Although we have a VO2GoGo class called Finding a VO Agent, it’s really important that you know how to operate without one.
Here’s some great advice on how to do that.
First, don’t sit around musing about how great it will be to get an agent, or grousing about the fact that you don’t have one. It’s a huge waste of time – time better spent “shaking the trees” and looking at your non-agent related opportunities to audition for and book work. Just stick to your knitting – you’ll be a lot less anxious about being without representation.
Second, shake those trees: register for and aggressively audition on sites that offer opportunities in VO. And you should begin with the best option there: ACX.com. It’s free, it’s union friendly, it allows you to audition at your pleasure (you don’t have to be invited to audition for a particular book). There are others (Voice123.com, Voices.com etc), but ACX is a great place to get started.
And third (and there’s a lot more), even when you finally do land representation, that isn’t the end of the road for your participation in the process. You should be ready to continue to shake your own trees, and bring your agent even more leads to follow up on. Don’t sit back and relax, resting on your laurels – keep networking, keep looking, keep networking.
There’s a great article that echoes much of this in Backstage, by Todd Thaler, called The Secret to an Acting Career Is Not an Agent:
I’ll have a lot more to say on this in the future – it’s among the most misunderstood aspects of our VO lives.
But…what are your thoughts? How do you think about agents, not having one, not having a great relationship with the one you have, or, like me, happy and productive? I’d love to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Leave a comment below, or up under the audio player, you can leave an audio comment. Let me know how you deal with this challenge.
Hope this helps.
Thanks David, that was encouraging.
Thank you, David! I’m a mixed bag on this issue. My middle name is “hustler,” so no agent will ever work as hard as I do on my career. I’ve had an agent for six or seven years, and I’ve booked *some* work. But for the 500 or so VO jobs I’ve booked on my own, I’ve booked five through my agent. Five. Coupled with the fact that I’m one of the most cynical people I know, sometimes it gets me stuck.
Now clearly, there’s something wrong with this picture: I need to slow down the cynicism train, and move on and get new representation. I used to derive too much pleasure in the fact that I did it, yay, go me, all me, on my own, screw all agents, and never prioritized the need to clean house. That can make for a lonely, plateaued existence. And I want more. Much more. We’re way more powerful with teammates.
So corollary to that (and my ultimate point here, I swear) is that yes, you can totally get a boatload of work on your own, eventually even go full-time, and carve out a decent niche and client list. But if you want more (the national campaigns, games and animation – like I do), load up the arsenal of work and experience, keep following David Lawrence, then go get that agent. You’ll feel confident, unstoppable, and most importantly: ready.