International VO Cuisine
There is one common language in Voice Acting and that is usually English, but the beauty of each country is that all languages require Voice Actors. So no matter where you live in the world, there is opportunity. Those that speak more than one language have access to double the work. When the Online Voice industry was born, there were only a handful of talent working from home, now that it has grown at an expedient rate we are seeing some very saturated markets. For those of you just starting out, this makes it tougher to make a substantial wage. For those of us who are veterans, we are finding ourselves in slow times as of late.
One thing that is certain is that the North American market is highly saturated and it is getting more difficult to find a decent agent and book on the Pay 2 Play sites. So where does one seek out more work? The international market is a huge trend right now. Countries that speak different languages or have strong dialects different than the North American market are in need to expand their audience reach. This is great news for us in North America, as we become the sought after talent. The difficulity however is that each country have different rate standards. One country might value VO talent rates the same as we do in North America, but many don’t. Many have much smaller budgets, while others keep the same standards.
Now the challenge becomes deciding your worth. The way I see it is this, I want to work. I want to be valued for the years of training, time and money I’ve put into this craft, but at the same time, I respect that I get to sit at home in my PJ’s and make money. It’s a great job. Although I won’t sell myself short, and give it away too cheap, I am willing to work with different rate standards, if it is the norm of that country. I strongly believe the industry has taken a drastic rate change and we can fight it as long as we can – but the reality is here. The clients have learned they can get it cheaper and because of a suffering economy, every company is cutting back, and rates for VO is one of the hardest hit.
You have to decide what you’re willing to take, but there are some pretty low balling rates out there in the international market, especially in countries like India, etc. So work hard to increase those rates so they can pay you closer to what you are worth, but if you can’t then you should be okay to turn companies away and leave that for others who are more willing to work for those rates. (hopefully more amature type talent).
There is much more to the rates than what I mention, but another challenge you will have in entering a foreign market is finding the work! If they don’t speak English it can be hard to communicate. There are several companies making themselves known that hire those of us English speaking talent. I will be hosting a webinar that covers exactly this topic and offer some advice and contacts for those that hire us talent with John Florian over at Voiceover Xtra. I encourage you to check it out and open your eyes up to the evolving market. Like everything else, you will need to research and schlep your way through to find out what companies can help you grow, but it’s possible and like the North American market, it won’t take long before they have more talent htan they need either. Stay ahead of the game, watch what is happening in the industry and find your place int it dso you’re not sitting back on the sidelines wihshing you had.
Until next time
All my best
VO Chef Deb