Last week I saw a post on LinkedIn by an individual who claims he can help you land a voiceover agent. Interestingly enough, I just checked the post and he took it down.
Anyway, I want to examine a paradigm that many, if not most, aspiring voice talents and some veteran voice talents have.
You need an agent to be a successful voice talent.
Is this true?
First, we need to define “success”. Success means different things for different people.
For some, it’s a certain level of income and that can vary greatly. Enough to pay for the groceries? Enough to quit your job? Enough to buy a mansion in Beverly hills?
For others it’s a certain level of fame. Famous in the voiceover community? Famous like walking down the street and everyone knows your name famous? How many famous voice talents can you name that weren’t already established film or TV actors?
In my experience, you do not need an agent to be a successful voice talent but there are some out there who want you to think you do. Why? So they can charge you money to learn the “secret” to landing an agent.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Here is the real secret to getting an agent:
Be really good at what you do. That takes training and hard work, lots of it. Invest enough time and money in quality training by established coaches to have a well-produced demo that reflects your actual sound and then keep training. All professional athletes have coaches and you should too if you’re serious about this.
Have a body of work that proves you can make an agent money. Anyone that says you need an agent to get work is either misinformed or trying to sell you something. I have been making a good living as a voice talent for many years and only about 10% of my work comes from representation. The rest of it comes from my marketing efforts.
Don’t be a dreamy, uneducated jerk. What bugs me the most about this topic is that most aspiring voice talents do everything in their power to relieve themselves of the responsibility of their own career. Remember those four words I hate?
“But Tom, if I’m lucky, get some good connections, and avoid the competition, I’ll get my big break and land an agent, right?”
Luck, connections, competition, and breaks are external: outside of your control. The keys to your success are internal: all within your control. I hate to break it to you, but yes Santa, you have to work your ass off to get an agent.
With all that in mind, I will say this: I love my agents! They’re wonderful people and have helped me get cast in some fantastic projects that I could not have gotten on my own. Agents are a crucial part of your voiceover career once you have achieved a certain level of success. You cannot and should not depend on your agent to be a successful voice talent, no matter how wonderful they are. Your success depends on you.
NEWS AND NOTES
This week, the first three folks who email me at firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a free download of the audio book The Gift of Anger by Joe Solmonese!
Happy Birthday to me! Whoo hoo!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Look at what you do in a kitchen, especially when you’re angry. When someone is pissed off, the house gets clean very quickly. Uta Hagen
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…
Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.