Does a voice over artist need an agent?

2015-03-03 12.50.19For any of you reading this on the day that I wrote it, Happy April Fools’ Day – if indeed such a sentiment can be expressed. Believe it or not, my wife and I saw some really weird stuff on Facebook this morning and it was only around 30 minutes day, whilst giving the kids their breakfast, that we remembered what the date was!

One question which has come up from time to time amongst the voiceover community is whether or not one really needs an agent. For me, it’s an interesting question. My UK agent has got me some fantastic jobs in the years that I have been with them, and I am incredibly grateful for all of the hard work that they put into helping me further my career.

I think of my agent as one of, if not my best clients – the auditions that they offer me get top priority and I drop what I am doing to make myself available to not only audition, but to also be able to attend the recording sessions on the dates that they propose. I like to think that I have positioned myself as someone who pretty much always says yes to them – not in order to suck up – but in order to express my gratitude.

But is it possible to develop a successful voice over business without an agent? I would say that it is. My own marketing efforts put me in touch with potential customers around the world on a daily basis. It’s hard work, but who has ever run a successful business without working hard?

More and more clients are turning to the internet to source their own voice talent. Their belief is that there’s a good chance that they can save some money and many of them prefer a direct relationship with the voiceover. Nothing wrong with that at all. That said, the larger customers with, lets call them, the more glamourous jobs, prefer to utilise the services of a good agency, and that’s why I am with one.

The online agency works somewhat differently – the artist does not have an exclusive relationship with them and in turn, that relationship doesn’t threaten any other exclusive arrangements that the voice artist might have with their agent, so everybody is happy.

I’m delighted to be affiliated with a number of online agencies which work differently to the simple Pay 2 Play websites, where anyone is accepted just as long as they pay their subscriptions. These new agencies limit their books to voice talent that show an impressive level of experience and a top quality studio sound to boot. The latest agency to take me on is Big Fish Media and I am excited to see what the future holds with them.