There are lots of opinions on the Pay-2-Play websites. P2P sites are automated sites that, for a fee, send you audition opportunities. These sites are one of today’s auditioning paradigms – along with agents who send us auditions, potential clients finding our websites and sending us an audition and repeat clients asking for an audition for new projects.
Many people hate the P2P’s. Many people like them. A few people love them. I am somewhat ambivalent, because most of my work comes from other sources, yet I get enough projects through them to justify the money and time spent. And of those two elements, the time element is the greater of the two. The less time it takes the better.
The Voice123 mantra of being picky picky picky is pretty much my only option given the time I have available to scan and determine which auditions might be right up my alley.
Most of my time is tied up with those other sources; agents, repeat clients and direct contacts. I am either recording projects or auditions, marketing, bookkeeping and (more and more) simply getting out and enjoying life.
So, one thing I DO like about Voice123’s SmartCast auditions, is that the end client really doesn’t know who is getting the auditions – unless they send out a personal invitation. This provides a layer of anonymity that allows me the freedom to ignore the auditions. I can’t do that if I am contacted directly.
I’m not talking about the auditions from my agents, or past clients who know me. Although, I do occasionally get auditions (or actual projects) from these sources that I don’t feel are right for me, or the rates are lower than usual. No, I’m primarily talking about people who happen across my website and approach me with projects that fall into one of a few categories:
- badly written (either a bad translation or simply a script not written for the ear)
- budgets far too low for the work
- strange conditions that make you scratch your head in astonishment
While, the frequency of this kind of direct request is low, I HAVE to respond to the request. With Voice123, I can simply ignore the “opportunity.”
I find that I do that more and more on Voice123 during my 5 minute scans of new audition opportunities. Just today, I deleted (or ignored) any leads under $350 immediately and then looked at a couple that were in the $500 range. One was a 60 minute training piece filled with medical terms and overwritten to the point where anyone viewing this training would be asleep before the introduction was finished. I happily hit delete, $500 wasn’t enough for an hour of material to begin with – and the script would have been so un-fulfilling to read. I didn’t have to make any excuses when I declined the opportunity.
Of course, not every script is going to be an Emmy or Golden Reel winner. Not every budget is going to be top dollar. This is a fact of life.
When faced directly with a script that needs a lot of help to really be effective (or in the case of a mis-translated script) – or a budget that is well below expectations – it can become a time consuming effort to figure out what to do. You HAVE to respond because they contacted you directly. If it is a complete stranger, you have to follow whatever bread crumbs you have to do your due diligence to determine what kind of a response is needed. This takes time.
You have to take time to parse a badly translated script enough to ask for clarifications. This takes time. If it is a repeat client, you have to weigh the budget, the time, the script, the potential for future work, etc. when formulating your response. This all takes time.
So, the ability to anonymously say “no’ to an audition by simply deleting or ignoring the lead is really kind of a relief and certainly a time saver!