Beware the Casting Catfish
If you’re in the business of hiring British voice over talent, whether you need a corporate presentation, a commercial, or a classy delivery at an awards ceremony, there’s something I feel I should make you aware of. So, if you’ve got time, could we have a quiet word?
No need to be alarmed. But recently, it’s been pointed out to me that there’s something not quite right in the UK voice over world.
I’ve read recently, from a number of voice over industry influencers around the world, that now is a great time to be a professional voice over artist.
To some extent, I think that’s true.
Just look at the rise of audiobooks versus traditional ones, the proliferation of professional networks and conferences, and the wider availability of voice over training and voice over coaches (including me).
Yes, it seems that deciding that you’re going to be a professional UK voice over talent working freely from home, is now a life goal that is within easy reach.
But as I’ve tentatively suggested, there’s something not quite right about all this.
You might also think, particularly if you’re someone who casts voices, that you’ve never had so much choice. You might think the market is throwing up some wonderful bargains. You might think it’s full of stars being born. You might think, like some voices do, that the world is your oyster.
But are you right in your thinking?
It would certainly appear that the voice-over talent pool has never been more plentiful.
But it’s important to ask yourself: is the voice you’ve netted the ‘reel deal’? And are you sure you haven’t cast a catfish?
Your chosen talent might claim to be wild Scottish salmon on their demo, but when you get them in the studio, can they actually swim up river and leap over rocks? That is, can they deliver everything demanded by the script, along with everything else demanded by the director?
For any professional voiceover hirer, it’s worth asking these questions, especially where money is involved. Casting mistakes cost money.
(I should make it clear at this stage that my Richcraft voice coaching students are only allowed to make a demo with me, when I decide they are genuinely ready to be professionals).
To return to my previous point, yes, it seems that viewed from the sky, the sonic seas have never been more plentiful.
But for the inexperienced hirer casting their net to find the right voice, there is a risk that you get a loss less than you bargained for.
So, just a quiet word between me, this professional British voice over artist, and you, the casting professional: trust your instincts. Be patient. Choose wisely. Check credentials.
In time, you’ll hook and book a prize catch – not only one who’s been swimming these waters for decades – but also one who promises a whale of a time at the end of the line!
To find out more about how to hire her for your project, or for vocal coaching, click the links above.