Voices in My Head – Week 50

Despite my complete lack of anything productive coming from my Voices.com membership, I still frequent the site and still find things of interest in their articles and resources.  I just ran across a blog post on that site that discussed the audition process, and differing approaches that Voice over Workers use on their site.

What caught my attention was the section comparing two users and how they handle the audition process – specifically how they choose what jobs to audition for.  Sorry, for which to audition.  The main point of the section was that it was wise to only audition for roles that suit your abilities.  The subcontext compared Katie and Zach’s choosing method, in that Katie was very picky and Zach … was not.

Zach’s summary stated that he would audition for between 40 and 45 jobs every day.  With that number of auditions, he would potentially get one job a day.  There is so much here to discuss!

Early in this blog, I referred to a podcast that said that if you won auditions at 10:1, that was an incredibly successful conversion rate.  At that time, I thought that discussion applied to audiobooks, but since then I have come to realize that Voice over Work information on the web is most comonly dealing with commercials and other short-form work.  What surprised me was to read a post from Voices.com themselves saying for a featured, if not average, user the rate could possibly 40:1!  That’s pretty tough.

First off, if you’re in my generation, you may remember the mall poll takers.  There may still be some in the world, but for a time there, you couldn’t swing a dead cat in a mall and not get accosted by someone wanting your opinion on pet food.  I would often think how that job would have to be one of the worst possible jobs, and how much self-confidence you would have to have to not be crushed daily by the scores of rejections you got from strangers who couldn’t avoid your come-on opener as they strolled past.

Take my word for it, submitting 40 or more auditions and not getting any offers can be quite depressing, and it takes some internal strength to continue on in that vein for any amount of time.

Secondly, let’s go back to our productivity ratio.  Doing long-form narration, it is quite conceiveble to reach a 1.5:1 or even better ratio.  If your booking rates in Level 2, then your income levels out at $35-$70 per hour.  Not too bad, if you have steady work, and especially steady returning work where your audition requirements are fairly low.

However, let’s take the best numbers from the Voices.com post and say you book a job every day by doing 40 auditions.  Voices.com says to spend 5-10 minutes per audition, but keeping it to less than 10 minutes per audition for me was a bit optimistic.  Still, at 10 minutes per you’re looking at 400 minutes auditioning every day.  Now, I was a math teacher so this may be off a bit, but I think that totals 6.6 hours.

If I calculate an average rate on Voices.com from my available jobs today, there is an average pay of $268 for these jobs, all less the 400 words.  Nice rate of return there of thousands of dollars PFH, until you consider that you’ve put in 6.6 hours already to get this one job – then it drops down to about $38 per hour once you factor in the overhead of all day auditioning.

Thirdly, I return briefly to the emotional wear and tear of 40 failed auditions.  What is that worth to you?

Once again, you have read to this point and are wondering, what is the point?  I am not trying to discourage anyone from trying their hand at Voice over Work, but don’t try it without some real information.  If you are good, you can make a lot of money doing this – some day I hope to be good.  But getting to that point requires a lot of work and a lot of emotional stamina because a lot of your work will just disappear into the ether (or what we called the Bit Bucket in IT) and you will never know if anyone ever even heard it!

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