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Is Rejection Getting You Down?
How To Tip The Odds In Your Favor ...
May 15, 2019

By Rob Marley
Voice Actor

If you are a voice-over artist using the pay-to-play online marketplaces, you are probably well aware of the ratio of auditions to winning jobs. 100 to 1 is about average most voice artists experience.

I know some people who have gone far longer than that without finding work. 

And when you've done all you can to provide the best possible audition and you still don't get the job, it starts to weigh on you.

So how do you deal with that kind of rejection and not get depressed about it?

Suck it up, buttercup.

In the United States, we live in an "everyone gets a trophy" culture. But the reality is that life doesn't work that way. Life isn't fair. It doesn't care how badly you want something. It doesn't matter how much effort you've put into it.

Despite what well-meaning people have tried to tell us, qualified people don't always get the job. The best person doesn't always win. Good doesn't always triumph over evil. That's life. 

So you can sit there pouting that nobody likes you, or you can do something that can tip the odds in your favor. 


Here are three things you can do to help deal with rejection and improve your voice-over success rate.

1. Fix what's wrong.

Realize there may be a variety of reasons why you were not the choice for a particular job.

Maybe it's a technical problem:
  • your audio was of poor quality,
  • the room you recorded in had a lot of reverb, or
  • you are using a cheap microphone. 
Maybe it's the way you interpreted or delivered the script. Maybe the copy had words that were difficult to pronounce ("methylchloroisothiazolinone," anyone?)

Maybe your audition didn't get heard because the voice seeker was swamped with over 100 people - all qualified and capable of delivering the script the way they wanted. 

Or maybe the sound of your voice just reminds the voice seeker of a creepy uncle they knew. 

The point is that (with the exception of the creepy uncle) almost every excuse can be something you can improve on. 
  • Crappy sound? Improve your recording environment.
  • Difficult to pronounce words? Look up the correct pronunciation online and memorize it before you record.
  • Too many people have already submitted auditions? Submit yours sooner, etc. 
2. Put in the hard work. 

It's been said that the top voice artists on one of the big P2Ps have - at best - about a 4% success rate. That means they're rejected for 96% of the work they audition for. 

So how do these top performers become the best?

The answer is that they've put in the effort to do everything they can to make sure their auditions are the absolute best they can be, both technically, and vocally.

They've received training. Not just a weekend class or they've read someone's book, but chances are they have a professional coach working with them on a regular basis to improve their abilities.

These people have put in the hard work. 

Now: What have you done?

3. Keep a positive attitude.

It's easy to get caught up in rejection and start to think that you aren't good enough.

But if being a voice artist is something you really want to do, you have to accept that there are going to be times where it feels like nothing you do seems to work.

It's at those times that you need to hang on, focus on your skills and double down your efforts. 

The best advice I ever heard about being hired for the job you want is this:
The way to get to the "Yes" is to get through the "No's" faster.  
The more effort you put in and the more you audition, the more you improve your chances of landing a gig. 
  • Research.
  • Get coaching from a trusted professional.
  • Speed up your workflow.
  • Practice more.
  • Practice harder. 
And then understand that even with all that, you STILL might not get the job. And that's OK. Just remember that it's not personal and don't give up. NEVER give up.  
A Los Angeles native, Rob Marley is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the hill country of Austin TX.


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Comments (4)
Bud Milligan
5/27/2019 at 3:08 PM
Great article, Rob! I especially like your "everyone gets a trophy" comment. I don't think parents have done it on purpose. I am an older daddy of two young girls, and I want to do everything I can to spare them heartache and disappointment. However, as a former Marine, I have more of a tendency to say, "Suck it up, buttercup!" In fact, I use that phrase often, with my kids, so I laughed when I saw that in your article. I've been in outside sales for 20+ yrs, and that is key to surviving in any business. Voice acting is no different!
Shirley Apte
5/18/2019 at 4:03 AM
You said it as it is. It's so true and most of the times VO's do not know the reason for rejection, which is even worse.

Thanks for the encouragement!
Debby Barnes
5/15/2019 at 2:46 PM
Always a good topic, RM; and your POV is always on point!
Monique Bagwell
5/15/2019 at 8:39 AM
Well said! The 'participation trophy' has created a real problem in our society. The idea that if you just show up you will get something. It turned 'competition' into a dirty word, thereby debilitating a healthy urge for growth and survival.

Great tips on how to revive that competitive spirit especially if you are in this for the long haul.
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