Sunday, March 13, 2011

So how much do voice actors really make?

So, I was enjoying my morning coffee and newspaper on a Sunday at one of my favorite restaurants here in Castro Valley when I came upon the Parade Magazine insert. This particular issue was billed as their annual "How much do they make ?"survey. I've sometimes had folks ask me if the money is good for doing what I do. My initial response is it depends how accomplished you are, what niche of voice over you excel in (or don't), whether you voice full time or treat it as a hobby, how you structure your rates, whether you're a union or non union voice actor, etc. As you can see, there are lots of variables.

With a natural curiosity to see if this issue of Parade had voice actors listed, I opened the pages to find they did in fact have a listing for voice actors. The voice actress they showed from New York, New York made a "whopping" $10,000! My immediate reaction was this must be a typo. No offense to this woman, but you have to try really hard not to make more than $10,000 per year if you have decent voice acting abilities. I know non union voice actors who are making six figures. And we're not talking about celebrities paid large amounts of money to voice a commercial. We're talking people whose names and faces you would never know. My next thought was, "OK, well this is what this particular voice actress makes per year, and she might be voicing part time, but it is not a true indicator of what the average income of most voice actors is."

So my answer to "How much do voice actors make?" is a lot... and sometimes, not a lot, depending upon many variables. How's that for a vague answer? Like any of these so called salary surveys, you have to take the information with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Celebrities in TV ads (thumbs up or thumbs down?)

If you're like me, when you see a famous person doing a TV commercial for Wrangler Jeans or a brand new car, you might wonder to yourself just how much they got paid by the agency/company to appear on camera. In most cases-LOTS! But, there have been more than a few debates and studies within the advertising world about whether the amount paid to bring in a hot celebrity to be a part of a TV commercial is really worth it. Ad Age takes a detailed look into this topic. Personally, I don't think I've ever made a buying decision based on seeing a celebrity in a TV commercial. And sometimes, even though a TV ad may be funny, it's not particularly memorable, once I'm in a store. But that's a topic for another post.