Free Voice Over
In addition to being a professional voice actor – producing VO for TV, video games, radio, web, movies, corporate training presentations, marketing pitches, and many other professional uses, I also appear in a few web series.
The biggest, by far, is the “Christopher Walkenthrough” series, which is currently hosted by Machinima Respawn – and can be easily found on YouTube. Here’s a recent episode, in which I play a parody of “Christopher Walken”, as he plays/lives out the single player campaign in Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
Other video game fare includes “Obama Plays” and “Morgan Freeman’s Storytime” – but I’m also a frequent guest on a live action show called, “Beer & Board Games“. You can see one of my more recent appearances on that show, here (I’m the one in the cowboy hat):
As a guy who regularly voices some pretty popular web series centered around video games, my work reaches a lot of people (over 30 million overall video views in the last few years). A good chunk of those people are fairly young (under 20, for the sake of my post), which contributes to one of the most frequent requests I get.
“Will you record something for me, for my channel, Twitch stream, Voice mail, etc..? My budget is zero. I won’t pay you to do it, but I need it ASAP and it’s just a few lines.”
On average, I get two of those emails every day. The inquiries are typically to record an introduction for someone’s YouTube channel (which has 20 subscribers) – or to record commentary as a character (which is what I already do with my current collaborators) – or to call someone’s brother and “mess with him” (I don’t have enough time to talk to my own brothers). They’re not for a charity use, nor will they lead to commercial use work down the road. These are just ideas that might be cool to a handful of people.
I’m incredibly flattered to be asked so frequently, but the problem with these emails is that I used to respond to each and every one of them. I used to explain that I’m super busy with a lot of really awesome commercial work, corporate voice over, and other projects which support my business (and provide for my family) – and that I cannot take on new non-commercial work of this nature (free). I used to ask them if my minimum, non-commercial studio fee is agreeable, just to share some dialogue and see if they really would hire me to provide professional-grade audio. That was before being a full-time stay-home dad, and before my business grew to where it is today.
That’s not to say I don’t produce free voice over from time to time. In the case of a good cause, charity event, or a friendly request, I might use the opportunity to warm-up my voice before starting a long recording session. But I do less of it than I used to.
Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to respond to all of the freebie inquires anymore. I will respond to inquiries which are polite, thoughtful, and/or well-written – or those which include a bit of info about the project. But from here out, if a message simply says, “Gimme the Obama voice so I can trollz on xbox”*, I just don’t have the time to reply. Please don’t take it personally.
* An actual email I recently received
Thank you for your support – I hope to keep making videos you love,