Posted on Isn’t The Solution You’re Looking For

World-Voices created to be a talent directory… and that’s exactly what is is. A talent directory… just like they said.

Just like they’ve repeated.


It seems like every time Voices dot com does something disruptive, the cries go up, once again, for World-Voices to turn into the solution and savior we’re all looking for.

It’s still a talent directory.

Just like they said it would be. Isn’t The Solution You’re Looking For

Online casting isn’t going away. This is something we’re all too well aware of. However, if online casting is going to remain fair and lucrative for serious voice actors, admittedly, we may need an alternative to Voices dot com. is not it.

A searchable database of professional talent has a place and purpose. But it’s only going to take us so far.

The reality is, most people seeking a voice want the quick and easy fix.

Like it or not, Voices dot com offers that. Post your project. Collect auditions. Hire. The end. Heck, if you want, for the low low fee of 40-80% of your budget (unbeknownst to you, of course) Voices dot com will even handle the entire deal for you! doesn’t do that.

Nor, do I suspect, will it ever.

Unless someone is planning to infuse tens of millions of dollars in the bank account.

Remember, Voices dot com didn’t become the juggernaut they are, for free! There are, quite literally, tens of millions of dollars on the books to build the infrastructure and help them operate and grow daily.

At the end of the day, the success of your business falls on you and how you choose run it.
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There are a couple bigger issues at play, as I see it.

1) People misunderstand the purpose of World-Voices. While the organization will act as an advocate for the industry as a whole, it is not in their mandate, as I understand it, to help you or me find and book voice over work.

2) was not created to replace casting sites as your source of voice over work.

3) A talent directory is meant to provide a searchable database for voice seekers looking for professional talent. It’s not meant to be a casting site for you to find voice over work.

4) Stop expecting other people, sites, organizations, companies and sources to find voice over work for you. Including World-Voices and

5) Voices dot com, or any other casting site, should NEVER be your primary source for income in the first place, and if it is, let this wake up call be the gentle nudge you need to take back control of your business, do your OWN marketing, find your OWN work and build your OWN client base.

How Are You Running Your Business?

I’ve built a six-figure voice over income with my own blood, sweat and tears. I’ve not relied on casting sites, VoiceBank, agents, or anyone else to find those opportunties and convert them. I do my own legwork daily.

My business is MY business.

This is why these “disruptions” have had little to no impact (thus far) on me or my business and why (to this point) I’m not sweating them too much or freaking out.

Can there be tools and resources to help us? Sure there can! Resources like being listed in a free talent directly such as can be one of them. Heck, even casting sites can be one of them.

Just remember, each of them are SINGLE tools in your toolbox.

At the end of the day, the success (or lack thereof) of your business falls on you and how you choose run it.

If you choose to give away control to outside entities (like casting sites, VoiceBank, etc…) then you’re allowing your business to be run by their rules, and you can’t act surprised, hurt or p’oed when the rules change and you take the hit.

Not if you let it happen.

Want to learn more about World-Voices and how they’re advocating for our industry? Or, better yet, want to become a member? Visit

Disclaimer: The opinions shared in this blog are those of the blogger (that would be me). They are not endorsed in any way by World-Voices or
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5 Things Voice Actors Wish Voice Seekers Understood About Casting Sites

We get it. When you’re not a production house or ad agency, knowing where to go to find a voice over isn’t instinctive. So you do a Google search. That’s natural. Everybody google’s everything all day.

Thanks to the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) casting sites spend on pay per click ads, when you search for basically anything related to voice over, your top results will be any combination of a half dozen or more casting sites.

So you post your job.

Some of us are there waiting to help you with that job. We’ve got our demos uploaded. Our microphones warmed up. Our Granny Smith apples to resolve mouth clicks. We’re primed and ready to deliver exactly the voice over you need! Unless you go to Fiverr. All the good VO’s won’t be waiting for you on Fiverr. But that’s another blog for another day!

Now that you’re on the casting site and you’re ready to post your job, here’s five things that us voice actors would like you, as voice seekers, to understand about the process. Getting these five things will help you get a better voice over and make it easier for us to provide it. So really, everybody wins!

