Voice-acting falls prey to the market forces to which most every other endeavour on the planet succumbs. Cultural, political, and financial pressures make it so.
Therefore it’s not a stretch to think that (according to some analysts) our business is moving to the haves and the have-nots, and the vibrant middle class of VO is disappearing. You know: the pedestrian, hard-working, plodding rabble of the world who punch a time card, and make enough to get by, but not enough to afford a Winter Place in Palm Springs.
Who or what is causing that schism defies description. It would be convenient to point the finger at someone or something. SAG-AFTRA does that. They like to pick on individual production houses or advertising agencies and call a strike. That’s so 50’s, albeit effective (for now).
Still, there are harbingers of change that start to pile up, and the evidence is there.
Here’s a plea I saw on a FB group Tuesday:
“…Hey everyone, I’m looking for Voice Over work, what I have my not be the best, but it works, I’ve done work on an indy game and I have some dialog I recorded for that game plus a video from my youtube channel for samples, if you need someone to voice something, please drop me a line…”
Man!…now that’s a solid sales pitch if I ever heard one!
And then there’s this guy who posts his Fiverr crap on Twitter every 7 minutes:
See what I mean? I don’t think the LA elite or NY faves are groveling on Twitter. But this kind of crap is eating away at mainstay opportunities of middle-class VO’s in Louisville or Spokane. I regularly get audition requests from a couple of production houses in Las Vegas that offer typically somewhere in the range of $100 – $120 for 30-sec spots.
I’m not sure how anyone is feeding a family and paying the mortgage on voice-acting compensation rates today. But maybe I’m just having a bad Wednesday attitude.
Certainly, there MUST be those who are making a go of it…right?
Oh, and let me thank you for your patience with my being gone on a documentary shoot along the Emigrant (Pioneer) Trail…and being out of internet range for the better part of a week. I’ve posted a few pics here ‘n’ there, but more is to come, along with some thoughts about what it was like to be out of the matrix for that time.
It was a humbling, middle-class feeling.