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COVID 19 vs Voice Over

So everything is shutdown, you are are locked at home for an indefinite amount of time, in a chance moment you glance over and see the microphone you have sitting in the corner of your house, and it dawns on you "Now is the perfect time to get into voice over, I can work from home!" and you commit to jump onto your microphone and take a step into the wide wide world of voice over!

But.... Before you take that momentous jump allow me to share a few industry observations for your dutiful consideration!

Since the onset of COVID 19 I have noticed three primary things:

  1. There are far less voice over opportunities!

  2. There is far more competition!

  3. There is a lot of talk about leveraging home recording studios more frequently, yet little efforts in doing so as of yet!

Observation 1: There are far fewer voice over opportunities!

How can this be the case if, after all, voice over actors that maintain home studios work from home thus not being impacted. Despite this being intuitive initially, even I thought this way to at first, it is obvious why this is the case if we think about it a bit more. Despite home studios physical location residing on an island unimpaired by COVID 19 risks, that is not the same for the businesses in which we get our work. Yes I am still able to provide voice over services as consistently as I was in the past, but businesses no longer have as much need for my services as they have historically. I would estimate there is as much as a 75% drop in voice over demand currently.

Observation 2: There is far more competition!

The majority of voice actors in the pre-COVID environment relied on voice over work from multiple sources of the in-person and online variety, in this situation many have been forced to resort to just online work, this has increased the competition dramatically and it can be seen in audition amounts. A quick example for reference: a job posted on a popular online audition platform received 50 auditions over the period of three days pre-COVID, the same type of job posting with equivalent ask and rate of pay in the COVID period received over 110 auditions in under 12 hours. By my elementary math, that is a over ten times increase in competition!

Observation 3: There is a lot of talk about leveraging home recording studios more frequently, yet little efforts in doing so as of yet!

Since the onset of COVID 19 I have received multiple outreaches from current rosters regarding my home studio capacity, which is of a professional grade, so it is true that rosters are looking to leverage remote talent more, however this is not without effort and problems. The effort required to set this up from a technical perspective from many rosters ends is an ongoing process, and despite the interest to reach out to new sources to fulfill recording requirements, at the end of the day rosters are still most interested in working with their established talent, and established talent are now rushing to create their own home studio capacity to fulfill this.

So why am I sharing this? Well, to be honest, this is truly a challenging time for both established and new talent, and the observations referenced above are just a few of the things to be considered by those looking at getting into the industry. In reality, voice over is a highly competitive industry with more failure than success. Success is feasible of course, but you have to be mindful, focused, informed, and diligent in your efforts to be successful.

Best of luck on the adventure!


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