Are you willing to travel to a studio near you?

Hey, there!

I’ve got good news, and some not so good news.

I got a call from one of my VO2GoGo Pros the other day, and he was in a bit of a panic.

Not a huge panic, just a bit of one.

He was wondering why a voice-seeker on wanted all of the people who were auditioning for their project to “go to a studio near them.”

I had an answer for him. And unfortunately, I had another answer for him.

To be fair, he was new to being a Pro, and being a Premium Member of

And give that Voice123 sometimes doesn’t do the best job of explaining what they mean by certain things, I could understand his concern.

So, here was the first answer…the “good news” answer.

It’s for the booking, not the audition

There’s a part of the summary of the projects on Voice123 that displays what the voice-seeker needs from the voice talent. And one of those items can read something like this:

Recording & Delivery Requirements: Talent must record at a designated studio in a specified area

My Pro wanted to know why he had to go to a studio to audition, when he had perfectly good home recording gear to use at his house.

When I explained that this “requirement” was only going to be necessary should he book the job, and not for the audition, he was relieved.

It’s not the first time someone’s had that question.

Voice123 could be clearer about this, and a lot of other things it shows us as voice talent.

But then, there was the second answer…the “not so good news” answer:

It’s called the Overpayment Scam. Here’s how it works:

You’ll be invited to a project, or outright offered a VO job, and if you’ve had to audition, lo and behold, you book it!

In the booking email, you’ll get notice that they don’t want you to record from home. Rather, they want you to go to XYZ Studio (which they’ve used Google Maps to identify as being near you so that it looks legitimate), and you’ll be paid, as an example, $250 for the job.

You’ll then get further instructions that identify the scammer as your “consultant.” The check they send you won’t be for $250, but more like $750 or more (we’ve seen instances where it’s been as high as $2500 for a $150 “VO job”. And it will be made out to you.

Here’s the scam part: those further instructions they send will direct you to pay the difference in what the job pays, and the amount of the check, to your “consultant” as a “booking and management fee” – which means you’ll have to deposit the check yourself, and send the difference to the “consultant” for all of his work coordinating the job for you. And they will direct you, should you fall for this scam, to only remit the difference in a money order.

The problem is that check they send you is bad. It looks good, but it’s not – and it will be returned several business days later to your bank, and the amount will be deducted from your account. The difference you sent to the consultant is gone. You have no recourse because you sent a money order, which is not stoppable.

And the world keeps revolving.

It’s a new version of an old scam: this same process has taken in people on Craigslist, on car-listing sites, even in the newspaper in the classified ads section.

So…be careful when responding to any job offer that includes you going to a studio – and immediately stop all communications if you’re informed you’re to remit any overpayment to a third party. You also might want to notify the casting site of the situation. And you can tell the scammers usually by the way they use your native language – not so good.

By the way, this scam is not limited to Voice123, nor is it limited to VO jobs (it has been seen in on-camera and modeling postings as well). The casting site doesn’t matter – it can happen with any site, free or pay, that offers the opportunity to be booked on a VO (or other) job.

Be vigilant.

What do you find confusing about Voice123? What do you wish they’d make clearer? Any other scams you’ve seen lately? Let me know below, and I’ll try to clear up the confusion.

Hope this helps.


11 Responses to Are you willing to travel to a studio near you?

  1. kk Ryder-VOICE CANDY STUDIOS SoCal April 19, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Like ACX does – If VOICES123 and VOICES dot com sent a little note back saying “The Rights Holder” has decided to hire another producer-that would rock!!!

    • Tara Tyler August 13, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Just popping in to say thanks for your feedback! We are going to reword that part of the form.

      Also, we did launch a new feature that allows you to be notified if the project was fulfilled (meaning the client did choose a voice actor). Just check the box on the audition submission form that asks if you’d like to be notified when someone is hired. However, not all clients take the time to let us know when they’ve hired someone. We send them an email asking them to let us know if they hired someone, from Voice123 or from elsewhere, or if they decided to cancel the project. They don’t always participate though.

      Hope this helps and I’ll be watching the comments for more feedback on what we can improve. Thank you!

      Tara Tyler

      • David H. Lawrence XVII August 13, 2014 at 11:58 am #

        I hear time and again from my clients and my students that your subscription fee is too high, and that some of the filtering controls (don’t send no- or low-fee projects) don’t really work. Hope that helps in your quest.

        • Tara Tyler August 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

          Thanks David. Many talents don’t realize they can opt out of low and no budget projects on the page that says “My Voice Details”: and don’t forget to click “Save” after checking the boxes or else it won’t work. The designation as “low-budget” is determined by our CS Team and they do their best to mark them as such. I do hear this complaint as well, we just haven’t come up with a solution that suits everyone. We want Voice123 to continue as an open marketplace and stay out of setting prices. I tell talents not to audition for projects that they feel are paying an unfair rate. If a client gets no auditions for their projects, or they only get bad ones, they will understand that they need to raise their rates.

          I have passed along this post and these comments to the rest of the Voice123 team as well. Hope this helps and thanks for your feedback.

  2. Caesi April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Thanks for posting, David. I wondered about this, too.

  3. Debra Lockett April 20, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Re: Voice123 – I’ve learned that just because I save my audition files in mp3 format, they do not upload and send unless I actually place the .mp3 extension in the file name when exporting from Audacity.

  4. Matt Forrest August 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    One thing that has annoyed me forever about V123 is that one cannot ‘edit’ a demo – such as replacing an old “character voice” demo with a new one. One needs to delete the entire thing – all the text, everything – and replace it with a brand-new one. I was always told they couldn’t do it, technically…but I can’t imagine why.

    As for the subscription fee being so high, that’s one of two reasons I didn’t renew my membership when it expired earlier this month. The other reason was, I hadn’t booked ANYTHING since last October. All the voice work I’ve done this past year has been through my own marketing, so it made no sense to continue. I used to get around 1 gig every month or so, but it was worth it – now, nothing. I can’t imagine how some folks get 2 and 3 gigs a week from it.

  5. Mike Broderick August 16, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    It would really help to know if an audition has actually been listened to.

    As ‘opened’ can mean deleted, it’s often difficult to tell.

  6. Pat England August 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    I’m a newbie in this business.

    After reading a few books written by VO professionals and scrolling through online forums, I am feeling disillusioned and dissuaded from joining any of these pay-to-play sites. It sounds like you could record hundreds of auditions and maybe never get a job. Is this the typical price to pay for a start-up?

  7. Tansy June 11, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks David for alerting everyone to this OVERPAYMENT SCAM.

    I’d already been alerted to this scam a few years ago. And then a couple of months ago, while visiting a friend at his NoHo recording studio, a young voice talent knocked on the studio door and asked if the studio was available for a voice session. He went on to explain how someone had emailed him that he booked a job but that he had to find a studio on his own and pay them directly. He’d been instructed that the client would send a cashier’s check and any payment overage had to be sent back. I immediately winced and then laughed and pulled up on my phone the outline of the scam via other victim accounts . He was very grateful, but sad that the job was a fake one. At least I saved someone some grief :-)

  8. Veleka Gray June 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Very timely topic, David! Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply