Podcasts Vox Talk Booking Voice Over Work on Online Casting Sites with Gina Scarpa
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Booking Voice Over Work on Online Casting Sites with Gina Scarpa

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Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Want to improve your audition to booking ratio? VO coach Gina Scarpa joins Stephanie Ciccarelli to explore many reasons why voice actors may not be booking voice over jobs as much as they’d like online. Auditioning on a platform like Voices is very different from drumming up your own work or auditioning through an agent or casting director. Discover why that is and how making small, relatively easy changes to your profile and approach can dramatically improve your experience and opportunities for success.

Mentioned on the show:

Gina Scarpa

Gina Scarpa on Voices

Positive Voices – Voiceover and Vocal Performance Studio

“Building Confidence as a Voice Actor with VO Coach Gina Scarpa” Vox Talk episode 113

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Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Hi there and welcome to Vox Talk, your weekly review from the world of voiceover. I'm your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli from Voices. A lot of people want to know, what does it take to book your first job using an online casting site like Voices? Gina Scarpa, voice actor and voiceover coach, returns to Vox Talk to answer this question and many more. So if you're a professional voice actor, don't change that dial. Be sure to stay along for the ride as these tips will be instrumental for you as well. Welcome back to the show, Gina.

Gina Scarpa:
Hey, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, so exciting. It's always so exciting to have a wonderful coach who students book to talk to about what they need to do to get into that right place to get their first job. So, Gina, obviously you've been coaching for a long time. You've seen a lot. What are some factors voice talent should consider when evaluating an opportunity?

Gina Scarpa:
That's a really good question. I think that a place that sometimes voice actors can struggle, especially newer voice actors, is knowing what they're right for, because I think that sometimes people have an idea of what they're right for. But how we see and hear ourselves is not necessarily how the world hears ourselves. I think it's important when you're first auditioning and getting out there that you start to notice what kinds of jobs are you getting shortlisted for? Or hopefully, what kinds of jobs are you booking and kind of stick to that. But for me, when I'm looking at an opportunity, I'm looking at a lot of things. First of all, I'm just looking at the type of project to see if I feel I'm right for it and the kind of keywords and things that they're looking for. But I also like to look at the usage and how long they're going to use it and what their budget would be and things like that as well. So I feel like there's a lot of things you need to look at before you decide, yes, I'm going to audition for it.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Absolutely. There are. And just hearing everything you said is like yes and yes, people need to be thinking about all these factors because there's so much that goes into whether you want to do a job, whether you're suited for the job, if it pays enough, if you can meet the deadline. There's so much going on there. So let's assume that someone has found a job, that all of these criteria, they just line up with the desire is there, the opportunity is there, and the skills are there. So how does the talent know that they're a real contender for a job? So we're not just talking about a match because you can be a match for anything that comes to you, obviously.

Gina Scarpa:
Right.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
But how do you know if you're a really good one?

Gina Scarpa:
Yeah, that's a great question, too, because on Voices, we have this job match score. And there are times, a lot of times I'm 100% job match for things. But then I go in and read it and I think to myself, I could book this, but I don't know that I'm the strongest contender for it. I'll still read for it, but I really do look at those keywords and things that they're looking for. I like to read the description, especially if the client gives a reference link. Oh, my goodness, I love when they do that. So that I can actually go and watch a video or listen to something even better when they kind of give the music choice. All of those things kind of tell me if I feel like I'm a really good contender for that kind of job. So I like to read through what the client wants and really take the time to go off site for a few minutes and look at the brand itself before I come back and read for it. I think doing just about a minute or two worth of research sometimes can go a really long way

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, for sure. Everyone should be doing that, I think, because if you're going to put your voice on a brand or you're going to be associated with a brand and you want to feel like you're really honoring it and that you are in lockstep well, maybe not entirely lockstep, but you're really close to what it is that they do, that you love the mission of what they're doing. You like their products and you feel comfortable voicing and sharing with people all of the wonderful things that the company would like you to say.

