There are a few things to keep in mind when sourcing talent through a voice talent agency or voice actor agency. We’ve added some key questions you’ll want to ask below and also provided our answer so that you’re in the know.
Are there any upfront fees when hiring you to find voice talent for our project?
Our answer: Well, you’re not really hiring us, so you’re not on the hook for any upfront fees. We work on a commission basis only if one our talent is booked. There’s never any charge for us to quote rates, discuss any part of your project in detail or run an audition.
How are talent fees calculated?
Our answer: We at RSH Voice Management use several factors when determining rates, the main factors being exact usage of the spot (such as which markets) and how long the piece will run for. We base our rates on the current union rates as a guideline.
Are rates negotiable?
Our answer: Yes, everything’s negotiable these days. We calculate our rates based on the current union rates. We use this as a guideline but are certainly open to negotiating based on the budget and if the usage will be less than our standard runs (among other factors).
Is there a fee if we need to get the talent to do pick-ups?
Our answer: Yes. Anytime a VO artist needs to be brought back into the booth there is generally a fee for their time. This is done to discourage numerous re-record sessions for copy changes. A pick-up rate is usually much less than a full session fee. The only time there are no pick-up fees is if there is a technical glitch or something went wrong on the talent side, then of course, we’d make it right.
Are there studio charges when booking a talent?
Our answer: That depends on how you’d like to record with the talent. There are several ways in which to record which are: Source Connect – this is a very popular way to record as it captures the entire session live. This would require the use of a studio on the client end. Most of our talent have Source Connect in their home studio and there is no additional charge from the talent side (most do this as a courtesy).
That said, the studio in which they would connect would likely have a fee. We don’t usually quote those fees as each studio works differently but we can certainly help in guiding you through that process. Another popular way to record with the talent is via phone patch, Skype or Zoom. Essentially, you’d connect with the talent using one of those methods, they would record the session on their end and send you the raw, unedited files. This is a popular method as there are no additional studio fees. One note about this: most talent are need audio editors so they would not be editing on their end. As mentioned, they’d simply record the entire session and send you the whole thing.
Do you work with Union and non-union talent?
Our answer: Yes. We can accommodate either. And most talent have the ability to work either one. Union jobs usually require the use of a paymaster to run all payment and paper work such as pension and healthcare through and the rates are set by the union. Non-union tends to be a bit easier in that we negotiate the rate on the talent’s behalf then invoice for it. Done. Many producers and creatives believe that union talent are just going to be inherently better or “more talented”. That’s not necessarily the case. Many of the non-union talent we work with are not in the union for a variety of reasons and are just as talented union talent.
Some voice talent professionals live in a state in which joining a union is not a requirement (known as right-to-work states) so they aren’t forced to join and can do both union and non-union work without penalty. Many talent do a good bit of non-union work and don’t want to jeopardize their earnings by joining the union and having to give up doing non-union work. So to sum up this issue: union vs. non-union usually doesn’t have a big bearing on the level of talent or experience in a VO artist.