Thoughts on Voice Over Agents

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I’m a voice actor. I’ve been a professional voice actor for 13 years. You might know me as the voice of Radar on Astroblast on NBC; Professor Fizzy on PBS; Rockstar Foxy, Funtime Foxy, and Mr. Hippo on Five Nights at Freddy’s Ultimate Custom Nights.

My goal on this channel is to give you insights into the voice over world.

A lot of people ask me “Joe, do I need an agent if I’m starting voice over or if I’m in voice over already?” Yes and no. Agents help you out a ton when it comes to getting bigger work (animated series, national radio and TV commercials, etc). That’s what an agent does best. If you can build a close relationship with those agents they’ll take you under their wing and say “hey, I’m sending a few people this audition and I want you to be one of them". That’s great! But generally they’re “cattle call” auditions which isn’t a bad thing since you do get an opportunity to audition for the bigger work.

At the end of the day, the person who is going to get you the most work is YOU. What I mean by that is you have to act as your own agent. A lot of people say that they don’t make a lot of money in voice over, that they’re not that successful and/or not reaching their full potential. Many people who have agents only rely on getting work through their agents. I went 8 years without having a voice over agent, and in the last 4 or 5 years I got great opportunities through my agents. But the one thing you have to learn is that you might not be making the steady living that you want to make in voice over if you only work through an agent.

Especially in today’s market, you don’t need an agent. What I mean by that is if you started out in voice over 20 years ago, you needed to live in LA, New York, Chicago. All the big hubs, agencies, and talent pools were in those cities. Nowadays, I live in the woods of Connecticut, I have my own recording studio in my house, I wake up and have work waiting for me. Why is that? I didn’t rely on just the agents. I went out and contacted ad agencies, recording studios, animation companies, explainer and eLearning video companies. Anybody who I could think of who might need voice over, who might not use an agent to cast their projects since they’re smaller projects.

Today I woke up and I had 4 jobs to record. Awesome! You hear that cliche, “it’s not show fun, it’s show business”. It’s cliche but it’s true. It’s business. Once you start treating voice over like a business, your career skyrockets. The thing I want you to learn is that you have to treat voice over like a business, you have to go after the jobs. You can’t sit back and go “why aren’t I getting jobs, why is everyone else making money but me?” They figured it out.

Agents are awesome, I love my agents to death! But you have to take matters into your own hands if you want to skyrocket your career.

In summary, voice over is a BUSINESS! Treat it that way.

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