5 Things Voice Actors Wish Voice Seekers Understood About Casting Sites

Give Us Your Best Take: Generic directions such as this or other statements like, “we trust you.” “We don’t really know what we want.” “You’re the professional, we’ll leave it to you.” Or simply saying nothing at all, is a really great way to ensure your casting process will be tedious and torturous. Give us something. Anything. A couple of words. Informative. Upbeat. Conversational. Casual. Authoritative. Post a sample of another read you’ve heard that you like. Anything!

With nothing more than a script, it can be really hard for us, even as professionals, to truly get in sync with your vision for your project. A little bit of direction can go a long way to making the process better for everyone involved.

Budget Breakdown: None of us voice actors really want to say it, so allow me to just go ahead and throw it out there. There are certain casting sites (that start with voices and end with dot com) that take significant portions of your budget, often without you even knowing. Like 40, 50 or even 60% + of the budget that you’ve intended for talent sometimes simply goes into their bank account without disclosure. This makes us sad. So many of us won’t play in their sandbox anymore.

If you want to get the best talent for your project, and make sure they’re getting the whole budget you intended (because sometimes budget determines the level of talent you’ll get), we’d like to suggest you post your projects elsewhere. We’ll find you there. We promise!

Ranking Matters: Voice123 has a ranking system for auditions, and it’s one of the most misunderstand and misused features we’ve ever seen. What you, as a voice seeker, may not realize, is these rankings actually impact us. So, for example, if you listen to 40 auditions and mark one of them with Four Stars and 39 of them with One Star, those 39 talent take a hit from the casting site.

Ranking can help you sort through auditions. We get it. We expect it. We just want you to know that how you rank us matters, and can impact our ability to be invited to future projects. Take the time to understand how it works, and please, unless we really stink (and admittedly, sometimes we do miss the mark), please don’t hit us all with the one star!

What’s The Usage: Voice Actors don’t like it when we see things like, “full buyout for all mediums in perpetuity” on casting site auditions. Here’s why. Let’s say you’re a local pizza restaurant and we voice a commercial for your pizza restaurant. Then one day a pizza chain comes knocking offering us five-figures to voice their national pizza chain commercial. Only, they find out we have a full buyout for all mediums in perpetuity deal with your pizza restaurant. Guess what… we just lost a five-figure VO job.

Most talent want to work with you on your projects and we try really hard to be reasonable. All we ask is you understand the other side of the coin (that would be the side our head is on). If we give all rights to your pizza restaurant, we may never be able to voice another pizza project ever again! And if you’re only offering $250 for your project that could cost us work for a lifetime… well… I think you understand. All we ask is that you be clear and reasonable about usage and let’s all work together to find fair solutions.

Please Listen To Auditions: Nothing is more discouraging for a voice actor than to put a lot of effort into delivering a quality audition for your project, only to find out later that audition was never even listened to. It ends up being a waste of time and that can be frustrating.

Casting sites let you choose audition numbers from 10 to 200 (maybe more). Many people, especially people who are new to casting sites, just set the number to 200, assuming that’s the best way to get the most options. On one hand it is. For sure. On the other hand, think of how long it’ll take you to listen to 200 auditions. Let’s assume every one is :30. Plus you need another :90 to click through the site to access each one. That means two minutes per audition. At 200 auditions, that’s 400 minutes. That’s nearly seven hours to listen to them all. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

In order to make sure everything gets listened to, and you’re not missing a potentially great voice actor for your project, consider setting the audition number to something more reasonable for you and your available time.

The voice over community is filled with many amazing, talented, creative and professional actors who are ready, willing and able to deliver the goods for your project with grace and ease. All we need to make the process as smooth as possible is a few simple steps from you up front that aren’t always made clear in the casting site instructions.

Take these five things into account, and you’ll be well on your way to top notch voice over the next time you need one.

Oh, and as a parting note, if you’re looking for a database of vetted, trusted professional VO’s (and you don’t want to hire me directly *wink* *wink*) please visit!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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My Thoughts On Pay To Play Casting Sites

People often ask me, “Marc, why are you so against Pay To Play voice over casting sites?”

