Because offline and online casting are so different, we thought it might be wise to offer a comparison. Both require different mindsets and skillsets.
It’s very important to understand that, no matter how one looks at it, the voiceover business is a very ‘human’ business; it has to do with human interaction and the establishment of human relationships. Offline casting has a long history; it has it’s players, practices, and procedures that have all been well-established over time. One might even suggest it has its own handbook of methodology—and advantages because of it. Offline casting requires that you be present in person at the audition. This will allow you to show off your abilities and expertise as well as instantly adapt to any feedback. You’ll also, invariably, need an agent. With online casting, all you have at your disposal to make an impact and leave a good impression is your voice recording. You are your own agent and your online demo is your only weapon.
Nevertheless—and no matter how much online casting has revolutionised the industry—both casting methods should be considered if you take yourself seriously as a voice-actor who wishes to build a long-term, lucrative career. Let’s take a look at the essential differences between offline and online casting.
- Commuting to the audition is paid for by the voice-actor.
- A commission must be paid to the agent that is subtracted from the wage earned by the voice-actor.
- It is not always easy to decline an audition when an agent has called you specially.
- Direction is provided by the Agent/Client/Casting Director.
- Payment/contract negotiations are done by the Agent.
- Studio provided by Production House/Agent/Casting Director, is paid for by the client.
- No commute.
- No intermediary.
- No commission payable.
- Invitation extended by software.
- Very easy to decline auditions.
- Direction provided by voice-actor based on notes from the client (sometimes!).
- Payments/contracts negotiated by voice-actor.
- Voiceover studio provided by the voice-actor.
- Union membership is required for jobs that are posted online as union jobs.
- Websites play no part in any negotiation between the voice-actor and the client.
They are simply one of the tools in building your VO career. They can be a big part of your career at the beginning – but they should only ultimately be a part as you grow.
Auditioning day after day is tough. It will always be tough no matter whether you do it online or offline because a possible ‘rejection’ is always involved. It’s worth keeping in mind when comparing ‘online vs. offline’ that both are just different ways of getting the same thing: jobs. Having an agent doesn’t make one actor ‘more professional’ than another; the prospective client only cares whether you can do the work and are easy to work with. Understand the differences between online and offline and apply that knowledge when you audition for either.
Having the right approach is a key element. Gaining traction with your voiceover career takes time and effort. If you commit to the long-term and you persevere, you’ll see consistent results.