Voice actor Chris Edgerly is here once more with the sixteenth video in the #VONotes series and today he’s talking about voiceover opportunities, working, and compromise! The #VONotes series is a video series designed to answer questions that you may have about the voice acting industry and it offers up some great tips and references for aspiring voice actors everywhere! If you missed the previous videos in the #VONotes series you can catch up on those here.
Voiceover Opportunities: Working and Compromise #VONotes
Today on #VONotes, I’m gonna talk about a pretty broad topic in, hopefully, a short amount of time – working and compromise.
If you’re a non-union actor, if you’re just starting out, very often, people are going to ask you to work for free or for pennies. When I was just starting out, when I was still in “apprentice stage”, as I like to call it. I lived in Orlando, Florida. I had worked on a show that was non-union because I was not yet in the union and later on the producer asked me if I could do some looping for him. He said he didn’t have a budget to pay me.
I had never done looping before – that’s when you replace dialogue in a scene because the audio didn’t work out well (I do another #VONote on this, by the way) and I decided I was gonna do it for free because I wanted to learn. In the end, I was very glad that I did because I gained experience – looping is not the easiest job, it can be very technical and later on my very first union job in California, right as I joined was, you guessed it, a looping job!
Nowadays, when someone asks me to work for free it’s because they’re a friend of mine and it’s a project they’re just doing as a rehearsal or trying to get off the ground. I have no problem stepping in and helping out a friend – it doesn’t violate any union rules because it’s not an official production. But anyone else who asks me to do something for free and I don’t know them, I still have bills to pay, and I’m sure so does the person who’s putting on the production!
If you’re in the apprentice stage, you should be doing any kind of training you can just to get it under your belt so when the real work comes – and it will come – you’ll be ready for it!
But a lot of times you’re going to hear some very disingenuous reasons like “Well, this is good for your resume” and “This will lead to other work down the line” or, you know, “This is backend. Once this thing goes, everyone is going to get paid.”
Don’t believe it because it usually doesn’t work out that way…in fact, it almost never does.
Everybody compromises, including multi-million-dollar Oscar winners and as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror, it’s not a problem!
Hope this has answered some questions for you if you have more put them in the comments below and hit that subscribe button so you can see more #VONotes as I make them!