Gina Scarpa:
Yes, absolutely. And, you know, a lot of brands go through changes. So, for example, CVS has really changed their brand voice, especially over the last two years, from the very beginning of the pandemic to now. They're much more energetic, hopeful. They've got a little bit more of a youthful sound going on right now, or a company like Starbucks is celebrating an anniversary. So their messaging has changed, too. They're sort of looking back, but also looking forward celebrating. And I think knowing especially these bigger brands, like where are they right now in terms of their marketing? What is their voice and really being on top of that? So watching their commercials or videos on YouTube or going to ispot TV and watching their recent commercials, really understanding their voice can really make a big difference, I think.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Excellent point there. One thing is the brand. Do I want to be associated? Do I want a voice? Do I relate to it? But I love what you said, Gina, about just understanding where they are at in their journey, because it's not very often that talent will go and look and see, oh, are they in a rebrand or are they having an anniversary or whatever. But that really does change the tone of where they're going, because it's a very different message in perspective at times from just the run of the mill, business as usual. And even still just thinking, like, if you're a student of their brand and their marketing, then you will be so much more informed of the tone that they're looking for. Because clients don't always articulate all that they want in the artistic direction. Right. So you have to really be kind of, I guess, observing and watching and seeing what it is that they're doing. And the best way to do that is to look at pre existing work that they have done recently.

Gina Scarpa:
Absolutely.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
And on the flip side of all this, Gina, because clearly not all jobs will be the right fit for somebody. What are some telltale signs that someone shouldn't audition for a job even though they received an invitation?

Gina Scarpa:
I actually received an invitation to a job not that long ago, and the voice was like a little British boy. And I don't think I'm right for this. So even though I was invited, I just politely said, I don't think so. There are times that even, you know, I'll be on a roster for, I don't know, anime, video games commercial, and I noticed in the specs that they say they're particularly interested in people of color, but right there, for me, it's like, okay, even if they say we're leaning heavily towards for me personally, I just back out of it. If you're leaning towards that, then great. I would love for you to be able to cast that. And I really don't want to take a spot or even a few minutes away from your casting time, if that's what you're looking for. I read through the specs. If I'm on Voices, I read through the script and sometimes I just feel like maybe I'm not the best fit for it. Certainly that could come up in political jobs. If you don't agree with a political candidate or a brand or a company in general, where that's not where your heart is. Some people will voice no matter what. Some people like to voice with their heart and maybe sort of their moral compass. But there's a lot of different factors that could tell you that you're not right for something. I used to feel like I couldn't book the mom read, like the warm and friendly mom, which is funny because I am a mom. I work with kids and I think I have a pretty warm personality. But it took me a while to really start booking those. So two years ago on Voices, when I would see those, I would always say, they're looking for warm and friendly. Like, I don't know, I'm not going to do that right now. And now it's like the thing that I chase the most. So it's kind of funny how things change over time as well. Like what you might not be right for today could end up being the number one thing that you book in the future.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Great point. Because we all grow and mature as artists, right? You could have a new hobby, or you could be learning about something entirely new in a different stage of your life. And then all of a sudden these different jobs that you wouldn't normally have looked at as interesting do become interesting. It's kind of like when you get a certain car or you have a breed of dog, all of a sudden you start seeing that breed of dog everywhere, or you start seeing the car everywhere. So I think that could be true also with voice over and just the jobs that you see and what might appeal to you or become more within what you're seeing out there and paying attention to at a certain point in your life.

Gina Scarpa:
I like the way you said that. It's like what you're paying attention to last year. In fact, it's been about a year at this time. Last May, early June, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease. And now I notice when auditions come up for maybe like the National Liver Disease Foundation or something about autoimmune disease, I'm just drawn to it. And even in my proposal, I say I actually was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2021. It's an issue that's really near and dear to my heart. I'd love to voice this for you, but in the past, I don't remember prior to that ever seeing it. It's just funny how now that that's just part of my life, I just happened to notice it. You know what I mean?

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. I think that whenever there's something you're really interested in that affects you personally, you're going to research that too. Like the Nth degree. You're going to know everything about it. You're going to be super passionate. You're going to be aware of the communities that are concerned about those issues or about be it a cause or an illness or anything. It's just so much more authentic for somebody who has that first hand experience or as part of a community to give voice to something like what you've said. So if I were on the other side of the glass or the casting arena there and I saw a proposal come through like that that said, you know what? I know exactly where you're coming from. I know your audience. I am your audience.

