Business of VO: Agents, Managers, and Casting Directors… Oh My!

There are a lot of players in the Yellow-Brick road that is the voiceover industry. And there’s a lot of confusion surrounding ‘who does what?’ Today’s episode breaks down these different voiceover entities and takes a look at what they do and how it relates to you as a talent. Stop now and take a listen if you want to avoid getting lost in Hollywood or Holyrood. (It’s an actual town…in Kansas.)


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. VOBoss breaks down the roles of voiceover talent agents, talent managers and casting directors as well as studios who cast for talent.

  2. Please note that state to state laws may vary a bit in the definitions and regulations of these jobs.

  3. Talent agents are state regulated and there is typically a cap on what they are able to charge for facilitating a job. This is usually between 10 and 20%.

  4. Agents are a go-between talent and clientele.

  5. Agent represent a roster of talent of varying size and are obligated to try to secure a job (via a booking) for someone on their roster of talent.

  6. Most agents are registered with a state’s labor department as they are geographically tied to a state or region of operation.

  7. Online only companies that claim agent status may or may not be legally operating in that way.

  8. Online casting ‘agents’ operate in their own way. They don’t have to follow the traditional governing rules of being an agent.

  9. A manager represents an individual talent and advises and consults on your entire career.

  10. They earn a percentage of your total earnings for all sources.

  11. Managers maintain relationships with agents and work closely with them.

  12. They often aid in goal setting and marketing.

  13. In most states anyone can be a manager.

  14. Managers typically manage a small and exclusive group.

  15. A managed job is different from management. Many companies in voiceover now manage individual jobs.

  16. Casting companies are used to find the best talent from all rosters and from any location.

  17. They exist to keep casting fair so that no one company can completely dominate with their talent.

  18. Casting companies can and sometimes will skim money from both parties without divulging numbers to either.

  19. Studios operate in a gray zone – studio fees being cut have resulted in studios needing to casting talent in order to stay open.

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