April 2009 issue
Pay To Play?
Along with the growth of the internet came the growth of electronic talent agencies who ostensibly serve both advertisers looking for performers, and performers looking for jobs. In reality, many of these "services" do little more than collect membership fees, leaving the matchmaking to some software and user-defined data entry.
I've not paid a membership fee to any of these services but, after hearing my demos and reading my credentials, one of them offered me a two month free trial of their premium membership. Without premium membership, the only way you'll ever get to audition is if an advertiser finds your demo among thousands, and then contacts you directly. Not likely! But, with a premium membership, you are notified of available jobs that fit your profile, and invited to audition. Auditions close when a pre-determined number have been submitted. Premium membership costs a few hundred dollars per year.
Mom always told me;"For free? Take!" So I've been trying "Voice 123" for a few weeks now. I immediately landed a job that could pay for a couple years' membership fees! I thought, "Wow, this is great!"
But, as time has gone by, it's obvious to me that the majority of the players on this field are rookies... both the advertisers and the talent. To be sure, there are many top-notch members on both sides. But the majority seem to be entry-level.
The scripts are incredibly bad! ...Sophomoric and juvinile, the work of ESL dropouts, or so short it's impossible for either advertisers or talent to accurately get a sense of what the other side can do. There have been cases of businesses, who obviously have no creative ideas at all, asking talent to "come up with something" in the demo! The offered rates are usually embarrassingly low, although you are permitted to indicate what you would charage for your services, if different. The audition process is complex and time consuming. Frequently,when I'd finish the process, I would be met with a notice that the audition had already closed!
Then there is the professional talent on a blog that I visit who, during a very busy period, didn't have time to go through the on line audition process. She was told her membership might be revoked if she didn't participate more! She paid for that membership to have the option of auditioning for available jobs, not a responsibility. Needless to say, she and many other full-time talent pros are dumping these online talent services as their renewal dates occur.
Personally, I doubt if I'll pay to renew the free membership. It just doesn't feel like a good fit for me.
How's Your Breeding?
I don'd know about you, bud I can barely breed wid all da pollen in da air!
Dana Satterfield at Sunspots Productions in Orlando started polling talent on how they get through allergy season and came up with a long list of OTC medications, plus one gross-sounding remedy involving a "Netti Pot"!
In short, what you do is pour a lukewarm stream of mild saline solution (similar to tears) in one nostril while holding your head to the side, alowing the stream to flow out the other nostril... then repeat in the other direction! The neti pot is a little gizmo designed for this application.
If just thinking about this doesn't damn near gag you, maybe you should try it. Supposedly, it is a life-changing procedure that so vastly improves upper respiratory function that many people do it daily as part of their health regimen.
I, for one, would rather wear an aqualung all day than sluce my sinuses with a neti pot. I just know I'd hiccup or something and end up squirting snot out of my ears!
Give me a Zi-Cam Nasal Swab and I'll be able to breathe normally long enough to get through that eight page industrial narration. Netti pot? Not!
T-Shirt Slogan of the Month
I spotted this on a young black fellow at an upscale market. It took a while to be able read it all, and I hope I didn't freak him out by staring, but it was worth it. One of the better anti-war slogans I've seen....
next war will not determine who is right,
eBay Protects You From Me!
been a member of eBay for over ten years as both a buyer and a seller.
Most of my studio gear came from eBay listings, and a lot of older stuff
got cleared out my closets in their online auctions. Around 60 transactions,
In Honor of 2009 Tax Day....
Wall Street's bailout, Bernie Madoff, AIG, golden parachutes, stimulus packages, Big Bank rescues, home foreclosures, General Motors, executive bonuses, etc.
Guess who's paying for it all!
an avid amateur chef, always looking for health-conscious ways to bring
good stuff to the table. Lately I've been playing with fresh beets.
I don't know why... as a kid, the only way I liked them was sweetened!
But I saw some in the store and wondered if I could make something of
Yeah, substituting prune pablum for butter is weird, but it works, and it keeps the color looking right. Tastes like the real thing, too.You can change the name to "Beechnut Beets".