Business of VO: Political Voiceovers

Politics IN voiceover? UGH don’t even go there. Political voiceover work? HECK YES! There are some really great benefits to working the political scene. We explore the pros, cons and process of mining for political gold. We’re getting ahead of campaign season and exploring the possibilities of working with your party.



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Happy 4th of July!

  2. Season 3 of VOBoss is officially underway and the Bosses want to hear from you. Send your comments, episode ideas and questions to thebosses@VOBoss.com

  3. 2020 will be a really BIG year for political advertising in radio, TV and new media.

  4. While local elections and campaigns take place every year and create a lot of opportunities for work.

  5. Engaging in political work doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose a party. Sometimes you do.

  6. Many clients want to ensure that you haven’t done any work for a competing campaign or candidate.

  7. Some voice actors avoid political work altogether because political can be a conflict in their primary area of voiceover work.

  8. There are voice actors who are service providers to a particular political party.

  9. This work largely generates from working closely with campaign managers.

  10. Your own political views and beliefs should be kept to yourself in large part.

  11. Use Google to find contacts and make direct connections with voiceover providers related to politics.

  12. Political jobs have a very fast turnaround – scripts may need to be recorded within an hour.

  13. Your political demo should begin with the causes and issues that are close to you.

  14. Performances for political ads vary greatly now – from old announcer style to very real people.

  15. Minorities are hugely in demand for political voiceovers. Women, Latino, African American, Asian American and more are being sought in droves.

  16. We cannot be shy or quiet about what we support, however there’s a professional way to do it in order to attract clients.

  17. Feel free to pass on political jobs that don’t fit your life. But avoid lecturing the hiring party.

Tweet This

Share ideas with your own network ++

As long as I’m Ok with the content – I’ll record for political campaigns and candidates. #rockthevotewithyourvoice #VOBOSS

Being political on social media doesn’t make you a candidate for political VO work. #VOBOSS

ALL VOICES are political voices. #wethepeople #VOBOSS


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Check out Anne’s Political Voiceover Page

  2. Recorded on ipDTL

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

Anne: Hey everybody. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing bosstie-bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey Gabby!

Gabby: Hey Anne.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: So hey, we got some fan mail.

Anne: I love fan mail.

Gabby: I know! It’s so much fun. I love when people actually reach out to us. So I just want to read this real quick. Jim Cooper. I don’t know where he’s from, he didn’t say that part, but he said “I so very appreciate your podcast about ‘why me.’ Tooling down the road listening to the episode, I had a mind blowing epiphany.” And he says “I’ve spent two years auditioning, focusing on being professional, or at least what I imagine professional is supposed to sound like, rather than being me. Thank you for your words.” Very sweet. Thank you, Jim. We appreciate that.

Anne: Thanks, Jim.

Gabby: Glad we could be of help, and we’re officially in the season three, right? We’ve been at this wackiness for three solid years.

Anne: Yay!

Gabby: I know! We want to hear more from you guys though. We want to hear the things that you did, the things that you want to hear more of in our podcast, episode ideas that you might have, yeah. Questions, feedback, all of it. Just shoot us an email to the bosses@voboss.com.

Anne: @voboss.com. Bosses for president, Gabby. Bosses for president.

Gabby: Oh dear.

Anne: Speaking of that. [laughs]

Gabby: Politics.

Anne: You know, we have a political season coming upon us.

Gabby: We do, and of course on the heels of that we have 2020 which is gonna be a big, big political year.

Anne: Huge. We should talk about political voiceover and how it can affect your business.

Gabby: I don’t fancy myself a political voice actor per se, but I, like everyone else, I do get hired for it. And I have recorded many of them over the years. I’m sure you have too.

Anne: And I did just finalize a new political demo too to get in preparation because I know that the demand out there for voices for anything political is going to be high. So I wanted to ready myself for the new, the upcoming, the upcoming election.

