Some questions were raised recently on one of the social networking sites in my chain about the Pay to Play sites and if they are worth it. I think Online Voiceover Casting Sites are still evolving and will be part of our permanent way of doing things, so figuring out how to make them work is probably a good idea.
Do these sites really produce money for the talent? Well, your mileage may vary, but yes, there is money in them thar electrons. I get work.
I pay for a few of them at this point. Voice123 and eLearning Voices would be the ones that seem to work best for me. Voice 123 is the broad brush and eLearning Voices is the precision instrument.
I have more than several repeat clients now from P2P sites. But, I will say that I am very very picky about what I will audition for. It is not like getting an audition from your agent who expects you to submit.
When you do land a gig from a P2P site, it is just like anything else. If you do a good job, are friendly and funny when doing the job, people will remember you the next time. And despite the admonitions plastered all over Voice123 about not contacting the producer directly, if you have actually worked for the client before, don’t be afraid to ask questions directly about a new job you see posted. In fact, I just finished a job for the new Mob Museum that opens up on Valentine’s Day in Vegas because I was cast through Voice123 on another project for the same company. I saw the lead come up and called my original client to ask about it and he referred me to the other producer.
So, is the “chase” and time spent worth the bucks you pay to be on the sites?
That depends. If you only audition for things that are truly right for you, you have a better chance of ending up on the winning side of the time equation. The better your “ranking” the more direct leads you get which cuts down on the chase time. And seriously, think about the annual fee you are paying to see these leads. If you are only auditioning for jobs that are greater than the fee, then one job would do it!
I am auditioning for fewer and fewer jobs through Voice123 as I get pickier and pickier about what I will audition for.
One time saver for me is that I do not receive email notices of leads. I go to the site when I have time. This way, I may miss an interesting audition or two, but I don’t get interrupted all day by “opportunities” that require me to stop what I am doing and jump over to the website to study the lead.
In order to maximize my P2P ROI, I delete anything under $400. I delete anything from companies that have a bad track record of opening auditions. I delete anything with really badly written scripts. Life is too short to read bad scripts voluntarily!
I don’t spend a lot of time figuring out where every job I do during the course of a month comes from, but my gut is that a pretty small percentage comes from the P2P sites. But the jobs I do get certainly cover the hard costs. When it comes to Voice123, I am always wondering what is going to happen next with the system and want to be able to find out – so that is actually a significant reason why I keep paying the annual fee!
No matter what you do with the online casting sites, spend time building your personal network. People like to work with people they like. Reminds me of the line in an old MASH episode where Frank says, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”