photo by Brendan Lynch

Well, that was UGLY (3 simple lessons from bad VO form)


So I was cruising through Craigslist, like many of us do, to see if there are any casting or audition opportunities for me.  What I saw this week was disturbing and embarrassing for VO artists everywhere.


If you’ve ever spent any time trying to find work online you’ve come across a simple reality; not everyone values what we do as voice over artists as much as we would like.  This comes in many forms – awfully low budgets, no budgets, high expectations with little to no direction, unrealistic deadlines, etc…  Not all online opportunities are like that (my BEST paying and most respectful and respectable client by far I found on Craigslist) but hey, it’s out there.


While most of us just ignore the ignorance and move on, one of our colleagues finally snapped.  There were a series of responses to Craigslist ads that were, well, just ugly.  Name calling and cursing, angry and rage filled, this VO artist just gave the original poster a piece of his mind!  Just for the sake of record, I think it was completely inappropriate and cowardly on his part.  The Craigslist system is anonymous so you can say anything you want without worrying about consequence, but to me consequence is a great thing, specifically with the words we use.  But alas, it is what it is.


Here are the 3 lessons I learned not only from the VO response, but the era of VO we currently live in.


1.  People don’t understand what it is we do.

2.  Some of us don’t understand that people don’t understand what we do.

3.  Our actions really need a consequence.

What a freeing realization when we understand that there are many that aren’t our enemy, but they just don’t understand what it is we do.  At the same time how confining when we haven’t faced that reality.  All the while, always approach everything in life with the understanding that there are consequences to our actions.  Nothing bad ever came from consequences, only not recognizing that there were consequences before we acted.

1 reply
  1. Debbie Grattan
    Debbie Grattan says:

    I think your 3 take-aways here are very true. I’ve never looked for VO work on Craig’s List, or Fiverr, or some other sites that I know exist, because I don’t consider them a place to find high-paying, (or even PAYING) VO work. When I was coming up in the acting biz, I used to subscribe to Drama-Logue, which was a casting newspaper with all sorts of audition notices. Some were paid, and others were not. At that time, I was interested in getting paid, but more interested in getting experience and building a resume, so I wasn’t offended when I saw a notice that didn’t have pay. I still volunteer time in community theatre, because I enjoy acting on-stage. So, I think there is a place for these kinds of advertisements, but not for a seasoned professional. I will sometimes even get emails (from India, or elsewhere) offering ridiculous rates for VO that I politely refuse. I agree, one doesn’t have to be rude. Just realize that if you’re looking in the bottom of the trash can for food, it’s probably not going to be filet mignon.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *