Living for the "Like"
You set up your computer, set the gain on your digital audio interface, stand 6 inches away from your mic and record the most perfect audition. In fact this audition is so good you listen to it a couple of times even after you submit it to the website. What comes next is torture. You wait. And wait. You stare at the screen waiting for someone to give you a thumbs up, a like or at least some indication that this masterpiece has been heard by someone other than yourself. Hours pass and you have refreshed the screen at least 10 times...of course you’d never admit that...but nothing. It seems like all that effort and patience will be lost. Repeat this process a couple of times and you’ll quickly realize that you can’t continue to live for the “like”.
These pay to play websites can really mess with your head. Even though the above story seems ridiculous to the logical thinker, I can almost guarantee that if you have auditioned for a job on one of these sites you are guilty of this crime. Heck I’m guilty of it today...and I’m the one writing this article. Since starting my career in voiceover, I realize this is a dangerous cycle to get into.
So, what’s wrong with doing this? Who cares if you refresh the voices.com tab a hundred times? Well, there’s nothing “wrong” with it, but once it starts to take away from other productive activities you could be taking money out of your pocket. As a voice actor, you have to get used to rejection. Even the top levels people are getting rejected more often than not. The key is to not let yourself get upset about each and every rejection. When you don’t get a job that doesn’t mean that you’re not a good voice actor, it just means that someone else’s voice fit better with that particular job.
Imagine that Babe Ruth tried to play tennis with a baseball bat. He wouldn’t do very well. Does that mean that he’s not a good athlete? Of course not. It means that his specific skills and tools simply didn’t match the required skills and tools for that particular job.
The solution is simple. Decide on a number of auditions, or a particular day to audition and go for it. Do your best with each audition, but as soon as you turn it in, forget about it. View it as practice for the big jobs you’ll get from other sources. This way, when you do get a job from one of these auditions it’ll be a nice bonus rather than a sigh of relief that your voice has been heard.
So enjoy the likes that you get, but don’t live for them.
What are your thoughts on pay to play voiceover sites and how do you deal with the mental aspects of auditioning?