Debunking the myths about online casting sites – Part 1 of 3
Nov 07 2013
As a working voice actor and as a member of the leadership team at Edge Studio, I have the chance to speak with lots of interesting people with many different roles in the voice acting community. As best as I can, I also keep up with the many blogs, social media groups, bulletin boards and podcasts about our business.
I like a good controversy as much as the next guy. And I’m willing to listen to and support many points-of-view, so long as the differing POVs are informed (i.e. the facts are being presented accurately and in a fair context).
It is upsetting when the facts on an issue are misrepresented, or just plain inaccurate. In my opinion, this happens frequently regarding the big two online voice over casting websites (or “pay-to-play” sites, as they are often called) – voices.com and voice123.com.
Some in the voice acting community disparage online casting sites as having a negative influence on our industry. I feel that some of their concerns are valid. However, my best estimate is that more than 50,000 voice over projects will be cast through voices.com and voice123.com in 2013; at a conservative guess of $300 as the average value of a project, this means that $15,000,000 in voice over projects are being cast on these two websites alone. I know of voice actors making six figure incomes from these sites. Love them or hate them, online casting sites aren’t going away.
The purpose of this article is not to lobby in favor of the online casting services, nor to malign them. Voice actors are entrepreneurs, and like all small business people they need to make business decisions based on what works best for them in their specific circumstances. But let’s ensure that these business decisions are being made on the basis of correct information.
(In the interest of full disclosure – I’m a paying member of both websites. Edge Studio has good relationships with both organizations, and recommends both.)
So, it’s time to set the record straight. Part One of this article deals specifically with misconceptions about the voices.com website.
Voices.com Myth #1
“Within minutes of the posting of a job on voices.com, dozens of auditions are submitted, and often over a hundred are already awaiting the voice seeker before I have the chance to submit. My audition will never get listened to.”
Yes, because voices.com does not cap the maximum number of auditions that may be submitted for any single project, the number of submissions can often run over a hundred. I’ve occasionally seen them run over 200.
However, auditions are not presented to the voice seeker in the order they are submitted. This is where an actor’s VoiceMatch score on the specific project becomes important. When invited to a project, voice talent is given a VoiceMatch percentage score based on how well their voice profile matches the project criteria. Auditions are then presented to the voice seeker based on the VoiceMatch score. Therefore, the very last talent to submit with a 100% VoiceMatch for that project will be presented to the voice seeker before the first submission from a talent with a 95% VoiceMatch.
The key lessons here are:
• Be picky about the jobs for which you audition. Look for a high VoiceMatch score – 90% VoiceMatch or better.
• Your VoiceMatch score is calculated based on the information in your profile. Incomplete profile = low VoiceMatch scores.
Stay tuned next week for Myth #2!
Graeme Spicer is Edge Studio’s Managing Director and he teaches Business and Money 101.