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  • Michael Barrows

VO Blog: Pay to Play or Marketing?

Updated: Mar 7

best to start. All the lessons and blogs and vlogs etc all say practice and get your sound, but its soon that you hit the first wall.


I've been practicing and making some demos, but funds are becoming a thing. I want to improve my noise floor further with improving my recording space. This costs money though. So i need work, i need paid jobs but then i hit another wall. Some of these Pay to Play(P2P) sites such as Mandy.com, Bodalgo.com and voices.com all ask about past credits. Well i don't have any! I have an old Youtube account from a long time ago when i had the nativity that i could earn some money from a gaming Youtube channel. Fair to say that it didn't go well. But i am also on a limited budget and i don't want to run the risk of over stretching, signing up for lots of sites, applying for lots of roles and not getting anything back.


So i have barely any credits and sites that Bodalgo have this big notice when you are signing up that says you will be struck off if you do not have proper voice over or acting training. To be honest this kinda put the fear in me and already made me second guess this whole experience again. Don't get me wrong, I'm not waling into this expecting someone to go 'oh you have not training but you sound great, here's lots of money, well done you're a voice over artist now'. I know this is going to take time and i have told myself i will put a year of my time into it to see how feasible it is


From the jobs I've reviewed, Voice Acting is not my place yet so i need to keep to my strengths of a well modulated voice more suited for Commercial, E-Learning and Training.


So my next move has been to build a portfolio and using this as an opportunity to practice further. Perhaps develop my brand further. I've been in touch with a local Deli who have been working hard throughout the 3rd UK lockdown to deliver hampers and keep their business going. Generally these a just nice guys who are doing their part of the community and i felt, OK, lets help them to help me. So i created a demo, sent it over, saying this is what i can offer and it will be free of charge. It took time but they have responded and now i have my first gig of sorts. Yeah it's for free, but it like building your work CV from scratch, having some voluntary experience goes a long way and hopefully someone hears it and there are future opportunities. So i am waiting on that, applied to a couple of jobs on Mandy.com with no success so far, but its early days (btw, totally recommending them right now, great interface and 30 free days of premium access).


Its tough and with work and family its difficult to know how to apply my time. At the moment i have to just keep reminding myself that this is the second month of me starting this journey and perhaps i need to lower my expectations a touch.




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