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VOICE ACTING
Caution: A Producer's Audition Might Not
Be A Real Audition - THEY Are Auditioning!
October 20, 2015

By Dan Hurst
Voice Actor

I've been seeing a trend developing that we should probably watch as voice dogs. Something to this degree has been going on forever, but now it seems to have become more of an issue.

It appears that more producers are shopping VO auditions under the premise that they have a client/job, when in fact they are just auditioning for that client/job also.

Here's what is going on and how you can figure it out (this is a real example):
An agent or two send you an audition for QT. The job pays $1500. Another agent sends you the same job, but the rate is $975.
What's going on?

Well, I contacted the agent that sent the audition for $975 and asked why their offered rate was so different from the others. She replied, "That's the rate that the producer is paying." I asked if she was sure that producer had the QT job. She was not.

In other words, if you had auditioned for the $975 job, you would have probably auditioned for a producer that didn't even have the job to start with.

While this usually happens with non-union jobs, I've seen it with jobs that post as union jobs also.

AGENT: HAPPENING MORE AND MORE

She had not gotten the audition from Voicebank, and so did not know about the conflict.

She confirmed that they're seeing more and more of that sort of activity, and that it's a little hard for the agency to filter those out if they are not aware that the job is posting elsewhere for more.

BTW, you'll see a LOT of this sort of thing happening on the P2P sites - producers posting jobs that they really don't have, in an attempt to create an audition to submit for a client/job.

I would suggest we start letting our agencies know when they're posting the same job for a considerably lower rate, so they can help clean up the playing field.
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ABOUT DAN
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 Maserati, Boehringer Ingelheim, British Petroleum, Kimberly-Clark, McDonalds, Volkswagen, Telemundo International, Shell, Hallmark, TransCanada, Walmart and many more. When hes not working, he spends his time cheering for losing sports teams and getting kicked off of golf courses.


Email: danhurst@danhurst.com
Web: www.DanHurst.com

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Comments (4)
Tom Kane
10/22/2015 at 8:00 AM
Interesting! I've been voicing scripts provided to me from an agency in Leawood, KS - these are demo scripts to submit to them for V/O work. I'm a voice pro and thought that what I provided them was some of my best work. Never heard back, then just last week I heard a voice on a Halloween doll that was my voice. I recorded that 4 months ago as a demo. It was edited with a female voice as well. Thought you'd be interested in that tidbit.
Melanie Fraser
10/22/2015 at 5:16 AM
Thank you so much for this alert, Dan. It seems the voice over industry is being targeted by these dodgy dealings a lot lately and not just via agents. Yes, they often use the P2P sites as a way to "legitimise" their bogus jobs, thinking we will fall for the (payment in advance routine is one of the carrots they dangle) well paid so-called jobs. I read on a VO forum recently that one artist was expected to pay the sound engineer as well!

For the ones that are on a "beer" budget, yes you are right, they expect all sorts of extra services - often promising more "jobs" - another one to watch out for.

The one thing that puzzles me is that if one tries to have one's profile deleted from P2P sites to avoid these emails (even if the P2P site isn't directly responsible), it never happens........

Thanks again for sharing your news.

Dan Hurst
10/21/2015 at 5:09 PM
Hi Bill!

Certainly, most of the producers don't do this. At least not the ones I know. But there are some that will use the voiceover audition to create a demo of their own (video or radio) to submit to the end client in hopes of landing the production order. Basically they let the end client know that they can produce the spot with that voice for X number of dollars (which is usually less than a normal production house).
Bill Fike
10/21/2015 at 2:34 PM
Maybe I'm a little slow on understanding this. If the producer doesn't really have the client/job, what are they to gain from the auditions they cultivate?
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