No, I’m not bilingual, or trilingual. Maybe if I was, I’d have twice or triple the work. Actually, I don’t see my bilingual friends working twice as much, but there certainly is twice the potential.
Besides, you don’t have to be bilingual to get decent VO work in other parts of the world. Clients in Europe, Pacific rim countries, India, South America, even Istanbul and Africa need neutral North American English voices from time to time, and there’s no reason it can’t be you.
There’s a sort of fear about making the connection to overseas clients, though. What is the pay like? How do I negotiate the right rate? Do I work through agents? Are they reliable? Wouldn’t it be easy to get taken?…and then what recourse do I have? What about international payments? Do I do it through bank transfers, or is PayPal an option overseas?
By and large, Americans are behind in this conversation. Most of the rest of the world negotiates these questions of trust and transfers as a matter of business. Sure, you can be stiffed by a client in Singapore just like you could in Saginaw. Yes, exchange rates are part of this realm, but the internet makes it pretty easy to navigate the numbers. No, you should not abandon your rates regardless of where the client lives.
Still, there are cultural and language barriers to conquer in all this. Maybe you should seek part or all of the payment up front. But then, how do THEY know they can trust YOU?
And besides, where do you find all these foreign jobs anyway? Do your marketing right for long enough, and often they find you. Join the online casting site Bodalgo, and you’ll see that the quality and variety of global clients is actually quite high.
Wanna know more? Then check back here within 24 hours, and I’ll have a lot more answers for you from the experts. Co-host Anne Ganguzza and I are holding another online discussion in our series of R.A.D.A.R. Rates Roundtable discussions and this time the topic is international. All of the issues I raised above will be discussed by our panel, and it’s well…international!
Darren Altman – UK
Daniel Eduardo Hurst – bilingual, Kansas City
Simone Fojgiel – Uruguayan, Florida
Deb Munro – Canada
Cristina Milizia – Bilingual, Los Angeles
Yeni Alvarez – bilingual, Los Angeles
Mehmet Onur – multilingual, Istanbul
The hour-long session will be recorded, and posted here, as well as the WoVO Website, and the WoVO YouTube page. I’ll have all the links here.