the voiceover scene…some random thoughts

Last week while searching for ideas of things to Blog about, Professor Kate Foy – a very prolific blogger and fellow Voice Actor, suggested that I write about the Brisbane voiceover industry. While I’ve been working as a professional voiceover guy for about 20 years in and around Brisbane, I do not feel confident enough to comment on the Brisneyland industry.  Why ? Well this is quite simple, during those 20 years, unlike many of my peers, I have not relied solely on Voiceovers for income. I’ve been an announcer, Creative Director, Production Manager…and these days, simply a Producer. But all this time, I have been paid to voice stuff. I guess that technically classes me as a professional Voiceover person – but again, I’ve just been hanging out on the fringes. People like Graham Gould, Todd Levi, Sharyn Doolan – and most of the other members of Brisvo – (people who rely on Voiceovers for their primary income) – could possibly talk with more conviction about the Brisbane Industry.  (I invite any of those people to leave comments here, and tell us how things really are.)

Quite simply, making a living out of Voiceovers can be a tough business, a business where you really have to learn how to promote yourself, to stay “top of mind” with writers, producers, directors and casting agents.  Constant phone calls, getting face time, and just proving you can do it first time, everytime. It can be hard, but for those with the talent – very doable!  And let me tell you, Brisbane has its fair share of very very talented Voice Actors.  (Notice I’m referring to them as Voice Actors – seriously, think about it – they really are!)  In saying it’s “doable” to make a living, it is getting harder! The amount of Voice Actors out there right now is massive, there is so much competition, again I reiterate how important it is be able to prove your wares, to be able to promote yourself. These days, with the internet etc, the world is shrinking, and all of us are now able to concentrate on more than just the Brisbane scene. I’m sure it’s the same for all of my peers, but speaking from personal experience, I voice material for studios all over Australia, the United States and Canada.  So really, it’s getting more difficult to just speak of “a local scene” … these days, it’s the “worldwide voiceover scene”.  Let me tell you, that is one scary place … and it is so hard to keep up with. There is a glut of good and great voice actors out there…and an even bigger amount of real amateurs who undercut us all… and the client chasing a ‘cheap’ job goes with them instead of someone charging rate card. But this is a discussion I’m not going to go into here, the talk of money always makes people touchy.

Although I’ve been hanging out on the fringes all these years, (up in the mountains you might say), a lot of my peers may not know me, but I certainly know most of them – and have taken great inspiration from them. You see, I love to listen to people, observe people with my ears, people like Paul Davies and Todd Levi have been great role models for my voiceover career. Yet, I’ve never met Todd…just listened intently!  Paul on the other hand I have met – I’ve produced him, directed (if that’s even necessary), and written for him. (Click on the CopyOverFlow tab about to check out some of my writing for Paul and his performance) Paul has certainly been the biggest influence on me as a Voice Artist in the past 7 years or so. These days, I regularly go wandering the internet listening to my peers…listening, learning, absorbing.

I’m not going to share any audio pieces this week, but I encourage you to…listen…either click the peoples names I’ve listed above or go surfing and find some new people to listen to … You will be inspired !

5 Responses to “the voiceover scene…some random thoughts”

  • All legendary voices you’ve mentioned my friend, but you’re in the same group as far as I’m concerned. You’re a great voice over guy, and I loved working with you.

  • Hiya Jason!!

    Hey thanks for mentioning me in your blog. I am honored.

    I have also worked with you sweetie…and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with your pipes and how you use them.

    You’re right about the industry changing, there’s a lot more people buying a microphone and saying they are a voice talent.
    All we can do is keep being as professional as possible. There are some amazing voice talents to listen to and learn from.. Paul Davies is definitely the king for Brisbane.
    I’m like you, I work everywhere… not just the Brisbane market.. but right around Australia and around the world. lol… It’s very cool! I love it.

    Anyhoo… just wanted to drop by and say thanks.

    Have a fab day Jason.



  • Captain Pat:

    Jason, that was a journey down Senimential Lane. I had a wee tear -being an old Southport boy. You are right – the industry is changing – like photography, the VO world will never go back to what it was. Unless the internet breaks down and we can’t get it fixed.

    There will always be amateurs in every industry. It starts with a client voicing his own ads – and his mate says: “hey, I can do that!”

  • Jas, nice post. The competitive edge is so important in the industry. This extends to the right demo, the right contacts, and especially, the right attitude. I for one love the idea of working globally!

  • Gouldy:

    Hi Mr My Hat long time no see but I do hear you a lot and your just improving like a nice red. I whole heartedly concur, it’s hard but sooo rewarding. We {voice artists} have come from a good place say 10 years ago and now find we have to, no, must market ourselves a lot. I do, but don’t worry too much about the amateurs because if the client still doesn’t ring he’s not making money and then hopefully doubts his choice of voice talent. I haven’t tried the world market yet, perhaps in my marketing plan I should. Thanks for the mention I’m blushing. Keep up the good work we must catch up. I’ve gotten over our last meeting and the home brew we shared and vision has slowly returned. Love your work Gouldy

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