Thing is, I’m not. Not specifically, anyway.

It’s more that, in my own career, I’ve evolved beyond them. I choose not to pay for memberships with any of the casting sites. This doesn’t mean I’m against them. It’s just a choice based on what works for me and my business.

Do I share my opinions on the subject of Pay To Plays? Sure I do. I blog. That’s half of what blogging is. Sharing opinions. Isn’t it? Further to that point, because I’ve previously paid for memberships on all the big players in the online casting game, I believe I have an educated opinion.

Why don’t I use them anymore? Well, there are a few reasons. Not the least of which is, I jumped into voice over with both feet because I wanted to be in control of my career and my lifestyle. I wanted to call the shots. Make the decisions. The buck stops with me. My level of success (or failure) would be of my own doing.

Pay To Play sites, over time, took that away from me.

My Thoughts On Pay To Play Casting Sites

Consider some of these points..

  • Sites no longer allowing direct communication with clients, inhibiting my ability to provide exceptional service and also making it difficult to form long term relationships.
  • Sites inserting middlemen (Project Managers) into the equation, adding another unnecessary layer of complexity to a process that doesn’t need to be complex. Voice Seeker + Voice Talent = Voice Over. It can be that easy!
  • Sites raising membership rates (to outrageous levels) while limiting the number of opportunities talent receive.
  • Sites charging membership fees AND commissions.
  • Sites dictating my value as a talent by setting and controlling rates.

After taking some time to reflect on the entire process, what I realized was, I was paying people to control a significant portion of my time, career and success. In return, I wasn’t receiving a lot of value… if any.

“Here’s $400 so you can limit my opportunities, prevent direct client contact, manage my work, take a commission and pay me less than I’d make if I booked this job on my own.”

When you put it like that, it seems kinda absurd, doesn’t it?

The Price Of Doing Business

What you need to understand is, Pay To Play casting sites are a business. Like any other business, voice over related or not, they’re out to make a profit. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m out to make a profit! We’re all trying to make a profit. Earn a living. Pay some bills. Have some fun. Support our families.

That doesn’t make us bad people.

With the Pay To Plays, I simply found that over time, as their emphasis on profits and bottom lines for their businesses grew, my profit margin with them shrank. Substantially. The price of doing business with them simply grew too steep for my liking. Not only financially, but in my time as well.

I wouldn’t say any of the major Pay To Play sites were ever overly talent focused. I started using them around 2007, maybe. I will say in the last year or two, all of them have pretty much stopped giving a second thought to talent and our concerns whatsoever.

They’re just cashing those membership cheques and hauling money to the bank.

That’s their right as business owners.

I’m not against Pay To Play casting sites. I just don’t have much interest in doing business with them anymore.


A New Alternative For Voice Casting

What really irks me is how much time, effort and energy is devoted to public floggings of the Pay To Plays for their business practices. How long can you beat a dead horse before you find a new way to fill your time?

Somewhere along the way we (as talent) must draw a line in the sand. Are we going to continue to lend our voice (in whatever capacity) to the problem(s)? Or will we lend it to the solution?

Personally, I want to start focusing on the solution. I believe that solution could be Does it need work? Sure. But could it be something great for us as talent? Unquestionably.

Want to start being part of the solution? Let me encourage you to spend some time researching World-Voices and consider joining.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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Getting To Know World-Voices Part 2

This is the second and final part of an interview I conducted with Dave Courvoisier and Dustin Ebaugh about World-Voices. (Click here for Part 1)

Hopefully through the questions and their responses you’re able to have a greater understanding of the organization. Maybe you’re even considering becoming a member.

Getting To Know World-Voices Part 2

Marc: In a Pay 2 Play world where it seems like every organization is putting the needs / wants of clients ahead of talent, what is World Voices / doing different?

Dave: is member-owned, member-driven, member/talent-centric, and seeks to do better the things that the P2P’s constantly foul-up with their profit-driven motives. We want to help our members make their OWN money, not make WoVO (the organization) rich. We’d love to beat them at their own game, but it’s going to take time, some smart SEO, word-of-mouth, and some diligent marketing to get there.

