Being a fly on a microphone

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “I wish I could be a fly on the wall.” If you know what that means, then you know where I’m going with this post. Wouldn’t it be great if you “could be a fly on the microphone” of an auditioning voice over professional?

Let me back up a bit here so you have some background. I love to think out of the box. I try to come up with original ideas (I’d like to think VO Guide is an example) and implement them, or write about them. Take, for example, my recent article “And The P2P Voice Over Winner Is…”, where I envision a “pay to play” audition website (such as Voices.com) where if you auditioned for a job, you also get to listen to the winning audition for that same job.

I mean, how cool and game changing would that be? Talk about a learning experience. How far off was I? What can I possibly do to improve my talent as a voice actor? I find myself in that same mindset for this post.

I present this challenge: If you are a seasoned voice over actor who is actively auditioning every single day to get paid jobs, create lengthy “raw” videos of you auditioning. Talk through the job spec, and let us see how you auditioned for it. Do this for your entire session of multiple auditions, even if it takes a few hours. We want to see it live, unedited, bug guts and all.

In a nutshell, that’s it. I know there’s a lot more to it, though. So let’s discuss, shall we? Please comment below with your thoughts after you’re done reading.

Privacy

There are scripts which clients submit and they do not want them passed on. Thankfully there are P2P sites like Voice123 which allow the client to indicate whether or not to allow the voice actor to use their audition for other purposes, such as their demo reels. So this needs to be taken into consideration.

Volume of Auditions

To accept this challenge, you need to be a seasoned voice over professional. This means many years of constant auditioning. It is your life. You love it. You rarely let a day go by without doing it. We’re talking maybe 100-200 auditions per week, every week.

Winning Auditions

Not only do you submit a high volume of auditions to one or more P2P sites, but you are also getting selected for those jobs… let’s say, at least 1 paid job per day.

Catch 22 & The Elephant 🐘

Why the hell would someone do this? Did you really think I wouldn’t discuss the elephant in the room? They’d potentially be teaching their nearest competitor how to get the jobs they’re already getting. So this takes a certain kind of person. This kind of person believes that everyone has their own one-of-a-kind voice (because they do). They get selected for jobs because of their special voice. They have the confidence and they love to share, and help others.

GaryVee or Tony Robbins?

Is this person the type of individual who loves to teach and give advice to anyone for free (Gary), or wants to set up a pay-wall in order to be able to see it? (Tony)

Your audience is there and waiting no matter which direction you go.

I nominiate…

Sadly, this person I’ve just described is not me. While I am an active voice over professional who gets work on a regular basis and spends hours per day auditioning, I wrote this article to help others who find themselves in my position. I want to be the fly in this scenario. The Jeff Goldblum.

Just like the wildly popular “ice bucket challenge”, I need to nominate someone to kick this off. If he’s not picking up what I’m throwin’ and just wants to get out his fly swatter to do me in, then perhaps someone else will be willing to accept my “fly on the microphone” challenge and keep their swatter in the cabinet.

This person started doing voice over work 27 years ago and full time 4 years ago. According to his recent weekly Instagram video update, he auditions 200-250 times every week and averages at least one paid job per day. He raked in $24,906 income (a personal record) during the month of August 2020 and as of his last update on September 7th has logged a record $139,019 income to date–for just this year.

Oh, and he’s also the author of one of my favorite VO books and a regular speaker at voice over conferences. He’s literally a VO machine. Who is this super human?

He is Joshua Alexander, and he has been officially nominated.

Josh has been very helpful in my personal VO journey, he is already comfortable in front of the camera (just check out his Instagram), gives a ton of advice, and is comfortable and confident in his own voice. I would love to see him in action.

So now that this is out there, let’s see how my nomination plays out. Josh? What sayeth thou, my friend?

If you know of someone that you’d like to nominate, or have suggestions about this entire “fly on the microphone challenge”, I invite you to comment below!

Thanks for reading,
Chris Duke

P.S. I know the thumbnail for this post is creepy. Sometimes there’s slim pickings when it comes to royalty free image options, and my Photoshop skills are not so “mad”.

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