Female VoiceOver Talent Self-Inflict
Their Wage Gap - A Client's Perspective
June 6, 2019
By Lynne Darlington
VoiceOver and On-Camera Actor
This direct invitation email was sent to me from an online voice casting website. The invitation was from Diane Cricchio, president of Timeline Video, a digital and broadcast media production company, whom I had met in a project meeting years before.
Timeline Video was seeking auditions from both men and women for a particular TV project.
I booked as the woman, and we had our scheduled recording session.
After our session, we began to chat - and it was clear that Diane wanted to share something she learned through the online casting process.
FEMALES ASKED FOR LESS MONEY
She told me that there was quite a discrepancy along gender lines regarding the price quotes she received.
The majority of women were quoting $200, and some quoted as low as $50!
The men's average quote was within acceptable industry standard compensation – between $500 and $800 for this TV project.
Diane was in absolute shock from the lowball offers she received from the women vs. the men for the same project.
The national gender wage gap crisis is certainly not late-breaking news. It has been an issue for decades ... but a self-inflicted wage gap?!?
The women's average quote was well below market standard, and in Diane's words, 'insulting to our gender.'
IGNORED 'LOWBALL QUOTE' AUDITIONS
Diane said she was unmotivated to listen to the lowball auditions because if these women did not value themselves, how could she consider hiring them?
She had not announced that the lowest offer would get the gig.
The low bidders did not feel like professionals to her.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research states:
I began to wonder: why are women self-sabotaging themselves professionally?
I asked Diane if I could share her experience and her thoughts. I felt that hearing a client's take on low quotes would be valuable information for our VO sisterhood.
Diane chose to share her experience to help other women, saying "We women have to support and encourage one another."
START WITH RATE GUIDES
I have found the Global Voice Acting Academy's Rate Guide to be a helpful resource. It is bookmarked on my computer and I refer to it often. These compensation figures are reasonable starting points for negotiation.
Backstage also has an interesting article written by casting director Kate McClanaghan: What to Charge as a Voiceover Artist, concerning how VO lowballing can present inherent dangers, and why it is a poor idea.
I understand there will always be newbies and those just happy to book, as well as producers with slim budgets.
But please, I implore my low balling colleagues: Know your worth and how it is perceived!
Lynne Darlington is a voice-over and on-camera actor who has worked on hundreds of projects. Career highlights include working with a three-term governor, and appearing with her sweet dog Sandy in a commercial.
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