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What's The Strangest VO Request
You've Received? Here's A Doozey ...

By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from an aspiring voice talent. He said he was new to the business and asked if I could pass along the names of some of my e-learning and e-book clients.

Okaaaaaaay ....

So, I looked on Facebook and LinkedIn to see if we were connected. Nothing. I Googled him. No website listing or any other search results except for three posts on craigslist offering his services as a voice talent. (DO NOT advertise yourself on craigslist. It’s remarkably tacky.)

Apparently this guy just ran a search on voice talents, found me, and decided to ask me for my client list.

So this is what I wrote back:

"I just want to make sure you understand what you’re asking for. You want me to give you the names of my clients - when I can’t vouch for you - in the hopes of them giving you work that they’re currently giving me?

"I’ve been doing this for a long time and I try to be as generous with my time, knowledge, and experience as I can, but I’ve never had someone just straight up ask me for my clients. I never did that when I started out, and I know of no one who has done that, either. It took me a year to land my first client and there are no shortcuts in this business.

"If you want to build a clientele: have a good website, a good demo, a good coach, start cold-calling, subscribe to sites like Voice123 and, and audition as much as you can while bidding ethically.

"If you can’t or won’t do that, then this may not be the vocation for you.

"BTW I wouldn’t recommend soliciting my peers. Some may not respond as constructively as I have, and the voiceover industry is a very small world.”


He then immediately replied with a dazzling Gregory Hines-like tapdance, saying that he was not asking for my clients, just a few contacts to get him started.

Um, isn’t that the same thing? Needless to say, I didn’t reply.

I shared this with my buddy Jeff Kafer, creator of the great voice over comic strip Voice-overload, and here's what he did with this doozey ...

(See more Voice-overload cartoons at

So now - what's the strangest request YOU have ever received? Let us know in the COMMENTS below!


Tom Dheere is a 15-year veteran of the voice over industry. He has narrated almost one thousand projects spanning every area of the industry, including commercials, audiobooks, and video games. His Good Karma Network (GKN) has an international following and has been the subject of numerous articles and features.

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Comments (4)
Paul Bellantoni
5/15/2012 at 11:50 PM
I am also wondering if he was in his twenties...I have noticed an odd sense of entitlement/unwillingness to actually do legwork, to be a bit of an epidemic in that age range...
Reuven Miller
5/15/2012 at 8:59 AM
Roxanne, if your friend had really wanted to be helpful ... she could have offered to watch the kids!!
Amy Taylor
5/15/2012 at 8:06 AM
Leave it to you to handle this situation with class. Well played. Others may not have answered at all or taken the, "Just where do you get off?" route.

I can't believe the guy had the audacity to write back. Well look at the bright side, the guy found you while searching for voice talents. At least you know your SEO is workin'! Have a great day!!!
Roxanne Coyne
5/15/2012 at 12:39 AM
Tom, that's a truly remarkable story and you handled it beautifully.

I had one that I think is pretty funny. I happened to mention to a fellow voice actor that I was particularly busy one day and that I felt somewhat overwhelmed with trying to balance my duties as a mom with my work as a voice talent. Immediately, she jumped in to 'help' me by offering to record some of my voice over jobs for me.

She was dead serious. She actually said that if I was too busy she would be happy to ease my burden by simply voicing some of my gigs. ?????!!!!! Just to clarify, she is primarily a theater actor and does NOT make a living doing voice overs and she doesn't even have a home studio. But seriously--even a theater actor should know better than to offer to TAKE SOMEONE ELSE's GIG!

Moral of the story: NEVER say you are too busy, too overloaded or anything of the sort. Just shut up and talk. And be grateful for every single gig.
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