Redefining voiceover representation: Game changing insights from an industry innovator and influencer
What's the difference between the talent that are booking loads of work and the ones that are struggling?
Talent who are thoughtful about their reads and reflect that in their audition tend to book more on average. They are great storytellers who keep true to the uniqueness of their natural voice without letting their delivery get in the way.
The most commonly booked talent are those who deliver the 'message' most effectively. Also, the difference in who books a lot or who is struggling can be simply that the actor's voice and approach doesn't match the current 'flavour of the day'.
The best way for someone to capitalize on their voice is to be prepared to work in any genre.
Generally speaking, I think the people who seem to be struggling have found success in only one or very few genres of VO and are unable to adapt their voice to today's diverse environment. It's important to be able to shift gears when reading commercial copy vs. promo vs. narration, etc. Each style is unique, so you have to approach each one with a fresh perspective and sound. A combination of coaching and auditioning is the best way to improve your chances across multiple genres.
What are the current trends you're seeing in the industry?
There are more opportunities in voiceover than ever before, and the competition is also fiercer than ever. Talent are also training more than ever. Good acting will always be in style.
There is no longer one type of voice that gets booked on everything. The big trend that we see today is the heightened call for inclusiveness and diversity in every sense of the word. It's equally amazing that there are more women working in voiceover than ever in all areas.
There seemed to be this excitement about online casting which has soured for various reasons. The trend seems to be reversing back to seasoned representation as nothing beats quality and experience. Additionally, and thankfully, the trend of rate structures being torn down and abused seems to be swinging back towards legitimacy. Many buyers found out what they received from talent as a result of bargain-basement rates weren't necessarily effective for their valuable projects. The ship seems to be 'righting' itself as buyers seek higher quality talent options and realize the rates must reflect that quality.
How important would you say is networking?
In 2020, networking is more important than ever, especially in voiceover. Today, our industry allows for true business people and entrepreneurs to directly market their services to companies and succeed. There's more work out there than ever for individual VO talent marketers. However, this may not be a skill and an option for everyone as some do it more effectively than others. LinkedIn has become an amazing platform for this success and as I always say, the buyers on that platform are like sand on the beach. Initially networking and self-marketing may seem daunting. However, with natural talent, an effective marketing plan, and loads of confidence, it can all go a long way.
I also want to mention that self marketing also has and will always have its limitations in that there are high end buyers such as blue-chip advertising agencies, producers, networks etc, who will always look to high end VO representation companies for their projects as a trusted source of one stop shopping.
You are brilliant on social media and you have a very large following, do you have any advice for people on how best to use social media?
I appreciate that and worked really hard to get here. It took DAILY SUSTAINABLE DEDICATION. Typically, most people who attempt this, get all jazzed and then fall off pretty quickly because they can't keep up with the hard work that's required of them to succeed. It's all about providing valuable content and engagement. That's not easy. My advice to anyone who wants to create a major social media following that will be successful, is to be prepared for the long haul and the daily grind. If you don't think that you can dedicate yourself to this then hold off to a time that might be a better time for you. The reason I say this is because you don't want to go out there if you're not ready, as you likely only get one real chance to present yourself as an individual brand. As a social media presence, you don't want to give the appearance of dipping in and then waning for an extended period of time. That's the worst thing you can do to yourself on social. Also, make sure that you build a multi-platform social media presence. This means active engagement across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. I personally engage with the entire voiceover community and valued buyers on these platforms.
What's unique about ACM?
Over the past year, I feel like we've redefined voiceover representation. We have our fingers on the pulse in so many ways. Our clients careers are flourishing as we are succeeding in paying attention to every area of voiceover.
We are an unprecedented voiceover management company with the most veteran former agents and VO specialists under one banner. We all take pride in presenting our talent with the most plentiful, unique and diverse opportunities. We equally take pride in the career management of our clients. We established daily individual client career "Roundtables" with all managers and have a built- in open door calendar policy for any client to schedule a career chat at any time. We also have a necessary built in marketing, branding and social media department where we make sure that all ACM clients are as prepared as possible for entrepreneurship and partnership in 2020 and beyond.
What do you enjoy about your job?
That's easy. Getting to work with such amazingly talented colleagues on a daily basis. These are the top industry veterans who were the best agents (turned managers) and experts in the country. In building out our company, it was important for us to have the most respected and morally aware managers working together. It's truly like a family. We all really like each other and have fun with our complimentary personalities. It's amazing to see how much dedication that everyone has for our clients and preserving the craft of VO.
Marc Guss | ACM Talent
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