Welcome to the first installment of VO Nuggets: Short blog posts designed to take a quick look at an issue of the day in our industry.
We keep being told that the market is overrun with talent, and that competition is fiercer than ever before. However, I find it remarkable how the top-tier performers I know, (and I don’t just mean A-list talent who have already “made it,” but simply folks who can genuinely voice their butts off, wherever they may be in their career,) continue to consistently book and command fair market rates for their work.
That leads me to a simple conclusion: If you are really, really good at this, and you are also an astute businessperson, you WILL work, and you CAN demand what you are worth.
If you despair because you feel like you are going up against the rampaging hordes for every job, remember that the cream rises to the top, and if you’ve put in the work to stand out, you will ultimately find success.
What this also means is that it is time to tone down the sniping, shaming, and snark on social media. Debates over fair pay are fine, and I’m a big advocate for demanding what you are worth, but when we operate from a place of fear, and wind up at each others’ throats, we are playing right into the hands of those who would divide and commoditize us. I implore you to lift up and support your fellow talent, even when they make mistakes or sell themselves short. Engage in reasoned and civil argument, and educate no matter how long it takes. You never know when someone who is clinging to a wrong position publicly out of pride might actually be changing their actions privately because of your words. Name calling and anger, however, will only make those who believe different than you dig in deeper.
We should celebrate each others’ victories and successes, and recognize that for excellent talent, there is far more demand than supply. I’m thrilled when I see a colleague post a job they have booked that I also auditioned for. It doesn’t mean they “beat” me….it simply means that they were the right voice for the job, and I wasn’t. Next time, it might be my turn.
If you have the skill set, the technical ability, and the business sense, you won’t go hungry. This is what it means to approach the industry from a perspective of abundance, and not of scarcity.