You Have To Work Your Ass Off
Before Getting A Voice Over Agent
September 29, 2016
By Tom Dheere
Recently I saw a post on LinkedIn by an individual who claims he can help you land a voice over agent. Interestingly enough, when I checked the post later, I noticed that he'd taken 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.Ē
WHAT'S YOUR DEFINITION?
Success means different things to different people. For some, itís a certain level of income - and that can vary greatly.
FOCUS ON HARD WORK
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 "secretĒ to landing an agent.
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 youíre serious about this.
The training and professional demo will lead to a body of work that proves you can make an agent money.
But anyone who 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.
Donít be a dreamy, uneducated jerk. What bugs me the most about this topic is that many aspiring voice talents do everything in their power to relieve themselves of the responsibility of their own career.
"But Tom, if Iím lucky, get some good connections, and avoid the competition, Iíll get my big break and land an agent, right?ĒWrong. 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.
SUCCESS DEPENDS ON YOU
With all that in mind, I will say this: I love my agents! Theyíre 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 voice over career once you have achieved a certain level of success. But you cannot and should not depend on your agent in order to become a successful voice talent, no matter how wonderful the agents are.
Your success depends on you.
Over nearly two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 40 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the new sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.
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