Dollar For Dollar

by | Jul 5, 2008 | Op/Ed

Inevitably, whenever there’s a professional boxing match in Manny_PacquiaoVegas (about every weekend, these days), the phrase “pound-for-pound” comes up.  
As in: “Manny Pacquiao is fighting in the light featherweight division, but POUND-FOR-POUND he’s actually the best fighter in the world”

I actually got that quote off the page at THIS website.


But this blog is about Dollar for Dollar, and I actually have a much nicer picture of someone below the fold, along with some great admonitions from a pro.  Read on!

Bettye Zoller335_Dscn7192 has been at the business of voice over and voice acting long enough to know a few things. LOTS of things. She writes some wonderfully refreshing and informative posts on the VO forums from time to time that are rich in tips and reality and just…practical knowledge.

Here is an excerpt of a recent post in response to a “noob” who felt she had the talent, but no money to get started in voice-over…her question to the forum was where to go from there.

Here’s Bettye’s take-no-prisoners response:

In my workshops and as a recording studio owner producer, I continue to be amazed at the comment, “I want to get into this business but have absolutely no money to do anything….etc.”

What business in the world is there that doesn’t require funding? Can you open a storefront with no money? Can you become a tailor or clothing designer without a sewing machine no matter how old or used? Can you take a bus across town without bus fare? Can you drive a car without gas? Can you do anything in life without skill training in your field? Yet, every single day it seems I hear this comment, “I want to get into voiceovers but have absolutely no money.”

So why would a person say this to a teacher or a recording studio owner or a doctor or a hairdresser or a daycare center? Are they expecting charity? Try taking your children to a commercial daycare center or asking a babysitting service to sit your children free. Try getting in to see a doctor without proof of health insurance or payment in front. Try getting a new piece of clothing from a retail clothing shop without
means to pay for it.

Come on. Get real people. And another thing while I’m on my soapbox: It’s amazing the number of ex-students of mine who studied with me and others (many workshops were far more expensive –amazingly so—and involved expensive travel…than the ones I usually give) and paid someone to do a CD voiceover demo, perhaps paid an expensive designer to design their website instead of doing it themselves with a web builder provided online, invested in expensive graphic design for packaging their CD (a step I advise is not necessary, particularly if money is a problem), and then announced boldly that, “I do not have any money for CD duplication. I have to wait.” Or worse, “I know I’ve studied and taken workshops for five years, but I still don’t have any money to make a CD demo.”

What’s wrong with this picture? Why do people often think voiceovers are simple? Is it because, “everyone without impairment of the vocal organs can talk?” Maybe…Why do people say that they want to enter this field without preparation for start-up expenses and then, the even bigger expenses required to sustain a real career (not a ‘hobby’) over the years? This business requires investing in yourself always and forever. 

Well said, Bettye!  Along with passion, determination, talent, know-how, and marketing…being successful in voice acting also requires some money.





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