Gina Scarpa:
Exactly.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
That’s powerful.

Gina Scarpa:
Yes, and you know what I know? Obviously, having an autoimmune liver disease is kind of a serious topic, but even on a more light hearted end, I actually booked a job, I think, last week on Voices. It was for a video game character and the reference that they gave was misfortune from League of Legends. And League of Legends is my favorite game. I put on all my social media profiles. I always make it clear when I'm not doing voiceover. I love video games, especially competitive games. So in my proposal, I said, I love that you referenced Miss Fortune. She plays Bot Lane in League of Legends and I say I play Bot Lane and I play Miss Fortune all the time. So I know exactly who this character is and I love it and I ended up booking it and I was just so excited to have this character that I got to play that was in the style of one of my favorite games and I feel like in my proposal I was able to really authentically and genuinely communicate like I know exactly who you're talking about. That was so fun to voice, by the way. It was just a blast.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I think what you've said, everybody was listening. If you have a passion and you see that passion show up in a job posting, then you are. I don't want to say you're obligated to go and audition for it, but if you search for it and you want to do it and you have that credibility and the experience built up, there is no reason why you should not submit an audition. Because as Gina’s just said, mentioning that you are drawn to that particular work that you have a special reason for being. I can't tell you how important from a client's point of view that would be. And that would be a great podcast to have someone on to do, but it would be like someone saying it's like you're an extension of their company or their team. You're like our spokesperson, you're out there and you're talking about this, you're doing that, you're voicing whatever. But you have what a lot of talent don't have because all freelancers feel like they're just working on their own. They do work here and there, but they're not really working for a company or a brand or what have you. But in this instance you get to feel like you are an extension of their team. I think that if you can identify with what they are talking about, I don't want to say a salesperson for that organization, but that's about the closest thing. You're pretty much not their employee. But if they could have hired you, they probably would have because you speak so authoritatively and authentically in the subject to represent their brand.

Gina Scarpa:
I always think that's such a big deal. When a brand hires you for a commercial or a video and you're speaking as the brand, that's something that I am very grateful to book a lot. I noticed that when I book things like being the voice of Xfinity Rewards, I'm speaking on behalf of Xfinity. I'm like what honestly like an honor to be the voice of that brand. That Xfinity said to me, you represent who we are as a brand and we want you to be that voice. And whether it's something as big as Xfinity or a smaller startup company, I think when a company really puts that faith and trust in you, it's such a big deal because everything in voiceover these days is real, believable, conversational, and brands want to feel human. I mean, one thing that I say in coaching a lot is as consumers get younger, as we look at millennials. But really, Gen Z tends to be a little bit more skeptical. And you can hear that in marketing that brands just want it to sound like an everyday kind of person, someone that you can really relate to. And I think that it's because consumers don't want to feel like they're getting scammed or just sold to. Like, if you walked into a car dealership and someone's following you around and just trying to get that sale, you're like, ‘get out of here, I'm just trying to shop for a car right now.’ So knowing what the style of voiceover is right now, what's really booking well, knowing these brands, doing your homework, understanding the genre itself is, like, so important. It's at least half the battle. Everybody can have a good read, everybody can have a good microphone, and everybody can do coaching. But it's like, but can you be authentic? And do you know this genre or this brand that you're really reading for right now? I think that's super important. And I don't know that everybody always puts that much time and thought into that when they're auditioning.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Absolutely. And I'm just so glad you mentioned Gen Z and Gen Zed for those in the Commonwealth. But anyway, when we think about, okay, they're more skeptical. They're more into kind of doing their research, if you will. They know when you're lying. Just say that. But you know what? I think that voice talent who have been working for the last 10-15 years have been really primed and trained for this kind of read, because the real person read has been one that's been in demand for a long time. And the announcer read comes and goes in its various forms. But for the last while, it's really been all about sounding believable, relatable, conversational, and connecting with that audience. But I think even more so now, it's like you have to be not just believable to one group of people as a whole. Like, oh, everyone believes this. It's kind of like different groups within those people. Even you have to relate to the people in Gen Z. It's not just the millennials, and they're going to have a different spectrum, I'll say of believability. I don't know if that makes sense.

