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Starting a career in voiceover can be an exciting journey filled with big dreams and even bigger rewards. But with any big dream comes a big amount of hard work, and the question of whether to work for free when beginning your voiceover journey is one that needs answering. This article looks at the pros and cons of free work and asks whether it is the right choice for starting out in the business.
Free Work – The Gift That Keeps On Giving?
The idea of getting some free experience in the voiceover business is a tempting one. After all, it’s not like you’re getting paid to do it, so you get to learn without the financial burden. You can also make some valuable contacts who may be able to help you in the long run.
However, there are some potential downsides to consider. Working for free can be a slippery slope – once you accept one gig, it may be hard to refuse additional requests for free work. You could end up stuck in a cycle of being overworked and underpaid, which can be incredibly damaging to your career.
Also, free work may not be as beneficial as you think. Clients may not be as invested in the project if it’s free, and they may not provide the same level of feedback or instruction as they would if they were paying you. This could mean that you don’t get the same quality of experience as you would if you were working paid gigs.
Is Gratis Gigs The Way To Go To Launch Your Voiceover Career?
The decision to work for free is a personal one and depends on the individual. If you are fairly new to the industry, then it may be a good way to get your foot in the door and build up your portfolio. However, it’s important to remember that your time is valuable and should be valued.
If you do decide to take on free work, just make sure that you set boundaries and make sure that you are not being taken advantage of. Establish a timeline for when the project will be completed and ask for payment or further compensation if the timeline is not met. This will ensure that you are not getting taken advantage of and will also help you to remain professional.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to become known as “the person who works for free”. Having a reputation of being willing to work for free could damage your career and make it hard to get paid gigs in the future.
Taking on free work can be a great way to launch your voiceover career and gain experience, but it should be done carefully. Make sure to set boundaries and be aware of how much free work you are willing to take on. Remember that your time is valuable and you should always be compensated for your hard work.
Take Your Voiceover Career To The Next Level
Your voice needs to stand out and be noticed by producers, agents and casting directors. But beware of inexperienced (and often unscrupulous) so-called "coaches" and "demo services". Our experienced team of experts will help you with voiceover training and create a demo that showcases your unique talent and gets you work in no time - just as we have done for the past 25 years.
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M. Bruce Abbott is the Creative Director/Partner at Radio Lounge. Bruce has over 30 years experience as a voice actor, casting and production director, as well as extensive advertising, marketing, and podcasting experience.