Today’s post features voice and screen actor Rob Sciglimpaglia, who as a practicing attorney is widely recognized as the leading authority on legal issues in the voiceover industry. Rob will be sitting on my Ethics in Voiceover panel at VO Atlanta 2017!
JMC: In addition to being a voice actor, you’ve also had an extensive career as a screen actor. What’s the biggest difference between the two?
ROB: There really is no difference. Acting is Acting. Of course, the medium is different so people don’t see your expressions and movements on a voice over performance, however, if you make the same expressions and move the same as you would as if you were on camera, that will be conveyed in your VO performance as well. So I tend to approach on camera and VO the same and just perform, and do my best not to think too much.
JMC: What advice would you offer to people just getting started in VO?
ROB: Learn, Learn, and Learn! First, learn the CRAFT, and never stop learning it. Second learn the BUSINESS, including legal matters. Third, learn about yourself so you can market yourself properly.
JMC: Of course, you are also a lawyer and a well-known authority on legal matters surrounding voiceover. How often do you find yourself helping a talent with a legal issue?
ROB: I help talent of all types, vo artists, actors, and musicians, constantly. I would say it averages out to 1 a day. I help artists avoid getting into trouble with the law by setting up their businesses, contracts, trademarks, etc, from the beginning, and I also help those artists who are in trouble and need help collecting on their bills, or who have been sued, etc.
JMC: What’s the best piece of wisdom you could offer talent looking to avoid legal entanglements?
ROB: The major piece of advice I must give is to make yourself aware of the legal entanglements you can encounter in the VO business so that you can properly avoid them. Too many talents start out wrongfully saying “I can’t be sued in the VO business” and then inevitably end up with some type of legal issue.
JMC: You are a panelist on the Ethics in Voiceover panel at VO Atlanta. What does Ethics in Voiceover mean to you?
ROB: Ethics in VO means the same to me as ethics in any other profession. Law, for example, is subject to stringent ethical standards and if those ethics are breached, a lawyer can be subject to sanctions including losing their license to practice. Although there are no “licenses” needed to be a VO artist, I believe the same ethical standards should be followed because, in my opinion, that is what makes VO a profession versus a regular “job.”