Marc: Speaking of, tell us a little bit more about this site. How does it work?

Dave: Every WoVO member with professional status receives a code from the developers to begin setting up their profile, uploading their demos, etc. The site has a search function to seek certain talent, dialects, genres, etc. In listings, talent are constantly re-arranged in random order, so people at the bottom of the alphabet don’t end up with the short shrift all the time.

When the (ahem) hordes of voice-seekers find out about the high level of accomplishment of the people listed on the site, they will flock to, and keep coming back! 🙂 That is our hope.

The site is free to members. We don’t take payments, and don’t get in the way of the job transaction once the client has found the talent they want. There’s no algorithms, no formulas, no issuing of job notices… the client finds the talent, and contacts them privately. That’s it.

Marc: Arguably the most hotly debated topic in voice over is that of rates. Does World Voices have a position on this debate? Do they recommend or endorse a particular rate card or rate standard?

Dustin: WoVO does not set rates or advise our members on rates. However, we make rate cards from various markets, countries and sources available on our website, so that members may be informed of the rates others are charging. We do, however, agree that in the United States, SAG-AFTRA rates are a good guideline for minimum professional rates.

Dave: What Dustin said. I’ll only add that our Executive Board has burned up miles of email threads, and endless Skype bandwidth debating the wisdom of getting into the “rates” discussion. Merely by setting our “5-jobs” membership criteria, we’ve stumbled upon some thorny rates issues (does an ACX job that pays only Royalty Share qualify?….if you do a job on Fivrr for $25, does that qualify?)

Some big-name established voice-actors in Hollywood have invited us to be involved in the rates debate with SAG-AFTRA and others sitting at the table, so clearly we have a part to play in all this…we just don’t want to play a heavy hand in hard numbers… rather urging people to consider their own self-worth as a freelance professional…taking the high road on rates, regardless of how hard it may be.

Marc: I see you’ve got a conference scheduled for April. Who is that open to? Anyone or members only? Tell us a bit more about what’s going to take place and who will be leading the sessions.

Dustin: WoVOCon II is scheduled for April 17-19 at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, NV. Our conferences are open to members only. All three categories of members are welcome.

We will have a couple discussions on the organization. What members can do for WoVO and what WoVO can do for members. One of the things to come out of last year’s discussion was, so we’re pretty excited about that.

This year, we’ll have Industry Partners Joyce Castellanos and Pat Fraley teaching on Saturday. We’ll also have peer-to-peer groups, where members can share their expertise in various fields with other members. We have some software specific sessions scheduled already with experts in ProTools, Adobe Audition and Twisted Wave.

Members can register here:

Marc: If someone is interested in becoming a member, how does it work? How much does it cost? Where do they go to sign up?

Dustin: New members can apply here: There’s a $25 application fee and membership is $49 per year. So, for the first year it’s $74 and $49 annually thereafter.

Marc: Is there anything else you’d like to add or discuss that VO’s need to know?

Dave: I constantly find myself saying I’m not worthy to be a WoVO officer. The work we’re doing, the ethical judgments we weigh, the volunteer efforts being made, the constant consideration of our membership’s needs, and what they expect of us. It all just BLOWS. ME. AWAY.

For that reason, some of the minor stumbles we’ve made in our formative months have been frustrating to all of us on the executive board. Some lingering technical issues with our two websites drive us batty. But the more support we get, the more we can move into solutions that help us seek professional 3rd-party help for those problems, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Our members have been patient with those wrinkles, because, I think they believe – as the board does – in the mandate of WoVO, and the promise it holds for our profession.

More About World-Voices

Thanks, again, to Dave and Dustin for their time. I appreciate the thought and detail they put into their answers, and I’m hoping I asked the right questions to enlighten those of you that are curious to know more.

In the interest of disclosure, I am a member of World-Voices. I signed up a couple weeks ago. I believe in what the organization is trying to do, and I’m all about supporting any effort to improve the voice over industry.

Want to apply for membership? Visit

For those of you on Twitter, please consider joining the #WoVOChat that will take place January 28, 2015 at 12pm PST / 3pm EST.