When we do our first demo, it’s the Commercial demo.
In our heart of hearts, we got into this business because we just knew our voice belonged on the best Radio and TV ads. After all, a good many of us cut our teeth in radio doing just that. Why not go out on our own, and stop working for the radio station?
If not commercials, then certainly other broadcast opportunities beckoned: promos, documentaries, imaging…my gosh, the possibilities seemed endless!
Then there was the adjacent entertainment industry: video games, animè, cartoons, trailers. No it’s not commercials, but THAT might even have a BETTER “cool factor”.
Even if you have to settle for YouTube pre-roll videos or white-board presentations, you’re still in the realm of advertising…not far from your original goals of doing commercials.
So, what’s this about the VO job (almost) no one talks about, then?
Forget unions, agents, booking agents, advertising, radio, TV, or Hollywood.
Some of the best-paying, least demanding, loyal and dependable customers on Earth don’t know much, if anything, about that world of popular media. They just know they have a 5,000 word Elearning course that’s due in 4 days, and they need a reliable voice actor. Someone who gets it done on deadline. A man/woman who communicates with them at all points in the transaction. A person who has the same exacting quality standards as they do; who is a partner on their team: who follows directions to a “T”.
Most of the assignments are not “sexy” at all. But most of those corporate clients pay in 30 days or less. I don’t know. I find THAT kind of “sexy” (and no part of that is commission).
No, eLearning is not really a well-kept secret among voice-actors. It’s just that not many people talk about it. They prefer to mention the spot they did for United Airlines, or the new video game they just voiced for…all the time paying the bills on a regular basis with the eLearning jobs chugging away in the background.
E-learning clients are uniquely hard to find. Most of it you have to do on your own, or on referral. They don’t care that you have ISDN or a Chicago agent. They want a solution provider. Someone solid. A team player.
That’s why more and more voice-actors are paying attention to the conferences that eLearning creatives are flocking to. DevLearn in Las Vegas every October enjoys a greater influx of hopeful voice-actors every year. Finding the people who create eLearning — an “instructional designer” — is not a cinch. Many still use amateur in-house voices for their projects. The designers don’t always do the hiring. The whole approach is different from advertising and media.
But eLearning, too, is growing, developing, and becoming more sophisticated. Check out the following article that came out just days ago:
So here’s to corporate America, and their multi-media needs. Digital is growing there, too…and the number of projects needing a good voice — your voice — is just waiting for you to discover them.