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2.25% HOW DARE YOU!

 
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:26 am    Post subject: 2.25% HOW DARE YOU! Reply with quote

The usual Twitter nonsense prompted me to reply to something TWOOTED by a leading top flyover state Voice Coach. Nothing wrong with what was written by him.

I commented that people need to hang on to their money because only 2.25% of people go on to make a living from voice over work. He didn't respond, no reason for him to do so. Wanna know "What Katy did?" RESPONDED with a vengeance! Her right so to do.

"I'm in LA and have been doing this for 30 years! Where did you get that figure? It must be much higher. What are your sources?"

There then followed anger from her and polite information from me. Her final note to me was full of ignorance not what she thought was information as to why 2 of my credible sources "wouldn't know that" and the "WELL I am certainly going to have a word with HIM about THAT!"

My reply "Were I you I'd do the same"

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. My number is a few years out of date and I suspect that things are not so optimistic now. the key is to HAVE a number. Like any business our business requires an investment and one should calculate the risk then only invest an amount one can and is prepared to lose. EVERY SINGLE PENNY!

Does voice over work provide a useful secondary income for many? Quite a few, yes.

Several years ago the average income for pro Voice Over people in my area grew by around 275% ! So Morayshire is THE place to be? Woot!

No. The reason for the growth was that another VO in the, sorry, THE other VO in the county moved away. SHE was dragging the industry DOWN!

Do we ignore the statistics? No. We should be informed by them. The point is that someone has to be in the 2.25% and it may well be Tina Newbie who has just signed up for my Iranian Double Pause Masterclass tm.

Our dear friend and contributor, Bob Bergen always cautions everyone that getting into voice acting for the money should not be the goal. It is possible to make 100s of thousands per year doing VO work but it is also improbable.
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Bish
3.5 kHz


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3635
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your 2.25% is based on those actually sustaining themselves with VO as a sole income stream compared to those who collectively: make a little extra to supplement their regular income; get a bit of "mad-money" now and again; get the occasional bite on a P2P; or have paid for coaching and a demo and call themselves a VO because they audition a lot (and belong to the Facebook groups)... then I think your number is actually quite optimistic. No doubt this number has been lowered even more by the masses of hopefuls who have bought a Blue Yeti and a sheet of Auralex over the past year because it's an "easy" way to make money (it must be true, so many VO "professionals" tell them it is and sell training on how to do it!)

I'm going with 1%

Edit: For the sake of "full disclosure"... I'm going to put myself in the partial income bracket now... because since I became a "senior" both the UK and US governments, (and a private corporate pension) give me money. It's very nice of them, and has made it possible for me to be far more selective about what I do with my time.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i also think the 2.25% number is on the low side.

10 (or so) years ago i heard 5% of "voize akkers" make more than $5,000/year akking with their voize. this seems like a very convenient & alliterative statistic, $5k isn't that much - so it might be in there ... but $5k ain't much of a living.

and - like peter said - every covid displaced/out of work stage actor now has a usb mic in their apartment claiming "voize akker" status on their tweeter page - which has to bring the percentage down quite a bit.

i live in a completely different part of "effing nowhere" than philip - but the money to voize akker ratio is nearly the same.
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Last edited by todd ellis on Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lee Gordon
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 6622
Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to Bish's list, you can add people who intended to earn a full time living from voiceover, but find themselves having to find "real jobs" to make up the shortfall.

After about 30 years collecting a paycheck and doing VO on the side, I've been a full time voiceoverist for the past 24. Like Bish, I can no longer claim VO as my sole source of revenue (or even my primary one), as I now receive a significant portion of my income from (mostly self-funded) pensions and what its detractors laughingly call "entitlements." Damn right I'm entitled to it; it was my money to begin with.
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7347
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tangential to this line of discussion is how easily people quit pursuing a career in the bidness after an enthusiastic launch announcement. Of the people who've registered with the VO-BB in the past year it appears (I'm not going to do a tally!) that fully one third never visit the site after they've been accepted. Never.

Another third visit once or twice and then drift away.

That's your old sticktoitiveness in action.

B
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Bish
3.5 kHz


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3635
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look at the fine people above me here... a couple joined in 2005, one in 2007, one in 2008. I'm the newcomer (2009)... and I STILL feel like the kid in the group Smile
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most who register, post demos and go. Demo feedback is always kind hearted, honest and constructive. Pretty much everything on here is the contents of the book "Everything you need to know about Voice Over work but are afraid to ask"

Based on my number, 97.75% react as follows

https://vimeo.com/519863721
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todd ellis
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Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

while i was reading this thread yesterday i was contacted by a friend whose nephew wants to get into voiceover and would like to talk to me. i send him my two page "so you want to be a voize akker" letter.

based on past experience, i'll never hear from him again.
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scottnilsen
King's Row


Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 1157
Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd, would you be up for sending a copy of that letter to me? I may use it for when people ask me. I used to use Kafer's letter he had written some years ago but think it could use some updating. Would love to see your approach.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10-4
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Jack Daniel
Cinquecento


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a version of such a letter as well. I wrote it earnestly, thinking it would answer the questions I had starting out. Like Todd, I have a close-to-zero followup rate. The only person who actually followed my advice is a cousin, who is now starting to book a little work and who has a realistic idea of how long things will likely take. She's an accomplished jazz singer and Broadway actor, so I'm guessing those endeavors girded her loins.

On the other hand, it does save a lot of wasted phone conversations and/or lunches to "pick my brain."
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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I took on the VO-BB 4+ years ago we got newbie questions galore. Then 2 years ago I added the “Where To Start - I’m New to VO” folder with great advice and cautionary tales and those queries dropped to near zero. The topics in there have been opened over 13,500 times so far, preventing, I presume, untold thousands of misguided career starts.

Still, some persist.

B
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I took on the VO-BB 4+ years ago ...


CRIPES! it's been four years?!?
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