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Laid off after 17 years

 
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Moosevoice
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 223
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:39 am    Post subject: Laid off after 17 years Reply with quote

Well, I was laid off today after 17 years at the same radio station.
With that, I'm looking to get some full time VO work going instead of the occasional job every once in a while.

If anyone has any recommendations I got nothing but time now I guess.
Any leads?
Any 'table scraps?' or job that maybe isn't your cup of tea right now?

I'm sure I'm coming across a little desperate here but things are still a little fresh for me

Thanks
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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7274
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the club.... and what took you so long (said with kindness)? I was laid off a handful of times from radio.

I'm sorry to report an immediate jump into full time, financially rewarding, freelance VO is not easy. A solid career is built on developing relationships with talent agents, producers, ad agencies, production houses, etc., over a number of years.

What's your specialty, if any? Are your demos current and accurate? If, for example, explainer type narrations are in your wheelhouse pretend you're looking to have a company produce one for you. Once you've found companies that you like, hit them up as a voice talent with a link to your appropriate demo. The more the merrier. It's likely to take quite a few inquiries to get results.

Try local ad agencies. Do you have large brand name companies in your area? See if they have an audio/video department with a need for voices.

You're going to have to ask a lot of people to consider you, and you're going to get a lot of no answers and "no" answers, but without the nos, you'll never get yeses.

Happy hunting!

Bruce
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I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV. .
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Moosevoice
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 223
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bruce. I'm about to hit so many different type of pavements, so to speak.
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1607

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 2005, after 15 years in radio, we had our final disagreement and I was escorted out the door. In retrospect, outside of my wedding and the births of my children, this was the single greatest day in my life. Not only was I jobless, but also had a brand new baby to take care of. No pressure. It was sink or swim and that day I decided to try out for the Olympic Team.

Some tips:
* Focus at least an hour a day on marketing
* Practice, research, and become a VO nerd.
* Focus on improving your reads and acting. Get a coaching session at least once a month
* Find paid work anywhere you can
* Speed is incredibly important when turning around auditions for the P2Ps, if you go that route
* Try not to go that route. You're better off making friends with prod houses, ad agencies, and event media production companies.

Best of luck!
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Kim Fuller
Cinquecento


Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 599
Location: Portlandish, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nothing to add to the excellent advice already given, but I wanted to express my sympathy. My sudden layoff in 2018 after 10 years at the same job was a shock. The first few days can make your head spin.

Best of luck to you. Please let us know how you are doing.
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Jack Daniel
Cinquecento


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 507
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along with the excellent advice Bruce and Dan have offered, I'd add: keep the faith, and don't let negativity rule you. Easy to say, right? But I know in my heart that pushing away the desperation we can all feel (esp you right now) and embracing a trust in your ability and will to find work is essential. Anyone who's worked in radio or TV has been in your shoes or something like them. Decide now that you will win because you will do what it takes.

That might sound trite, but I'm thinking that right about now you might need to hear it again. I can tell you, I have gone through what you are feeling.

On a more prosaic note: I took a quick look at your website. I will presume to give you my initial thoughts. Of course, none of what I'm about to say is as important as the information shared by Bruce and Dan. And these are just one man's opinions; if you find them useful, great! If not, I may weep but that's cool too.

I would get rid of the generic "microphones and gear" imagery. I'd guess that 90% of VO websites rely on such cliches, and it will just lump you in with everyone else.

I'd also suggest losing the "impressions" demo. It serves no purpose for VO work, unless you are trying to get a job as an impressionist. If anything, it is distracting to my eyes and ears.

Unless you are going to stay current on a blog, and have a perspective that is different from all the other folks talking about VO, I'd get rid of that.

Also, consider leading with your best spots rather than your demos. This goes against The Current Wisdom, but buyers want to know that you can do the work, not that you can find a good demo producer. The currency of demos is highly inflated; but actual work tells a buyer that you have been hired before, you delivered, and that you are desired by others. You might even consider editing a "sizzle reel" of your work so that people don't have to do a lot of clicking over a lot of website real estate. (Note: I try to keep my demos fairly current, and I know that they are used by reps to pitch me for various things; but most of my work comes through people hearing me on a real spot, winning an audition, or being used again by a repeat client or referral. I just think demos are overhyped.)

