Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: Rate card for voiceover talent? It's a start to understanding the terrain.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rate card for voiceover talent? It's a start to understanding the terrain.

A lot of folks have been chatting about this, and while I hate to jump on the bandwagon this particular item is worth repeating.

Seems that the folks at Edge Studio took the time to take some rates and put them together into a very nice list that the average voice talent can use.

I recommend that any voice actor take the time to learn what the rates are in their local area and spread out from there, learning about the rates and general working conditions of whatever areas they're working in. Quite simply, you wouldn't plan a trip cross country without having a map would you? Then why would you try to work someplace without knowing what the rates, etc. are?

Don't believe me? Well Sun Tzu thought enough of it to dedicate a good chunk of "The Art of War" to warn the reader:

You need to be aware of the terrain and its affect on your soldiers, as well as the enemy. This will allow you to fight with advantage. From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible, disaster will ensue. knowing these things is a test of a great general.

Carl von Clausewitz also believed it to be a crucial factor towards victory, and I think that anyone who want to succeed in business should understand the advantages and constraints of the terrain/environment in which they operate.

The good folks at Edge can't know all the different rates across the country, but their rate card is a very good start (though I'd like to know the specifics behind the census they used... it's the engineer in me). It's a great resource that a lot of talent can definitely use, especially if they're trying to establish an online presence with any of the P2P sites out there right now. Don't get me wrong, some of the online sites are genuinely working to provide a service in an equitable manner,as you can see here or here, they might not totally sync up with what the rates are in your neck of the woods.

I guess the long and short of it is this, Edge Studio put together a nice resource, and there are others out there which I've linked to this post. Don't be afraid to use them, but don't be defined by them either. You are the CEO of your voiceover business. Don't be afraid to take command of your position, or your rates.

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Blogger Justin said...

Hey Greg,

Great post! Thanks for sharing these thoughts on rates, and for the links you provided as well.

You mention in a couple place the importance of determining local rates to get a clearer picture of the terrain. What's the best way to go about that process? One of the many reasons that I haven't been actively marketing myself is that I don't have a rate sheet, and part of that falls back on not knowing appropriate rates for my neck o' the woods (Dallas...not far from you!). Any thoughts on how to track down those elusive numbers?



April 25, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Whoops! I was looking at two different VO artist sites when I was writing that earlier comment, and somehow thought you were in Dallas. Apologies for the mix-up!


April 25, 2009 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger Greg Houser said...

Hey Justin!

Glad you liked the post. I'm not the first to have found it and point out the rate card by Edge Studios, but I'm glad it was able to help you out.

Like I said, your best advantage is to know the terrain and the adversary. While we're not at war with anyone, it's still a good philosophy. Using it from a voice over perspective we can learn what the local rates are through socializing with local talent, casting agencies, and if you can... talent agents and casting agents. A little networking of the social kind can earn you a lot of information in that regard.

If all else fails, use the one from Edge Studio and adjust as the situation necessitates until you can better learn the waters of your local area. Once you've established that, try doing the same and expanding your radius. No one will fault you for taking the time, and courtesy to do your homework and learn how the game is played in your home market (in fact, and especially if you've got the goods), some will truly appreciate it).


April 25, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

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