My weather metophors are pretty lame, but after some later summer doldrums, there seems to be some sort of shift in the business climate. New contacts, regular contacts, old contacts – all are surfacing with interesting work.
And on the P2P site that gives you a inkling of if your audition has actually been listened to and if they liked what they heard (presuming the client submits that information), my Considerings and Likelys are outnumbering my Not Likelys. Of course the majority of the auditions don’t have any ranking, but in the grand scheme of things, it appears to be moving from cloudy to partly sunny.
But as regular work increases, it is hard to carve out the time to jump on the auditions before they are either closed (Voice123) or a 100 or so people have already auditioned (Voices.com).
Some of my producer friends/contacts have also been doing the “happy dance” – which is great news, because that means that they might need voice over talent at some point.
So, here’s to continued improved weather patterns – may we be moving now from partly sunny to mostly sunny!
P2P is here to stay. Well, it’s here now and is such a “new” reality that no one really knows where it will evolve. But as with anything new, there are lots of growing pains – for everyone involved.
I’ve linked to the Double Dutch Blog before (Paul Strikwerda) because he pretty much always has something interesting to say and the past few days he has been blogging about P2P sites – low balling rates, etc.
One question that he has been asked prompts me to respond here. Here is the question - “How about the unions? Isn’t it their job to deal with remuneration? If you’re so unhappy with the current rates or the lowballing bidders, why not join AFTRA?”
Simple answer? Yes, the unions have established scale rates if you are so lucky as to get a job under a union contract. However, AFTRA has never been able to get you work. That is up to you.
If you join AFTRA and there are no signatories to work for you earn NOTHING. AFTRA will suggest that you wait tables to make ends meet. Even if there are signatories and union castings, we are performers – in a very subjective business. We are not carpenters who can stand in line at the union hall and get the next job.
Times are tough – I had a retail client a few months back ask me to roll back my prices a bit. This is a long time regular monthly client, so I agreed to a temporary roll back. I’ve lost a few jobs recently because my prices were too high. Am I tempted to cut my rates? Yes. Will I? That depends on the job. If I do, does that mean that the cut is then permanent? Hard to know the answer to that isn’t it and probably the primary reason that I usually say no to a lower rate.
Everyone is sensative to the economy right now. Even some agents are apologizing for lower than normal rates when asking for auditions. While I don’t know this for a fact (and if someone does, please chime in one way or the other), I would imagine that most of the “almost” stars – the over-scale actors – are finding that the rates they are being offered is not quite as good as it once was.
I am where I am today (making a living as a voiceover talent) by having a wide variety of sounds and doing a wide variety of projects. But I am not where I want to be – which is spending far less time working, marketing, bookkeeping, etc. What will get to me to where I want to be (making a much BETTER living as a voiceover talent so that I have more time) is focusing on the “real” me.
Kevin Delaney – Voiceover Ninja - writes about this often and has created a new blog called The Wealthy Bohemian that is even more focused on the topic of wealth building by using all the tools of today (the Internet, Social Networking, email).
And then, the other day my friend Bob Souer discussed this same general concept on his blog with lots of great links. (This linking thing is part of Kevin’s plan for world domination.) Bob titled his post “Who are you going to be today?” And the key message?
“…if you want to make a living in the voiceover business, forget about trying to find some “cool” way to re-position yourself. Forget about trying to “become” whatever is “hot” right now. Find your focus and feed it.”