"You Always Have Time For A Little Buzz"
One of the things I love so much about the voiceover industry is just how giving everyone is of their knowledge. There are so many resources out there for new and aspiring VO's to take advantage of that just doesn't exist in other parts of the entertainment business.
One of my personal favorites is "VO Buzz Weekly" with Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad. I had the pleasure of meeting these two rock stars a couple years ago at VO Atlanta and I instantly fell in love with them both. They are super people and you can see that personality shine through in their shows. They have over 200 episodes in the books and have interviewed some amazing people in the voiceover business that you could learn a lot from.
The past two episodes have been with talent agent Sumeet Iyengar - Sumeet has been with CESD Talent for 16 years and knows his stuff when it comes to voiceover talent.
Here are just a few things I took away from watching the episodes:
This aint "Entourage" - there are no Ari Golds at CESD. You just dont have time to be ranting and raving like this (though honestly if I were an agent, I'd still want an assistant named Lloyd just so I could scream it from my office)
Sumeet says the audition to winning job ratio is about 20:1 - this may be for well-established pros, but for the rest of us mere mortals, that ratio is more like 100:1 - That's just the way it is. Either get used to it or get better and do something about it. And here's a big one to think about: asking for more auditions may not be the problem. If you aren't booking, figure out what you need to do to improve your work FIRST, before trying to get more auditions out. Work smarter, not harder.
What can a talent do after securing representation to help the agent? - let the agent know what you're doing, whether it's VO related or not. Take classes. Constantly be working on improving yourself and let your agent know. Communicate.
Once you get an agent, the hard work is just beginning. Thanks to the improvements in technology, the business has gotten exponentially more competitive. There are a lot of people out there that want to be successful. If you think you can just sit back and cruise just because now you have an agent, you will go nowhere. Follow the trends. Listen to commercials. Pay attention to what's selling. Put in the work.
Celebrity voices are dominating the commercial VO business. Even if its not that good of a delivery, they may go with the celeb either because it lends some star power to the spot, or so that the producer can brag that they got to work with such-and-such celebrity.
If you've submitted a demo to an agent and you haven't gotten a response, realize that no response is probably the response. Don't try to bug the agent if you haven't heard back. There may be a variety of reasons why you didn't get signed. Suck it up and move on.
Agents spend 5-10 seconds listening to a demo. You have to wow them right from the beginning. Whether its a unique perspective or something they haven't heard before. Find something that's off the beaten path and own that. Don't try to be something you're not.
Don't like being rejected? Do something about it: improve yourself.
And there's a whole lot more in the episodes that I didn't mention.
If you are serious about wanting to be the best voiceover talent you can be, you owe it to yourself to watch these shows.
Watch part 1 with Sumeet Iyengar below:
Seriously - "VO Buzz Weekly" is my secret weapon to finding out trends in the business and learning tips to improve my skills. Do yourself a favor: subscribe to their YouTube channel and watch them every week. Even better, go back through their archives and learn more about the business and the skills you need to succeed.
About Rob Marley - A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas. Find out more here.