voice 123 and their disclaimer

voice123.com

Editor’s Note: In the daily observation of life around him, the author occasionally feels the need to point out ridiculously inane behavior and general thoughtlessness. These are called “Rants” and this is one of those times.

As it’s kind of a quiet Saturday afternoon with folks sleeping or running errands from the house, I took the opportunity to visit Voice 123 and submit some auditions.  As I’ve mentioned before here, my bookings, auditions from agents and production schedule offer me less and less time to fiddle with the cattle call that Voice 123 has really become. But I still have months left on my paid subscription so I figured I better get to it. 

It has been awhile since I sent in some auditions.  I threw out the ones I didn’t think I’d be the right voice for and the ever present low ball audition (especially those folks requesting custom auditions for message on hold…who are they kidding?)  I was reading one audition that had a low price for the amount of work required and the usage of the voice and was about to delete it when I read down a little further and notice an addition to the usually inane Voice 123 disclaimer on price which read: 

“Voice123 Team Note: We recognize that this project may be below Voice123 pricing recommendations. We have become more flexible with budgets as it was brought to our attention that we could be violating United States federal anti-trust laws by limiting the participation of voice seekers in our marketplace when they don’t met our budget recommendations. It seems that, legally speaking, it is up to the providers (the talents and voice producers) and not the marketplace (Voice123) to determine to exclude the voice seekers they don’t want to work with.

Right after the release of the new Voice123, we will be working on several improvements that will help talents and voice producers filter the types of projects they want and better match projects with talent and voice producers depending on the budget and experience of the talent. On (sic) the meantime we are trying to be flexible to keep everybody happy.”

 “It seems that, legally speaking,…” Wow, what impressive attorney filed that hard hitting legal brief? 

As you might guess, I find this disclaimer highly suspect.  But I am also not an attorney. I am however a big David Letterman fan (not the stalking kind, I just like the show) and I thought of a Dave quote when he interviewed Bill O’Reilly from Fox News as I read the Voice 123 disclaimer. To paraphrase, it went along the lines of “I’m probably not as smart as you are but my gut tells me 60% of what comes out of your mouth is crap.” 

If Voice 123 is going to be “filtering” projects and pricing in their “next” version (which it seems they’ve been working on since 1950 and which might be ready by 2010) why can’t they filter now? Likely, they can.  In my opinion, the real answer is Voice 123 will take any voice job that comes through, slap it up on the board and let all the $50 announcers quote that price on a $2000 job just so Voice 123 can jack up the number of leads they provide VO subscribers and thereby justify the company’s existence.  

As always….I could be wrong.

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6 Responses to “voice 123 and their disclaimer”

  1. […] voice 123 and their disclaimer […]

  2. While V123 certainly can be a source of potential work for voice actors, it is important to remember that the best work opportunities will be the result of direct marketing on the part of the voice actor, ie, getting your demo into the hands of people who hire voice actors and following up. As someone who trains voice actors and produces voice work for the likes of Discovery Network and HGTV, I personally prefer an actual CD demo from a talent. If a talent is going to utilize the web, I strongly suggest an individual web site.
    At any rate, when it comes to success in our field…
    Follow Through and Follow Up!

  3. David:

    I could not agree more.

    As with most of my peers V123 and its competitors are but one channel in our marketing plans (a fairly extensive plan, in my case).

    To your point on follow up that of course is one of the main challenges with voice sites like Voice 123 and others…the submitting companies want to remain anonymous so follow up is all but impossible. In what little defense I will offer to V123 and submitting companies, I’ve no doubt that more than a few VO’s who found a company willing to post its name to the site with its submission probably got a lot of direct calls from voice overs asking for either clarification or the outright job.

    Thanks so much for posting and I hope you’ll become a subscriber. Your comments are appreciated.

    Best always,
    Peter

  4. Peter,

    I noticed that same disclaimer a while back and couldn’t believe it! For me, I rarely send auditions on any of these sites anymore. I find many clients listen to demos and call you on their own without the need for a ‘cattle call’. I think the idea of auditioning is a great one- but until it is handled better (on these sites), my hat is out of this ring. Exposure is great, being taken advantage of is not.

    Kara

  5. Kara:

    I think we’re on the same wave length and I think we’re not the only ones who are tired of the V123 “Throw anything up against a wall and see what sticks” audition leads.

    Crap begets crap…and V123 is not helping themselves allowing these lowballers, regardless of their “legal” disclaimer, I think.

    Best always
    Peter

  6. I will tell your this: Voices.com., Voice123 and all the pay to play websites are the low balls of the industry and give you nothing more than “hope.” They give you tons of information to make you feel like you’re in the game, when in actual fact you’re nowhere near it. They “grade you” and tell you where you wound up in terms of the audition. (ie. Your were ranked number 3 out of 10. (This is total bullshit!) These sites are a crap shoot at best. If you are a newbie, use their services for practice, nothing more. What you must do is hone your craft to the point where you find representation locally, as well as with other agents in cities all over America and the globe (hopefully with an agent that has your best interests at heart.) Then build your resume audio wise and above all, build your website. This takes a ton of time, but you will see results if you’re good and you “have the voice.” Also get on the internet and constantly seek representation; if your demo is workable, seek out agents in every city, nationwide that may accept you into their roster. This takes a lot of time but if you have a good demo, and you want to be in this business-
    it will pay off.

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