Gabby: Smart, very smart.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: And I think, you know, a lot of voice actors shy away from political work because well, two things. I think one, they think “ugh it means I’m choosing or I’m picking a side, or I’m, you know, whatever like party alignment,” and that they don’t want to be political, which I get. Depending on what your voice career entails, and the sorts of jobs that you take, politicals may not be the wisest thing. But for the rest of us, you know, I think that they’re a pretty nice little supplement to our income at a time of year when most people are actually seeing sort of a decrease in work.

Anne: And here’s the big question I think most people have in their minds. Do you have to pick a side? Do you have to?

Gabby: There’s an interesting debate on this. So some people say no, some people say yes. I say yes. The companies that typically hire me for political work, the middlemen, agencies and the like, typically their end clients want to know where the talent falls to make certain that you have not done any work for a competing party.

Anne: Campaign, yeah. Exactly.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Or campaign.

Gabby: Or campaign. And certainly, especially in a similar or a very close market.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Gabby: They want to make sure of that.

Anne: And that makes sense.

Gabby: Some people are like no, no, no. We do it all. And I’m like mmm.

Anne: Yeah. And they advertise themselves – but I think, Gabby, it depends where the work is coming from. As you mentioned, if it’s coming from an agent, that might be where the agent is going to get the business, that might be for larger political campaigns or candidates, and so therefore they’re very concerned about where your voice has already been, and if it could potentially be, you know, opposing –

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: – their views. But if you think about local, and here’s where I do a lot of local like year-round, for local campaigns, it’s not as big of a, I’m gonna say, issue for the people that are hiring, because a lot of times those people find me just on my website.

Gabby: And I’ve had a bit of that too. Sometimes the ones who reach out to you direct don’t even ask.

Anne: Right, I know. You’re just like, “here, can you do this? How much will it cost?”

Gabby: Yeah, and there’s sort of a funny like hmm… I don’t want to make it sound like don’t ask, don’t tell, but you know, there’s an irony to that. If a client is not asking about exclusivity, or usage, or conflict –

Anne: And you’re good with it, I say, you get the content, go.

Gabby: Take the work.

Anne: There’s a lot of that local kind of work that comes to me that way where people don’t ask. And I’m like as long as I’m OK with the content. You know what the content is when they deliver that script. That’s pretty much how they come to me. They’ll give me the script and let’s say, what will you charge? It’s not even [laughs] asking for political affiliation.

Gabby: The other thing is I find too if the spot is for a prop or a bill as opposed to a candidate –

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: They’re less concerned about that. However I’ve over the years met a number of voice actors who make a fan-flipping-tastic living –

Anne: Oh yeah.

Gabby: – once every four years. [laughs]

Anne: Absolutely!

Gabby: Being a major, major service provider to a particular party. And from what I have been told, because campaign managers speak to one another and work so closely together within a party, that’s typically how someone rises to a level of notoriety as either a Democratic or a Republican or a Liberal voice actor.

Anne: That begs the question, Gabby, how do you market yourself as a political voiceover? Because I’m thinking that perhaps not social media necessarily, by getting yourself involved in discussions. I don’t think that that’s any way, shape or form a way to advertise the fact that you’re available for political voiceover. [laughs]

Gabby: No, because your own political views and beliefs still have to be kept under wraps, and you still have the respect the bigger picture. If you want to be a political service provider, then you, yeah. You’re best to keep your own views to yourself. I do think a lot of it is web presence. I think it’s being very bold in the statement of the advertising that you’re doing and the thing that you want to be known for. But I think a big thing really is reaching out to campaign managers and speaking with marketing people for candidates early. Very early. Not, you know, a few months before the election. Sometimes years before an election.

Anne: Oh yeah. Guys, again Google is your friend. Anne Gan-Google says [laughs] Anne Gan-Google says Google is your friend because there are political rosters out there. And there’s not –

Gabby: Oh yeah.

Anne: In my last search, there’s not a ton of them out there. But the people on the rosters are good, I mean excellent voice actors, and it’s a nice listing that