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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why Did that Newbie Get Picked Over Me?

I’ve been in the voiceover industry 23 years now, and I’ve seen it happen time and again - an inexperienced actor getting chosen for a project over a seasoned veteran. It’s happened to some of my good friends, and it’s happened to me as well. And every time, each of us was left wondering, “How the heck did that happen?”

Well, there are several reasons why a client goes with a new talent over an experienced one. Here are a few:

1.    They’re not up to speed on technology.  Technology is always moving forward, and if  you’re not moving with it, you’re going to get left behind. While younger VO actors who haven’t been in the business quite as long have no problems adapting to technology changes, it’s not as easy for some of us who’ve been at it for awhile. But not keeping up can be very detrimental, especially when clients (young ones in particular) use newer tech tools to advertise work and connect with actors.

2.    Their web presence isn’t what it should be. In a similar vein, creating a strong web presence is important for voice over actors. If your website looks dated or doesn’t function well, people aren’t going to spend a lot of time checking it out. Same goes for social media -  you need to be using it, and you need to be using at least a couple different platforms so you can reach more people.

3.    They rely too much on their resume and reputation. Don’t get me wrong, resumes are good, and you absolutely should be keeping yours updated and using it to get work. However, this shouldn’t be your sole means of letting people know who you are and what you’ve done. You should also be using your demo and other marketing tools.

4.    They let their demo get stale.  Speaking of your demo, you should be updating it at least once a year, maybe two years. You need to keep it fresh, with new content that reflects your evolving talent and skills. 

5.    They let themselves get stale. Ouch. This one is harsh, true. Some actors get content with where they are in their career, and they do little to grow as a professional. When this happens, they become stale, and guess who notices? Everyone but them.

There are a lot of very talented newbies out there who are more than deserving of the work they get, but the same goes for experienced actors - so long as we don’t make the mistakes above.

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