I mean... it's just talking isn't it? ... and mine's a Guinness.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Keeps you Busy?

Most of the voice people I know tend to specialize in certain areas of the business. They've built up a clientele in that genre, and working in it provides the best return for the effort expended. Let's be honest, who wants to spend ninety percent of their effort chasing down ten percent of their income? Personally, I've come to the conclusion that I will never get a good game gig. I will never be the voice of Tumulus MegaFart in the latest epic fantasy game, and, to be honest, this gives me great consternation at family gatherings (yes, I have a family!). The kids will all be playing something with dwarves and demons and I'll drop in a casual, "Hey, I know that guy!" when some rampaging ogre yells, "For truth, honor, and The Clan!" while he pummels some innocent villagers into sausage patties. The kids are impressed... these guys are rock stars to game players. So, yeah, I want them to ask me for my autograph, not get some other guy's!

Hey, I know that guy!

Oh well, back to reality I guess. What do I do most of the time? Well, for the most part, I usually sell overpriced crap that nobody needs to people who can't afford it. I get a few major campaigns, but for the most part it's just churning out the same old shit for ad agencies with good budgets. Couple that with a steady stream of corporate stuff, my expenses are covered and the barman knows my name. (Life hack: Make friends with your barman and tip well when you can afford to... a good barman will help sustain you through the lean times!)

Anyone working in the commercial world knows it's a roller-coaster with market and seasonal changes... and there are months when you can't even get arrested. That's why you need at least one solid fallback. As I said before, for me it's the unglamorous but reasonably well-paying corporate work. Much to the annoyance of Shit-For-Brains (he who calls himself my agent) I had most of these clients before we climbed into bed together (it's a metaphor!) and he gets zippo from it. When we first met he gave me a contract to sign. I pointed out that he's made a mistake and given me a dummy contract... because only an effin' dummy would sign it! Bastard tried to claim commission on all my voiceover income... even the shit he wasn't the agent for! This practice, in my opinion, is akin to robbing trains at gunpoint in the Old West. He shrugged and said something like, "You can't blame a guy for trying." Yes I can, Dickhead!

Anyway, I'm rambling (a good Sour Mash Bourbon will do that to me). The point is that most voices have their prime, well-paying work, and a solid base of everyday stuff that keeps them going through the lean times. Sure, there are some annoying bastards out there that seem to be good at everything, but for the most part I tend to think of them as genetic aberrations... great pipes, talented, versatile, and killer businessmen. These are not normal people!

But there's one other type of work that needs mentioning. Seasonal, and I don't mean that in-store Santa gig you do at Christmas! I mean politicals. If you follow the general rule of getting the money up-front (what, you trust politicians?) then you're golden.

Our choices. The machine marches on.

OK, let's make one thing clear. I don't give a rat's-ass whether you support The Wicked Witch or The Tangerine Tyrant... because with a broken system, these are the choices we get. Live with it. Personally, I'm a flag-waving conservative Democratic Republican capitalist with Liberal tendencies... the only party I support is one where there's an open bar. Both of the established parties pay pretty well for campaign ads and while I tend to ignore the real hate-mongering, fear-generating excesses, red or blue, the money is green! SFB wants me to do them all, but I'm the one who has to live with me!

Politicals are the gift that keeps giving... you keep making your campaign donations, and I'll keep talking!


  1. You are just awesome. Well said Doug!!

  2. OK...well I just realized Doug Turkel re-tweeted this and is not the author. Still..well said though!