Just a few thoughts, none of which you asked for. I hope you find them, and the spirit in which they were offered, useful.
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Jack Daniel
Voice Talent / Man About Town
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9887
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi moose - i sent you a message via your website - send me an email asap. i have a small, but immediate job.
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack hit the jackpot on advice!
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Moosevoice
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 223
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

an UPDATE...
Changed up the website.
Hit up some potential clients with some ideas I had for their product (involving VO of course)
and REALLY been auditioning for just about everything that comes my way.
And it's paid off!
I don't think I've booked as many jobs in a concentrated amount of time (2 weeks) like I have since I was laid off.
Not sure what the deal is but (knock on wood) I've booked at least 4 jobs since being let go from radio job.
It's REALLY made me think 'well, should I purse this FULL TIME?! Or should I try to get the 9 to 5 that'll cover my family and I's health benefits and bring a steady stream of income?'

A good problem to have I guess.

Thanks so much Todd for the job you threw my way RIGHT AWAY.
Jack, Appreciate the advice on the website.
Dan-O, Bruce I took your recommendations to heart.
Kim, thanks for the kind words.
but Scarecrow, I'll miss you most of al....oh wait.

But seriously, thanks everyone. If you know of some agents who would actually open and listen to a new demo, let me know.
Moose
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moosevoice wrote:
If you know of some agents who would actually open and listen to a new demo, let me know.
Moose


Every good agent is! The demo(s) have to be brilliant. The website as well. And agents are not created equal. Depending on the size, there are more factors than the marketing tools. From geographic to union. But it is in your approach that will make or break.

* Your subject line should say "referred by." Not "seeking representation." And your referral should not be a fellow actor or coach. It should be a buyer, producer, CD. Someone who has hired you and can hire you again. If you come referred by a buyer whom the agent knows and works with, you bring the value of an easier sell next time this buyer has an audition. If you bring a buyer whom the agent doesn't know, you bring the value of a new buyer relationship.

* The body of your email should be short, sweet, and peppered with personality. A laundry list of recent work (and recent is a relative term) needs to not just include brand or product names, but also the players that came with these jobs. Ad agency, ad writer/producer, CD, etc. This is a business about relationships!

* Research the agents on social media. Get to know them electronically. And you are submitting to a person/agent, not an agency. You might learn you went to the same college, like the same music, etc. In your cover letter, as you pepper your personality strategically connect with them. For instance, they might have posted pictures from a wine tasting trip. Or pictures from a Billy Joel concert. In your cover letter you mention, "When not auditioning or working in my home studio I love to wind down over a great Merlot and Billy Joel." Just a lil sumpthin about you other than career. And, you share the same likes. That lil extra mile of research goes a long way! Most don't do this. And it just might sway the agent to like you more than the other submissions.

You want to make a connection. You want to impress with your talent, as well as who you are. And you present this in a fun, conversational way that does not come across as if you stalked their social media info. But this is what business people have done for years, even before social media. I can remember my Dad, who was in sales, asking his secretary to "find out their favorite restaurant/wine/music" prepping to woo a new business associate. It would have been far easier with social media. But most shopping agents or connecting with buyers haven't a clue what is out there to bring to the table.
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Kim Fuller
Cinquecento


Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 599
Location: Portlandish, Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moosevoice wrote:

I don't think I've booked as many jobs in a concentrated amount of time (2 weeks) like I have since I was laid off.
Not sure what the deal is but (knock on wood) I've booked at least 4 jobs since being let go from radio job.
It's REALLY made me think 'well, should I purse this FULL TIME?! Or should I try to get the 9 to 5 that'll cover my family and I's health benefits and bring a steady stream of income?'
Moose


If you can pursue it full time - and you're the only one who knows your budget, income requirements, etc., - it would be a wonderful thing. I badly wanted to be full-time VO when I lost my job in 2018 - but I did not have anything in place that would make it possible and I found a 9 to 5-ish job to cover bills and, more importantly provide health care for my household. . This has motivated me to keep training and working towards full time VO since.

The health insurance issue is crucial. Are you in a position to cover your family through an independent policy or the ACA? Can you join SAG-AFTRA for their health insurance and will you make the $26,000 threshold required?

As you know - employee jobs are no more secure than VO work. When you lose it - you lose it all.

If you've got the ability to live the dream - go for it.
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