This blog is my own pep-talk.
I’m a horrible supporter of all the media that bring us opportunity.
Let me explain, by first stating some global actions you can take to keep our business thriving. Share this list with your friends and colleagues, and encourage them to do so as well.
4 WAYS TO SUPPORT THE VO MARKETPLACE
Watch TV, listen to the Radio, and go to movies. Then go buy some of the products in the commercials you see on those programs. All the popular “legacy” or traditional media are still going strong (for now) and they provide some of the best-paying jobs in our business: TV/Radio commercials, Network TV promos, radio imaging, station imaging, local station news promotion, movie trailers, auto dealer ads, and more.
Pay attention to new streams of digital media. Then go buy some of the products in the advertising you see associated with those media, or support the sponsors who are making those streams available. This is the “new media” taking a bigger chunk out of TV and radio in a steady march toward change. YouTube, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Pinterest, etc. These are the enterprising entrepreneurs challenging revenue streams that have stood for decades. Explainer videos, video presentations, digital ANYTHING, smartphone apps, tablet devices, Pandora, Spotify, and more…that still need a human voice to make their products palatable to the human ear.
Listen to AudioBooks. Join Audible and download narrated books. Rent CD’s and DVD’s at your local library. Use the Google Play store and Apple app store to buy and download spoken products. The market for recorded books has been climbing and growing in recent years and shows no signs of stopping. The technical/production/online apparatus sustaining this industry is huge, and gives a lot of people a steady income and welcome paychecks.
Support Podcasting. The advances and growth in this business is astonishing. In just the last 2 years, Podcasting has just taken off exponentially as a medium all its own. Voice Actors are not just posting their own podcasts, but they’re being hired to be the talent on podcasts as hosts, guests, or moderators. The growth of podcasting is also creating opportunities for studios, vendors, producers, engineers, conncectivity solutions and more. Listen to podcasts, and tell other people about them. Download them, and post links to them. Tell other people about them on social media.
Honorable Mention. The few thousand voice-actors in the USA alone are not going to prop-up the entire media marketplace. Our influence can help, but it’s not likely we’ll be a determiner of the future in a dramatic way. Still, our presence, when spread through internet and mouth-to-mouth interactions will help. But here’s the real reason why you should pay attention to all the four components I mention…important for your OWN succcess: that voice on the TV commercial? That’s the person who nailed the gig. Listen closely. What did THEY do to win the job? The guy voicing automobile dealership ads? How is he delivering the goods? Ya gotta listen to understand his success. That 3-volume set of a NYT best-seller? Who is narrating that?…listen to her consistency and theatrical command to know how to find success there. The person delivering a white-board video presentation for United Airlines?…how did their approach win the job?
To be successful in voiceover land, you have to constantly monitor the WINNING voice…in all media. That’s where YOU need to be.
That’s why I worry about me. I can’t stand listening to podcasts. I suppose they’re getting better, but most of the time I hear a wanna-be DJ bloviating about himself for 10 minutes before getting to the topic at hand. TV bores me (‘been at it too long, and besides most of what passes for entertainment TV these days is absolute CRAP). Radio? All the personality has gone out of it. When I drive to work, it’s the only 20 minutes in my day that’s quiet…I’m not about to turn on some rock station. Audiobooks? Who has time to listen? Not me. Not with two full-time jobs.
See? That’s why I worry about me. Not much of popular media is enticing for me. If that’s me, then how many more of “me” are out there, driving down the market?.. ruining the opportunities for you and me as voice-actors.
The only medium that still engages me without exception is print. I can scan the written word faster than shuttling through a podcast. Maybe I should be a writer instead?