This is the second and final part of an interview I conducted with Dave Courvoisier and Dustin Ebaugh about World-Voices. (Click here for Part 1)
Hopefully through the questions and their responses you’re able to have a greater understanding of the organization. Maybe you’re even considering becoming a member.
Getting To Know World-Voices Part 2
Marc: In a Pay 2 Play world where it seems like every organization is putting the needs / wants of clients ahead of talent, what is World Voices / VoiceOver.biz doing different?
Dave: Voiceover.biz is member-owned, member-driven, member/talent-centric, and seeks to do better the things that the P2P’s constantly foul-up with their profit-driven motives. We want to help our members make their OWN money, not make WoVO (the organization) rich. We’d love to beat them at their own game, but it’s going to take time, some smart SEO, word-of-mouth, and some diligent marketing to get there.
Marc: Speaking of VoiceOver.biz, tell us a little bit more about this site. How does it work?
Dave: Every WoVO member with professional status receives a code from the developers to begin setting up their profile, uploading their demos, etc. The site has a search function to seek certain talent, dialects, genres, etc. In listings, talent are constantly re-arranged in random order, so people at the bottom of the alphabet don’t end up with the short shrift all the time.
When the (ahem) hordes of voice-seekers find out about the high level of accomplishment of the people listed on the site, they will flock to Voiceover.biz, and keep coming back! :) That is our hope.
The site is free to members. We don’t take payments, and don’t get in the way of the job transaction once the client has found the talent they want. There’s no algorithms, no formulas, no issuing of job notices… the client finds the talent, and contacts them privately. That’s it.
Marc: Arguably the most hotly debated topic in voice over is that of rates. Does World Voices have a position on this debate? Do they recommend or endorse a particular rate card or rate standard?
Dustin: WoVO does not set rates or advise our members on rates. However, we make rate cards from various markets, countries and sources available on our website, so that members may be informed of the rates others are charging. We do, however, agree that in the United States, SAG-AFTRA rates are a good guideline for minimum professional rates.
Dave: What Dustin said. I’ll only add that our Executive Board has burned up miles of email threads, and endless Skype bandwidth debating the wisdom of getting into the “rates” discussion. Merely by setting our “5-jobs” membership criteria, we’ve stumbled upon some thorny rates issues (does an ACX job that pays only Royalty Share qualify?….if you do a job on Fivrr for $25, does that qualify?)
Some big-name established voice-actors in Hollywood have invited us to be involved in the rates debate with SAG-AFTRA and others sitting at the table, so clearly we have a part to play in all this…we just don’t want to play a heavy hand in hard numbers… rather urging people to consider their own self-worth as a freelance professional…taking the high road on rates, regardless of how hard it may be.
Marc: I see you’ve got a conference scheduled for April. Who is that open to? Anyone or members only? Tell us a bit more about what’s going to take place and who will be leading the sessions.
Dustin: WoVOCon II is scheduled for April 17-19 at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, NV. Our conferences are open to members only. All three categories of members are welcome.
We will have a couple discussions on the organization. What members can do for WoVO and what WoVO can do for members. One of the things to come out of last year’s discussion was Voiceover.biz, so we’re pretty excited about that.
This year, we’ll have Industry Partners Joyce Castellanos and Pat Fraley teaching on Saturday. We’ll also have peer-to-peer groups, where members can share their expertise in various fields with other members. We have some software specific sessions scheduled already with experts in ProTools, Adobe Audition and Twisted Wave.
Members can register here: www.worldvo.org/events/wovocon-ii
Marc: If someone is interested in becoming a member, how does it work? How much does it cost? Where do they go to sign up?
Dustin: New members can apply here: www.worldvo.org/register There’s a $25 application fee and membership is $49 per year. So, for the first year it’s $74 and $49 annually thereafter.
Marc: Is there anything else you’d like to add or discuss that VO’s need to know?
Dave: I constantly find myself saying I’m not worthy to be a WoVO officer. The work we’re doing, the ethical judgments we weigh, the volunteer efforts being made, the constant consideration of our membership’s needs, and what they expect of us. It all just BLOWS. ME. AWAY.
For that reason, some of the minor stumbles we’ve made in our formative months have been frustrating to all of us on the executive board. Some lingering technical issues with our two websites drive us batty. But the more support we get, the more we can move into solutions that help us seek professional 3rd-party help for those problems, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Our members have been patient with those wrinkles, because, I think they believe – as the board does – in the mandate of WoVO, and the promise it holds for our profession.
More About World-Voices
Thanks, again, to Dave and Dustin for their time. I appreciate the thought and detail they put into their answers, and I’m hoping I asked the right questions to enlighten those of you that are curious to know more.
In the interest of disclosure, I am a member of World-Voices. I signed up a couple weeks ago. I believe in what the organization is trying to do, and I’m all about supporting any effort to improve the voice over industry.
Want to apply for membership? Visit www.worldvo.org/register/
For those of you on Twitter, please consider joining the #WoVOChat that will take place January 28, 2015 at 12pm PST / 3pm EST.