It would seem I’ve built up a bit of a reputation for myself as Mr Anti Casting Sites. After sharing some thoughts on the subject via my blog, and also in panels at VO Atlanta and the Midwest Voice Over Conference, and having countless conversations with other voice actors via email, social media and in person, it’s time to set the records straight.
Do I have issue with the way certain casting sites conduct their business? Yes.
Have I ever told anyone to not use casting sites ever? No.
Are there certain casting sites I recommend using over others? Yes.
Do I look down upon those who choose to use casting sites? Absolutely not!
Let Me Clear Up Something About Casting Sites
From the very beginning the only thing I’ve said repeatedly is if you’re going to use the casting sites…
A) Use them as ONE tool in your toolbox, not the only tool.
B) Make sure you educate yourself on what you’re signing up for. (Read Terms of Service)
C) Evaluate your audition to booking ratio and return on TIME investment.
Online casting isn’t going away. This is truth, whether we like it or not and regardless of how you may feel about any or all casting sites. It’s just the reality of the world we live in.
Just like Amazon crushed the brick and mortar book store and iTunes killed the record store, casting sites are replacing what were formerly considered traditional forms of finding and booking talent.
It is what it is. It’s not going away.
I’m A Casting Site Member
I’m a member of bodalgo. A proud member, in fact. I fully support Armin, the site he’s built and the model he’s using for his business. After a couple Online Casting Panels from recent conferences, I’ve even given some consideration to giving Voice123 another shot. I had great success with them when I used them years ago.
But make no mistake, these sites will NEVER replace my own marketing efforts. I’ll NEVER rely exclusively on them for leads and bookings. I’m not going to spend countless hours a day auditioning feverishly for every opportunity that requires a male voice.
My business is MY business. I’ve built it on my terms of service, not anyone else’s. It will remain this way.
What Works? What Doesn’t?
No matter what you choose to do, you must evaluate what works for your business model. If it’s casting sites, great. If it’s not, great.
Marketing works for me. I’ve built a great business. I’m connecting with new people all the time. Finding new leads and opportunities every week.
A good financial planner will help you spread out your assets. This is how you protect yourself. With a well balanced portfolio, if one area starts to under-perform, it’ll balance out in another area. You shouldn’t have all your eggs in one basket.
This goes for your savings and your voice over business.
The Bottom Line
I’ll continue to speak out against casting site practices I find unethical and immoral. If I find out talent are being blatantly ripped off or taken advantage of, I’ll shine light on it. At the same time, if I find sites that are listening to talent, supporting talent and using business models that benefit all parties involved, (like bodalgo) I’ll shine light on that too.
Do your research. Do your math. Most importantly, never let someone else (individual or casting site) dictate the terms of your voice and your voice business.