The world today faces its greatest challenge in perhaps many generations. The virus known as COVID-19 has shut down public life across the globe, and will have untold impacts on every facet of society. Lives will be lost. Loved ones will be mourned. For many, much will change.
I am not a doctor, a nurse, an EMT, a home healthcare worker, a staffer at a nursing home, or any of the other millions of heroes who are about to emerge from this tragic fight. These people, including my sister, an MD in Sydney, Australia, will be waging the war on our behalf. They will see things that we will be spared. They will suffer in ways we will not. And, more than likely, they will fall victim to this scourge more than any of us comfortably sheltered in whatever place we find ourselves.
We can all find ways to help them, volunteer in support roles when called upon, and consider the needs of the many over the needs of the few. For the moment, when it comes to COVID-19 and voiceover, the best thing we can do is to listen to the scientists who know best and follow their advice.
As a voice actor, even one with a platform from which to speak, I cannot do much to help. But, in this uncertain and frightful time, I find myself unable to sit still and do nothing. So the best I can offer is guidance for my colleagues on how to protect your business from the imminent changes to come.
Over the years I have always talked about the importance of thinking ahead, usually by a period of some years. Right now, the coming months are a critical time for most of us who pursue this profession. Humanity will prevail over this disease. Life will return to normal. Yet for a while, it will not.
In the next several months, there will still be money spent on voiceover. Our profession, at its core, is not at risk. However, if you do not anticipate the coming changes, your personal voiceover business may be.
COVID-19 and Voiceover
For perhaps as long as the rest of 2020, all learning will be E-Learning. Academic. Corporate. Institutional. Governmental. Some classes and seminars will be held online, but many will be shifted to classic E-Learning models. E-learning companies, already part of a rapidly growing industry, will see unprecedented growth. E-Learning voiceover will follow.
Medical Narration, which informs both educational and corporate, will witness demand on a previously inconceivable level. Every public and private entity in the entire world will be creating content regarding the outbreak, whether to educate, inform, promote products and innovations, avoid liability, or for countless other reasons. Medical narrators will be the most in-demand voice actors for the next year.
Commercial voiceover will change. Those of you who have been patiently waiting for the return of the middle-aged, polished, authoritative, and reassuring read; This is your moment. Whether advertising contactless delivery services or other creations of the COVID-19 world, the dawn of a new age of products requiring warm mature voices is upon us.
Corporate and Industrial Narration may take a temporary hit, but as companies find their footing they will be developing new processes and platforms for navigating a changing social and business dynamic, and they too will continue to need us.
Politics, sadly, will remain contentious, and even now commercials invoking the crisis are in production, filled with the standard styles of political VO.
If you rely on a sector of the industry likely to be heavily impacted by interruptions to on-camera work, live events, and places where people congregate, RIGHT NOW is the time to pivot to where the work will be going.
Our industry is as old as the first recorded audio. It never disappears. It never dies. It simply adapts, changes, and moves on.
Our heroes are out there, protecting us. Now it is time for us to protect our families and our livelihoods. Look ahead. See what is coming regarding COVID-19 and voiceover. And you will continue to thrive.
May we all stay safe, healthy, and united as we move forward into this new era.