You ever hear this: DO NOT GET INTO VO IF YOU JUST WANT TO MAKE MONEY!
Believe it or not I hear this a lot from people when they talk to new comers about if they want to get into voice over.
They often say that a person should not even think about getting into voiceover if all they’re thinking about is the money that they might make as a voiceover artist.
But I want to tell you today why that is actually a wrong way to look at it.
Here’s a question: If you’re entrepreneurially minded, whether you’re creative or noncreative, what is the number one reason you’re wanting to get in to business?
Surprise right? No. Not really.
I mean, do people actually expect you to work for free?
No. In fact it is one of the basic survival skills of our human condition that we need to find ways to make money – because we have to survive! Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs established this as the foundation for motivation way back in 1943. The physiological needs are the first needs that must be met in order to survive – which these days and in our modern society the only way to fulfill these needs is to make money.
So when looking at any possible job endeavor, it is not just right to look at how much money you should make from it, it’s a basic instinct and survival skill!
So let me just state flat out and as emphatically as possible: if you’re looking at getting in to voiceover just to find a way to make more money THEN GOOD! Congratulations! You are a human being. Welcome to the tribe.
But let’s play the devils advocate for just a moment.
I believe I can understand what is meant when someone says don’t look at voiceover as a possible job if all you’re thinking about is money. I think I get.
For those of us who are in the voiceover industry we talk about our passion, our craft, our love of the work. And rightfully so!
As a creative minded person I definitely understand the person who would become offended that someone was only thinking about our beautiful wonderful acting craft as just another way to make money. I can understand how they would have the feeling that it could the negate from the beauty of our work if all they think about is the money
However… this argument falls flat on its face every single time I hear it… And I hear it a lot! In fact I hear it every single time a so called voiceover professional degrades, denounces, and insults any of the new and upcoming voiceover Artist if they take an amount of money less than what that so-called professional feels is required for a particular project.
Let me break that down with an example… a new voiceover artist comes on the scene. This person agrees to a $100 dollar payment for a particular voiceover job. They’re excited about it. They proclaim it on social media and tell everybody they can they got their first voiceover job.
But our so called professional and experienced voice over person number two comes along and reads this and immediately scoffs at it and ridicules the new comer and states that they believe should have been paid over $1000 for that job!
Stop. Right. There.
What did that so-called voiceover professional actor number two immediately jump to when talking about this voiceover job?
MONEY! I’ll say it again… the first thought was MONEY! Money is the immediate driver that voiceover number two person – this so called professional went to as the measurement for if the new voice over artist is acting appropriately within our business paradigm. Not wondering what kind of job it was, or asking how the new comer felt about working, or asking about what type of voice they used… the first thought was money.
See what I mean? Money is the underlying driving factor for every single person alive in America and in the world today.
So when you hear someone tell you to stop thinking about voiceover if all you’re thinking about is the money… remember this story.
On one hand I can agree that if you are not creatively minded, if you do not think that you can become an actor, if you do not think that sitting in a booth talking to yourself Reading copy off the page all day is something you could do… then I agree do not think about voiceover as a possible business venture.
And I’ll add this too. I am not talking about actual dollar values of work done, you know the long debated subject of what we should be paid as voice actors. That is a subject for another day. And I am not bundling ALL VO professionals into this. So don’t start thinking I am talking specifically to you… unless of course I AM speaking directly to you. I don’t know… am I? LOL
But to us VO professionals, those who have been in the BUSINESS for a while and to whom others look to often for advice and to know if they’re doing this all appropriately - you cannot have it both ways. You cannot state on one hand to new comers to NOT get into voiceover if you’re dreaming about money - and then immediately berate a new comer for not asking for enough pay! Please stop doing this! It sends a very contradictory message, a message that when you strip away the veneer is a dead argument anyway. Sure, it’s totally appropriate to council others and to encourage others to work for as much pay as they possible can! But please stop with the double standard of NOT encouraging those to get into the business for money, and then once they ARE IN… only focusing on the M-O-N-E-Y.
And to you new comers - if you’re curious, if you are imagining yourself voicing radio and television commercials, or if you can imagine yourself reading e-learning or explainer content for Internet or other content Rich productions… and you want to start a new business to make money… then absolutely yes you should think about voiceover as a possible business venture because guess what? You CAN MAKE A LOT OF MONEY in voiceover. And believe it or not there IS ENOUGH WORK TO GO AROUND for all of us!
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