing casting for others because they know how to use websites to find talent faster.
How do you know when this happens? One website will have an amazingly detailed request and the “other” will have almost a “residual request” missing details, and maybe having a changed job title. When you belong to two or more websites, you have to investigate. If you do see it happen, tell the website’s support staff and let them know. It helps!
Special Note: If you ever see a Realtime Casting job on other casting sites, please let us know. Our clients are unique. If our jobs appear on other websites under different job titles, you can trust it was copied and pasted onto another site.
MYTH #2: “Casting websites should be free to use.”
In some way, shape, or form, everyone pays for something. You have to do the math to see if what you are paying for offers you “value”. Websites know that perceived value is very easy to create, if you are telling people what they want to hear, while the policies of the website disguise the fact you are paying more.
Why is no casting website truly “free”? For web developers (an average median salary of $62,500/yr), support staff, and marketing to be paid for through commission of job, the commission has to be very high, meaning the voice talent is paid less than they would have been had they just paid one price. As much as some don’t want them to be, the necessary ingredients for having a working website involve having a staff to sustain its momentum.
Why don’t ads and banners work for casting sites? Because it conflicts with the purpose of the casting website; to get voice talent work, and not sales on outside services. Casting websites sell “vendors” ie. the voice talent, and they are not in place to sell anything but that for as long as the talent pays to use the site. To date, there has been no “free to audition” website that has not involved the talent paying for it somehow. Don’t let websites take for granted the fact that most artists hate math.
MYTH #3: “Websites are driving the industry into the ground.”
Busting it: Websites do not drive industries into the ground. The created policies and intentions of websites that seek to change something about the industry, and the adaption of these policies, will drive an industry into the ground. Thinking in forms of “template reasoning” leaves out details and facts that get to the root of the problem.
To simply use the reasoning, “If a casting takes place on a website, therefore it is bad for the industry”, dismisses the questions “Why?”, “Who?”, and “How?”, the three most important questions people should be asking before using a website. You have got to investigate and understand the intentions as much as the policies; the real intentions, not just a marketing slogan that identifies with people’s needs.
What is stereotypically bad for any industry is when its key players decide not to adapt to changing times or add their influence to the changing trends. Everyone in any form of entertainment knows the necessity to reinvent oneself every 5 – 7 years, when it appears something has changed in the way people work.
Myth #4: “I have a right to know what clients think of my auditions.”
Busting it: Unfortunately, clients may disagree as they may believe they have a right to a personal opinion because they decided not to hire you. Their idea of “reciprocation” may be very different.
This belief in feedback was definitely a “web created” ideal spawned from the lack of trust in websites, and lack of face-to-face reassurance. When we auditioned in person, and were not hired, no one expected feedback. Finding out anything usually leads to more unanswered questions that could simply be summed up with a client thinking, “I don’t know. I just liked that one.”
Most importantly, online feedback is on its way out because it cannot be trusted as a vetting process or a representation of how a person performed. Just like history has taught every person who performs: Reassurance or feedback that can be considered “helpful” will only come from support groups and/or classes in the same business. Maybe this has been forgotten in the transition to working online.
The belief that someone has a right to know another client’s opinion on an audition could very well be a destructive belief, both in that the client’s opinion cannot always be trusted as “the opinions of the masses”, or as is the case online, that an opinion extorted through technology is going to be truthful.
The staff at Realtime Casting has an abundance of experience. If you ever have a concern you would like addressed in a blog, please write us!
“Honesty and loyalty are key. If two people can be honest with each other about everything, that’s probably the biggest key to success. – Taylor Lautner”