First of all, thanks for taking the time to check out my website and my very first blog! My name is Brandon Pollock, hence the BP part of BPvoiceovers.com, and I am so glad you’re here.
The reason I made sure to add the word “Pro” in the title of the blog is that there is a big distinction between a “Pro” and someone who is not. Now, this is not to look down on anyone at all. Heck, I would only consider myself a “Pro” in the last year or so and I’ve been chiseling away at this dream of voice acting full-time for the last 10 years. The most glaring difference can be heard when you’re surfing through the casting sites online (such as Voice123.com, Voices.com, or my very least favorite, Fiver) and listen to random demos. You’ll hear a demo and it’s a clip of them reading on their phone (eesh). Then you have others, like me for years, who use whatever limited equipment they have at their disposal but it’s not exactly pristine audio, but it’ll do….
Again, I am not looking down and I admire them for having a dream or an idea and chasing after it. Putting rubber to the road and putting yourself out there takes courage and I think it’s awesome! That’s exactly what I did, I just had the privilege of starting my voice acting career after having an established career in the audio industry already. Luckily, I was able to skip the recording on the iPhone step and had the minimum equipment to get started. I still sounded like complete garbage compared to the “Pros.” You only know what you know and I can not fault anyone for trying. I only bring it up to help you bypass the wasted time of searching for talent in the wrong places. At the very least, help so you know what to look for and how to find the right talent if you’re utilizing those sites.
Where to start:
Here! Ok, I’m being somewhat sarcastic but in all honesty, I’m happy to help you on this journey in any way possible. Even if you hate my voice specifically, I’m sure one of my colleagues will blow your socks off and I’d be happy to help you find the right voice!
1 – Define Your Project
That means that every detail, or as much as possible, is already figured out before you go to casting. This will help you in the long run, trust me. You’ll know the type of project but let’s say it’s a commercial for example. Is it for broadcast or non-broadcast? If broadcast, what type? Radio, TV, or digital broadcast? How long will it run? In what markets? How many spots and the length of spots?
I know, I feel anxious just writing it out. However, it’s important to know each answer because each one changes the total dollar amount of the project. There is specific information we have to know before a job can be properly quoted. I think it’s best if you are aware of everything that will have an effect on your budget.
2 – Define Your Rate
The Global Voice Acting Academy rate guide is a wonderful resource I use to quote all of my jobs and suggest anyone who works in or around the industry to become familiar with it. I also point all of my clients there after sending an estimate so they are aware of the industry standards and can see I’m not just pulling numbers out of a hat. Which I blindly did for many years until a mentor pointed me to it.
The rate guide breaks everything down for you and will keep you from spitting your coffee out when you get a quote from a “Pro.” With that said, you’re free to create your own budget and seek to find a talent that will do it for whatever number you think is fair. There will be a fair amount of talented folks who will jump at the bit and will do a decent job for you. Heck, you can go to sites like the aforementioned Fiver and save a bunch of money. The choice is yours, but if you intend to get the best, so you can produce your best for a client that expects the best, I’d be willing to pay.
I completely understand that every project and every client has a bottom line and a budget to keep in mind. Sometimes, it is what it is but you still need to get a voiceover recorded ASAP. That’s when it’s good to have a go-to voice talent that you have a good working relationship with and can say “here’s the deal.” I, along with 99% of my colleagues will happily assist. However, the standard expectation must always be compared to and align with the rate guide.
So, know all the details and cross-reference them to the rate guide to define your rate.
3 – Find Your Talent
There are so many different ways to find voice talents now that it can be overwhelming. I know it first hand from my days as a producer. For anyone who hasn’t searched “Modeling/Acting/Voiceover Agencies in (city)” you would be surprised by how many are right around you. It’s a wild world full of incredibly talented people but finding the ONE person that’s perfect for your project is worthy of a thorough search. That’s probably the main reason casting sites have become such a popular way to find talent.
However, NOTHING will beat the customer service of your LOCAL recording studio! Seriously, this should be the very first google search you make. If you’re lucky enough to have a local studio, get to know the amazing people who work there. Most will have their own talent roster of vetted pros that they work with and will handle everything from top to bottom! I’m so fortunate to have Groundcrew Sound here in Charlotte. They are not only the best in the area but are one of the premier studios in the industry. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for them, their classes, and mentorship along the way.
If you don’t have a studio nearby, see if you do have a voiceover agency near you. Like I said before, there are more than you think.
You can also give the online casting sites a try and post a job to receive auditions from different talents who pay to have a profile on the website. The best ones to use are Voiceovers.com, Castvoices.com, and Voice123.com, and in that order. Voiceovers.com has an application process so each talent awarded a profile has been vetted. Castvoices.com was created by voice actors and is a wonderful service I’d love to see gain some more attention. There are other sites you can use and there are pros and cons with each one. Be prepared that when you venture into the world of algorithms and P2P (pay to play), it’s difficult to know what you’re really going to get. Both in the audition and session/recording process.
As I mentioned, I’m here to help in any way you need along this journey. I’d be happy to be your “go-to” talent when you’re in a pinch or just need to be pointed in the right direction. You can reach out to me personally – My number is 704-458-5644 and my email is Brandon@bpvoiceovers.com.
Click the link to listen to my latest demos and to learn more about my career in Voiceovers.
Have a question? Need a quote? Want a custom audition? Click the link and shoot me an email. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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