This week marks the return of my “3-Things” segments, where I drop a few shorter thoughts about the voiceover industry than my usual stemwinders. Here we go!
#1 About Voiceover At-Bats
It’s all about at-bats. When you strip all the noise away, the only thing that matters in this business is at-bats. Talent and technical ability are prerequisites. If you don’t have those, you won’t even get to first base. But assuming you do, it’s all about the number of people who hear you each day.
Even the best voice actors have batting averages that are rarely better than .100, or one in ten. You’ll never get the hits you need to build a sustainable career if you don’t get enough at-bats. What’s the magic number? For some, it’s ten a day. For others, 20. For more than you might think, 30 or 40.
At bats are auditions or active marketing touches. This means people are either hearing your audition or your demo. If this happens less than 10-20 times a day, regardless of where you source your work, you likely will not get a lot of traction in voiceover, no matter how good you are.
#2 Playing by the Rules
Occasionally, we all have to swallow our pride to move our careers forward. If you get your back up every time someone patronizes you or makes you feel small but is still offering a seat at the table, you’ll lose out on chances to leapfrog the very person who may not be treating you all that fairly. Don’t accept insults or abuse, but understand that if you want to be alpha dog someday, you have to accept that sometimes just getting into the castle is worth the trouble of playing by someone else’s rules for a bit.
#3 About Voiceover Audio
Have a pro check your damn audio. And I don’t mean me. I mean George Whittam, Dan Lenard, Uncle Roy, Tim Tippets, Frank Verderosa, and various others…..(yes, all guys….drop some killer female engineers in the comments, please!) I’ve been casting a fair bit recently, and some of you who are pretty hot stuff as talent don’t realize that you are sending in B-minus audio or stuff that’s been edited to the point that I’m hearing pops between lines. It’s often a deal-breaker and almost always a tiebreaker.