When Am I Going to Make a Living Doing Voiceover?
“When am I going to make a living doing Voiceover?” It’s a question I see and hear often! Most seasoned VA’s will tell you the same thing as I will here. You’ll find similar answers in the video archives if you’re a student of my Voiceover Classes, from many of our Special Guest Teachers.
If you’re wondering when you’re going to be able to reach that “Hundred Thousand Dollar” mark, or when you’re going to be able to at least pay your bills, here’s my take:
Work In versus Money Out
Some people believe VO is about “trading talent hours for dollars,” and while it CAN be that, if you approach it only from that perspective, you’re going to come to hate this business. It might happen well before you even reach your financial goal, and then the most important part – you having FUN doing this – is going to go out the window.
This is the Entertainment Business. Unless you’re an entertainment lawyer, there are literally no guarantees. Especially if you’re not in demand and working yet. If you focus your energy on making large amounts of money rather than becoming excellent at your craft, you’re going to experience a very different business model than what we offer.
Integrity is Everything
There are companies out there that wrongfully promise a huge ROI (Return on Investment) if you’re willing to undercut industry standards. Some actors work predatory non-union jobs and step on other actors to achieve that goal. It’s possible, but it’s a philosophy I’ve vehemently avoided subscribing to and spent my career fighting against. Even if you DO choose that path to try to fast track your career, there is STILL no guarantee of reaching $100k per year in a short period of time.
How Much Do You Want It?
If becoming financially independent within a short time frame (say, 5 years) is your goal, and you expect to reach that without doing the work, this career is not for you. That said, if you have the skill set and put yourself in front of the right people to hire you, $100k can be possible if you book even a handful of good commercials a year.
The thing is, you’re not going to book high level stuff like that if you don’t take the time and make the effort to learn and become excellent.
I quit a six figure job to go into voiceover – and I WAS ready – with fairly steady work and over 10 years of experience. The Union went on strike and I had to get three other jobs to sustain me until I finally began to make headway again – a few years later.
You need to want it that much and be willing to do the work – every day.
Even seasoned vets will tell you there are NO guarantees. VO will always require your time and effort. As I’m writing this, I just finished my second extremely busy day at a convention, and I’m in my hotel room on a Friday night – about to study for and record auditions for the next several hours. This work ethic can never falter. If I miss these auditions, (most of which I will definitely NOT book anyway by percentage), there is a 100% guarantee that somebody else will get the gig.
“But I don’t have the time”
I can’t tell you how much work it will take to become a top level VA, but I can tell you that NOT doing the work will keep you at hobby status. Maybe that will be enough if you’re in it for the right reasons, and in time you may find the bandwidth to pursue it in earnest.
I did this for fun for years and ultimately loved it enough to take that risk to shoot for the career. As hard as it was – and sometimes continues to be, it’s a decision I’ll never regret, and I work harder at it now than ever. And I’m 62 years old.
“I can’t afford coaching and/or classes”
There are plenty of options available out there for coaching and classes. Here at Blumvox Studios we offer over 200 hours of on-demand content covering every aspect of my journey AND what I think will best set you up to win. We also run live monthly classes with Industry experts, so the content is constantly being updated with current perspectives from the best in the business. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can learn from others, but unfortunately those classes aren’t free, as it costs us to produce and provide this platform.
Wherever you go to learn, your level of commitment and investment will be part of the equation. Do you want to make this a “Business”? A “Career”? If you do, then like any other Business or Career you will have to invest in it, both financially and with your own time.
What else can WE provide?
If you’re cash-strapped but serious about learning, Blumvox Studios has lots of resources that don’t require a subscription, but DO give great information you can action.
Free 1-Hour Masterclass: If you haven’t seen this, head on over, sign up and watch at a time that’s convenient to you. It was re-made early last year, and is more current now than ever. I cover the basics of some of the more urgent needs that new VA’s have (Where can I get an Agent? When am I ready for a Demo?). There’s also a special intro offer to the Classes available, if you’re not yet a Student.
FAQ’s: This can give you general information – both technical and skill-related.
Blogs: We’ve extrapolated many of the most common concerns and questions during these last 4 years of Classes, and while they’re a shortened version of what’s covered in class, they’re VERY valuable, and Free!
Bvsfb.com: We created a Facebook Community at www.bvsfb.com. Besides a lot of good free VO information in that group, there’s also a link to the Unofficial Blumvox Discord in the “announcements” or pinned posts at the top of the group. It’s only available via the FB group, but that Discord group is SUPER active with practice sessions, workshops, etc. The folks on discord can also provide some relevant feedback about their journey. (We don’t run the discord, but the team over there are amazing humans and they’re always making awesome (and free) VO things happen.
Becoming a successful VA is a lot of hard work and hustle. It takes time and effort to practice, improve, network, audition, and get the gigs. Will you learn great things along the way? Yes. Will you learn things beyond VO? Yes. Will you gain a good network along the way? Hopefully. Will it be worth the time and effort? Only you can answer that one.
Some of our students are solely doing VO as their career. Some are still doing it on the side. Some are still struggling to do the work to get a role. Some students listen to the classes while they commute to work or clean the house. Some watch every class as soon as possible.
Some students stay students because they gain life betterment skills.
Everyone has a different journey, and a different definition of what they need, both in terms of a happy life AND what it takes to make a living.
Either way, you can still be connected to VO if you want to be.
If you ARE a student and reading this, thank you for trusting us to get you this far! I sincerely hope you reach your goals. They are worth fighting for.
I wish you ALL the very best.