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Finding voice acting work beyond the Pay-to-Play. Don't give in to the Dark Side.

The biggest question in the voice acting industry is where to find work. The easy answer is online casting sites like, fiverr,, voice123, and other "Pay-to-Play" sites. The problem is these sites are fundamentally flawed. They are bad for the industry, for the actor, and for the clients. But what is the alternative? In this video, we get a "Gabby moment of truth". What you really have to do to have a career in VO.

Finding voice acting work beyond the Pay-to-Play. Don't give in to the Dark Side. - 6:17

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of The Gift of Gab! Thank you so much for watching. If you like what I'm doing and you like the content I'm putting out, please do the whole like and subscribe thing. You know it's kind of important, I appreciate it.

Today we're gonna talk about pay to play websites. I have a video that you may have already seen and I get asked quite often on this video in the comments, "What alternatives are there to pay to play for beginners?" It's a great question. We're going to have a Gabby moment of truth: literally, come to Gabby. OK, we're going to get really personal, you and me, and talk about this. The answer to what are the alternatives to pay to play... there aren't any.

Seriously! There is no apples to apples equivalent that is similar to the way a pay to play works and operates that is gonna be a reasonable alternative for you to find voiceover work. That really just isn't a thing! However, regardless of whether you're a beginner, an intermediate level talent, or a seasoned pro, I will tell do what you can do besides pay to plays in general in your career.

Let's talk for a second about why pay to plays are so horrible. Seriously guys, I hate them. They're kind of a mindf*ck! They're like an old-school, gladiator-style contest where all of these people, who do the same thing, are being pitted against one another... and the worst part is, we pay for it! It's terrible! There's really very little to anything that I actually like about the pay to play model, and I can tell you it is awful for one's self-esteem, and it is really, really bad when you find yourself questioning what's wrong with you. It's not what's wrong with you. The question is what's wrong with the system? What's wrong with pay to plays? That's what I want you to ask.

So you're out there, you're on these sites and you're wondering, "What have I done wrong?" Nothing - you've probably done absolutely nothing wrong in your pay to play encounters. It's just the nature of the way those sites work that makes them so difficult.

So what are the alternatives? Alternatives are the same for everyone, and they're exactly what you should be doing if you want to cultivate your own career. Because that's it - it's about cultivation. It is about using Google, social media, and your resources: your friends, your family, your contacts, to pursue opportunities, to talk to, meet with, engage people that hire Voiceover actors on a regular basis. You're looking to make connection with audio producers, advertising agencies, content creators, audiobook makers, e-learning companies, anyone and everyone that is a hiring party for voiceover actors but importantly, hiring direct and a lot of clients are. In fact, most are! I have not been a paid member of a pay to play website in - I think - over a decade and yeah, that has no bearing on my business. I'm still able to bring in work every single day. In this business, that's what you're doing, it's relationship building, it's making yourself as a business owner and service provider, valuable and accessible to the people who are looking for your services.

So, instead of playing around in the cesspool that is pay to plays, get out there - meet people, engage people. When I say meet people I don't necessarily mean face to face - email, social media, direct messaging, phone calls, whatever method you prefer, but start meeting, mingling, networking, and get yourself out there. It is way better for your well-being, it's way better for your psyche, you're going to feel better about your efforts instead of constantly feeling like, "I auditioned for a job and it went out into the void and I have no idea what's going to happen." Instead, when you start networking and you start creating relationships with people, you can actually get valuable feedback from them. So best scenario is you're booking work. Worst case scenario is you're actually getting feedback about your submissions and the work that you are submitting for jobs to get better and to improve. Pay to play, unfortunately, doesn't give you that.

One positive thing I will say about pay-to-plays is a lot of them have free listings and you should create one and have one because it helps in your Google search results. It helps you to make sure that you are available and findable in more places on the web, and for that reason, having a free listing is no harm, no foul.

So if you've been DIY-ing this voiceover thing and you realize it's finally time to bring in a professional, good! I'm glad you're here, and I'm hoping that I can help. Here is a video that you can check out that I've made. It has a ton of advice and a lot of different answers to the questions that you probably have. It's an easy watch and it's a guide to getting started in voiceover. Here's the link!

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York,, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, voiceover coaching, YouTube Channel, Voice Acting Coach, how to get started in voiceover, voice acting career tips, voiceover career kickstarter, pay to plays, fiverr, voices, voice123, voicebunny, gladiator style, competition, self esteem, self worth, value, voiceover jobs, marketing


Andy Moon
Andy Moon
Mar 08

In this slot it also feels like there is some kind of voice acting, this leads to the question, do you think there are voice actors specifically for casinos? or they themselves take the sounds from somewhere / or generate them (I wouldn’t be surprised)


Jan 27, 2023

I learned a lot from your podcast, thank you!

Personally, I use video collage maker with music for video voiceovers and have no problem doing it, although it took me a little time to figure it out, but it's worth it.

Can you please tell me what factors to consider when looking for voiceover work?

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