I get a lot of weird outreaches on social media and email. “We’ve been trying to reach you about your car warranty”…check. “Hi, I’m looking to meet attractive men like you”…check. I’ve even received some non sketchy requests from voice over business related people. Due to the success (minor as it is) of our podcast The VO Meter, I’ve become a bit of a minor celebrity in the VERY small VO world. So, every few days, someone reaches out to me asking for advice on microphones, or how to market to a specific genre, or even sometimes how to podcast!
Then there’s this…Recently a person sent me a connection request on Linked In. Their profile said they were a voice actor. Ugh. Usually, I’m VERY giving of my time and energy but this particular week, TWO local friends asked me to speak to THEIR friends about “how to get into voice acting“. I got in contact with both of them and it was fine, but after both conversations in one week my patience was a little thin and my spider sense was up.
Sure enough, IMMEDIATELY after accepting the connection request I get a direct message that says in part this “thanks for the connect! I’m actually talking with other actors to see what they think of their agency and if they have any recommendations”
SERIOUSLY? Buy me dinner first guy!
People, this is NOT the way to go about getting a voice over agent! When someone refers you to ANY business contact, they are saying that you are a person they trust. That goes doubly for a referral to an agent. After all, an agent is still very much part of the lifeblood of the entertainment industry. They get you work, negotiate for you and sometimes even refer you out themselves! All that comes with a trust factor that is precious.
Oh, and by the way, even asking for such a thing with an established friend or colleague can be touch and go. It can sour a relationship fast if you are not careful. If you ARE going to ask for a referral to an agent, it had better be from a close colleague, with whom you have a ROCK solid relationship and who knows your talent, your strengths and weaknesses.
Now…having said that, I HAVE referred people to agencies. Even did it this week! I do it a lot actually. ONLY, however, when I know the person, trust the person and have a REAL relationship with them. Friends have done the same for me, and I’m eternally grateful. When done right it can be a win/win for everyone involved. Just be sure you ARE doing it right!