SOUND ADVICE February 2013 Newsletter

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  ― Maya Angelou 


Do You Need a Manager for Voice-over?
Here’s an e-mail that may very well assist you with something you’ve been meaning to ask for far too long—but never got around to asking. 

Can you recommend a good manager for my 8-year-old son?  Also, how do you go about getting a new agent without offending your old one? Do agents talk to each other about their clients?  And if the agent we wanted to be listed with spoke with our current agent would they mention we were seeking new representation?  Would they talk about us, or do they mostly go on what they see in the talent when they meet them? – R

Hey there! Management for kids and young adults can be a HUGE asset (if you live in NYC or LA). So, I’d have to say—GO FOR IT!  

Management for everyone else is a fifty-fifty proposition.  Some talent agents are okay with it—others don’t care to have the additional input on how to run business, especially when the manager’s input might be counter to how they would handle things.

Talent agents typically go by their meeting with you and the kids as to whether they’d like to rep you or not, rather than by another agent’s referral. 

Managers often help you secure proper representation with talent agents, should you not have an agent, by arranging meetings and auditions with agents they feel would further your career.  

A manager guides your career by directing you where and when to get your headshots done, who to take classes with, etc.  They generally don’t rep more than 10 to 25 people at a time, and the more high-powered ones generally manage no more than two to four talent at a time.  

They understand the industry well.  To be effective they need to understand you as a talent, what you bring to the industry, the goals you have and the sort of career you’re attempting to create.  

They make and take calls on your behalf professionally (even between you and your agent once you have one), follow leads, liaison on career opportunities and will even find you auditions prior to helping secure representation with a talent agent.   

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Of course, managers are paid well for their efforts.  They earn a monthly stipend from you, and ultimately take an additional percentage (as much as 15 to 25 percent in many cases) in addition to the 10 percent your agent will make from the work you land.  So you better make BIG money if you expect to keep them.

As for the talent agent, as a rule, you do not announce to your current talent agent that you’re shopping for new representation.  It’s not underhanded, it’s simply business.  Shopping ain’t buying, as the man once said.  Besides, the simple fact remains you don’t want to pit talent agent against talent agent—it will turn them both off completely, and that would be counterproductive career wise.  It would be like saying, “My first husband always took out the trash.  And I never had to ask, either.”  Ouch.  

Agents generally don’t speak with each other or refer to the last agent as to whether you were reliable or not.  Instead, they put you on a trial basis or “hip-pocket” talent for a three-to-eight-month period to see how it works out.  They will tell you how they prefer to conduct business and generally what they expect of you.

A good question you might want to ask a possible new agent is, “Are you averse to working with managers? If not, are they any you prefer over others?” 

When it comes to voice-over, it’s worth noting there are only maybe three (so-called) managers that I am aware of (none of which, I’m sorry to report, have benefited the voice-overs’ careers).  So it’s safe to say the responsibility ultimately falls to you to manage your career yourself.

The process to secure proper representation from a talent agent is detailed in our book: The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over beginning on page 310.  Meaty stuff.  And likely to thoroughly propel your career light years ahead of where you’re standing right now!

To learn more about what you can discover from our recently updated SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over, CLICK HERE.  

Audition from Anywhere
What’s that? Your agent just shot you an audition she needs inside 2 – 3 hours and you’re still at work? No sweat! Hop out to your car with your iPhone and submit an audition that you can be truly confident and proud of!  Skilled recording engineer, Erik Martin, has just released iVoiceover. Super. Simple. Recording. He’s out done himself with this remarkably current reference! Erik shows you just how SIMPLE it really is to create a competitive audition (production-wise) from as near as your iPad or iPhone! GENIUS! Purchase your digital copy on iTunes here for $15.

For a free sample of the book go ahead and click this for a free chapter.

No excuses. Now you HAVE to succeed!  


Establishing Your Brand Identity
The primary function of a g6aphic artist is to create a versatile, memorable logo, known as an identity. The object is to establish you as a professional brand. Your continued promotion of this appealing brand is to entice others to listen to your demos. This means incorporating color and form, but most importantly making your name known and synonymous with voice-over. And even more specifically, to define what you do best. Your graphic should look like your demo sounds.

Our most sound advice when it comes to your graphics: Identity and branding are defined conceptually by describing what the subject represents. For instance, if the subject is fences, describe what this represents: home, ownership, pride, security, tradition. Get it?

So then, if the subject is you as a voice-over, describe yourself to your graphic artist conceptually, such as quirky, youthful, wry, approachable, contemporary.  Use five to six words that best define how you are most likely to be perceived professionally as a voice-over.  

Also, it’s not necessarily what graphic elements you like most that count, instead it’s what represents you best conceptually as a brand

When meeting with a graphic artist to design your graphics, there are a number of things you must know right from the onset. 

First of all, there is NO FREE LUNCH! If a friend or relative tells you they’d “be happy to design your artwork for nothing,” or for a deal, take my word for it, it’s going to take a very, very long time to complete. And that’s a promise. Run, don’t walk, in the other direction! Why? Because you will easily add about six to eight months onto the entire project. 

Here’s why: Everybody’s got to pay the bills, and frankly, paying jobs will get done first for just that reason. Besides, God forbid you want to make changes or modifications to the initial design that was done for you gratis. Your friend, or cousin, or brother-in-law figured he could throw a microphone over your name and a mouth and call it a day. Hiring a proper graphic artist keeps it all professional.

With the advances and availability of technology today budding graphic designers are turning up on every corner. The problem is that while you may have a friend or relative who’s designing your graphics may have great taste and a keen eye for style and color, he may have trouble converting your graphic from one format to anotherHis technical skills may be limited. At SOUND ADVICE we’ve observed this issue to be the most common obstacle talent stumble over when it comes to their graphics. 

As most things, if you want something done right, leave it to the professionals.  Keep in mind, Web-design is done by Web designers, not graphic artists.  Precious few are skilled in both areas.  If we produce your demos at SOUND ADVICE, we have skillful recommendations for both.

CLICK HERE to view some great examples of exceptional graphics.

heartCloudHere’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

― Apple Inc.