Sometimes It Just Works
The following is an example of a hypothetical situation/conversation between a voice talent and voice seeker. Some information has been altered.
Voice Talent: Hello, this is Mike!
Jack The Producer: Hey Mike, Jack here!
Voice Talent: Uh, Jack who?
Jack The Producer: Jack, the Producer guy. We spoke a few months ago. Remember?
Voice Talent: Hmm. Not ringing a bell. Can you remind me what it was regarding?
Jack The Producer: Oh, we were going to hire you for that national spot but you were way out of our budget?
Voice Talent: I’m out of a lot of people’s budgets these days so you’ll have to remind me what the project was exactly, sorry.
Jack The Producer: haha. Funny man. (Pause) Uh, Momma’s Meatballs?
Voice Talent: Oh yeah now I remember! How could I forget?
Jack The Producer: Ha…...yeah.
Voice Talent: Did you ever find someone?
Jack The Producer: Oh yeah we found him alright!
Voice Talent: And?
Jack The Producer: Well, it’s a bit of a long story. It’s complicated.
Voice Talent: How so? (Pause) Wait, lemme guess…Fiverr?
Jack The Producer: And the prize goes to…the “pro” with the microphone! (chuckling to himself)
Voice Talent: That’ll be 3,000 dollars please!
Jack The Producer: Wait, huh?!
Voice Talent: Oh I was making a joke. 3,000 as in the rate for the job that fell through? You get it? Ha. Ok, nevermind then.
Jack The Producer: (long pause) Sigh. Talent just doesn’t come cheap these days. I mean, these voiceover people want a lot of bread for just talking. I mean, maybe we should just bite the bullet and shut up?
Voice Talent: It’s more than just talking, Jack. But it’s also about being properly educated on what a fair rate is. There are voice talents out there who don't ever bid for work and, if are promising to deliver quality to their clients, believe in being paid their worth.
Jack The Producer: I know but do you guys have to charge so much all the time?
Voice Talent: As opposed to an amateur and paying less and, how does the expression go, you get what you pay for?
Jack The Producer: We gotta tighten our belts kid! These low prices are the norm now. It ain't the golden days anymore. But as a freelancer I see where you're coming from and we're willing to make exceptions even if it means learning the hard way.
Voice Talent: (Pause) So this guy you hired...
Jack The Producer: This guy we hired...on Fever, Fiverr? Isn't that the name of a Peggy Lee song? Anyways, we heard his reel, which sounded great by the way. He immediately agreed to do the spots for $100 which we weren’t expecting. We actually were going to offer him $500 but he declined...said it “wasn’t about the money” and that he was “just glad for the work.” So we figured what the hell right? Little did we know this was just a hobby for him. He even made a big stink on Facebook of winning the job, which the client, Mamma Russo, of Mamma’s Meatballs (quite the social media savvy old lady btw) complained about.
Voice Talent: Oy. So what happened?
Jack The Producer: Needless to say, we got the audio files from him later that day and they were all distorted, lots of background noise, and the volume was pretty low. Oh, and a freakin’ dog barking in the background!
Voice Talent: Sounds like he needs to make a trip to Antland Productions and see ol’ Uncle Roy Yokelson. He’ll fix his audio!
Jack The Producer: Oh yeah?
Voice Talent: Roy’ll fix ‘em up real good! Good guy.
Jack The Producer: Great, maybe I'll put you guys in touch later and you can exchange information. Anyways, he didn’t seem to know what he was doing…which didn’t exactly make our jobs easier.
Voice Talent: I’m sorry to hear that.
Jack The Producer: Which is why I called you!
Voice Talent: Oh… (confused)
Jack The Producer: Well, we put the campaign on hold. Casting got too difficult. All these sites with people that didn’t know how to read copy- hundreds of auditions to sort through. A microphone and computer and this is what we get?! A real headache. Mamma wasn’t happy either with the voices so she thought about taking a break. I mean she gets enough business through word of mouth. She just wants a nice Italian boy who can sound like a loyal customer. We figured we knew a guy who could do it. Three months later. He we are.
Voice Talent: Well, Jack I’m truly honored that you would think of me for this. Of course I’d like to make it work but given our predicament..
Jack The Producer: --And I don’t want you to worry about that! I'm a business man. We thought long and hard about this and if we have to pay professional rates, we gotta do it. It means a lot to us. And to Mamma as well.
Voice Talent: That’s very kind of you Jack. Should we get this in writing?
Jack The Producer: You bet.