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Let's Start The New Year With A Laugh:
Your Voice Over Client Wants To Pay WHAT?

January 2, 2014

(VOXtra) - You're an experienced voice actor - and your potential client asks you to voice a project for FREE? Or nearly so? 

Below, Dan Hurst vents frustration with such requests in a hypothetical letter, and Andi Arndt copes by attempting polite education (to no avail). What about YOU? Share a rant, story or comment below!

Dear Client Wannabee ...

By Dan Hurst

Voice Actor
Dear Client Wannabee:

Thank you for your inquiry about using me to voice your upcoming TV commercial. I certainly understand that budgets can be strained, and not having any funds for the voice talent happens, unfortunately.

A couple of things come to mind, by the way. If you have no money, how did you pay for the video work? And, if you have no money, how are you going to pay for the commercial time?

While I appreciate that this would be excellent exposure for me, and you would allow me to use the commercial for a demo, Iím rather curious about how much exposure you think this will generate?

Iím also wondering if you think I need exposure since you apparently had no trouble finding me.

Oh, and the part about how if this works out it could turn in to a lot more jobs Ö yeah, that pretty much describes any project I do. I donít know why I get so many of those opportunities. I guess Iím just lucky that way.

Thanks again for your consideration. Best wishes for your project.

'People Actually Pay Your Rate?'

By Andi Arndt

Voice Actor

What's your rate for an hour session? he asks.

I respond with my standard rate and say that I understand his company (a startup) might be in a better position to hire me once they get a little further down the road.

He says yes, it's a bit steep, and by the way have I looked at oDesk for VO jobs?

I look, and all these people are offering their services for $25/hour!!!

I write back and say oDesk might have been useful when I was first starting out and building a resume, but rates are waaaay too low.

He says, "So people actually pay your rate?" Yes, I say, yes they do, and more.

He says, "Wow, maybe I better take some voice lessons and get into your line of work!"
Dan (Daniel Eduardo) Hurst is an experienced bilingual (English and Spanish) voice talent operating out of the Kansas City area. His business now extends internationally, with clients including Volkswagen, Telemundo International, Shell, Hallmark, TransCanada and Walmart. When heís not working, he spends his time cheering for losing sports teams and getting kicked off of golf courses.


Andi Arndt specializes in audiobook and eLearning narration. Her work draws upon her years of experience teaching acting and voice for a university theatre department, as well as hosting classical music, news and live interview programs on public radio. Andi records for clients around the world from her home studio in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


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Comments (2)
Tom Cupp
1/2/2014 at 1:20 PM
Here's a similar take from the music side of the entertainment business:

It's a little more to the point, and is the response he sent in answer to the request he received.
Philip Banks
1/2/2014 at 10:58 AM
Potential clients simply have no idea how important we think we are.

It's an education issue :-)
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