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Details. Rules. Protocols.

I know there must be order to things…especially when it comes to being paid for earnest work.

But honestly, the formulas are kinda confusing sometimes.  I'm fascinated by it all, which is why, when I see a cogent, knowledgeable answer to what appears to be a fairly simple question…I feel like passing it along.  Which is what I'm doing.  "Below the Fold" so-to-speak.  Read on:

An online VO forum subscriber poses the following question:
What is fair quote to voice a sixty second national spot.

The answer comes from seasoned Voice-Actor and voice/acting coach Bettye Zoeller:


1. Always inquire of AFTRA or SAG either by phone or online where there
are rate sheets or ask a union actor in your area what a union fee for
your job might be and then try to get as close as possible to that fee.
2. Your question is not fully explained. is the voiceover spot TV,
radio, or both? TV should pay more than radio, and if it's both, it
should pay even more.
3. Where is it running? If it is running nationally including NYC and
LA you are talking big bucks. NYC radio alone should pay you about
$2000 for thirteen weeks and LA just about the same. If it's a national
by definition but does not run in huge cities, only the medium to
smaller ones, then you're talking lesser money.
4. If you're starting to do nationals, you need to be booking those
with a voiceover agent's advice and help! As I've said here so often
(and as I teach to all my students) voice talents should have agents
who book them and handle the large vo jobs. It's fine to book yourself,
but you are missing the big money without an agent and doing
advertising agency work!
5. If you're doing nationals, join AFTRA so you can get your residuals!
Get paid every thirteen weeks! And also, get pension and health paid
into your account so that someday you have a pension and free health
insurance and dental and life and all the other union benefits.
6. If it's a career for you in voiceovers, start thinking long term about these things.
7. Whomever is wanting you to do a national vo job without residuals
and with a low one-time fee is really getting a sweet deal from you!

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Thanks Bettye…. that explains a lot!

CourVO

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