Gina Scarpa:
No, that's so true. You should know who you're talking to. You should have an idea of who you're talking to. Sometimes it is the whole country or every group of people. But you can tell from a brand sometimes, like, who you're talking to or who this product is made for, that are people in their 20s buying it or are people in their 60s buying it? And then you can adjust your tone a little bit to talk to that kind of audience the most, even though it will reach everybody. You're really like, who is the ideal customer or consumer here? That's who you want to talk to. Just that one person and really bring that real down to Earth, grounded, authentic read to it. And I think that's another thing. Just who is your audience? Sometimes people don't know, and sometimes casting doesn't know. I think something that was brought up recently, I can't remember who said it, but they were saying, yeah, casting specs can sometimes be all over the place, especially from agents. It's like they'll say all these different things. It's like, oh my gosh, I don't know how I'm even supposed to read this. And part of it is because at least here in the States as a country, sometimes we're very different and we can't all get on the same page about a lot of different things. And so trying to nail down who the typical American is is very hard, I think, right now. So that's why sometimes you see specs all over the place. And when you see that, I feel like that is a real call to just be yourself more than ever because they don't know what they're looking for. And so all you can really do is bring yourself to that script and hope that you're the right person. And if you're not, that's okay, because you are really true and authentic in your read. It's not the agent, it's not the casting director. Sometimes it's not even the brand. There's a lot of people that go into making that decision, and everybody can't always get on the same page. And sometimes they're not sure of what they want until they hear it. I mean, the same is kind of true when you go to a restaurant, it's like, I don't know what I want. And then I open the menu and my eyes just lock on something. I'm like, Portobello mushroom fajitas. I didn't know I wanted that, but I saw it on the menu and I was like, wow, that sounds amazing. I'm going to get that. And I feel like sometimes it's the same way with casting. They just don't know until they hear it. And then they hear your really authentic read and they're like, yes, that is it. I couldn't put it into words, but now that I hear you read it, that's exactly what we were going for. Sometimes you just have to be able to trust in yourself to bring forth that authentic read to help them make that decision because they're not sure.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
All right, so from your perspective, if someone is using the lens of I'll book this ‘yes’, ‘no.’ And they move on with the idea of ‘yes’ in their head. I was just thinking and my mind just went to this. But I once heard a gentleman tell me that he had auditioned for 700 jobs and had not booked anything. And this was a long time ago. I don't know all the circumstances around it, but if someone is really struggling and they haven't booked and there's been hundreds of auditions as a coach, what would you be thinking? Like if someone fitting that description walked up and said to you, Gina, can you help me start booking? I've done all this auditioning, but I have not gotten a bite yet. What would you tell them?

Gina Scarpa:
So the first thing I like to do is listen, I tell them to send me a recent audition and I work out of Adobe audition and I pull it up and I listen and look at it and say, do we have any sound issues going on? Because if it's a quality issue, that's something that's easily fixable. Hopefully we can just upgrade your equipment and get into a better recording space, do some treatments of the area with padding and stuff like that. So that's the first thing I look at. But if that all sounds good, then it's got to be something within the leads, right? So it's important to then come back to coaching. I mean, even though I do this full time and I coach and I'm a professor of voice acting, I still have coaches that I go back to and say, all right, what's going on? I mean, are my reads not that good or is there something I need? I'm having trouble in this genre or I noticed haven't booked with this agent in a while. What do you think? So I think going back to coaching, even when you're doing it full time professionally, you feel like you're booking a lot. It's always good to get in front of people and it could be people like me who are just doing this professionally at a high level. Even better. Sometimes when you can get with a casting director or someone who is a decision maker, a lot of them run workshops or do one on one coaching. I always feel like that's really great to get in front of them as well.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
That is so cool. And also I was just as we're on the subject thinking about the professionals and this is the one that always I think gets me as I'm just like, oh well, I want to see them succeed. I don't know why they're not, but there are sometimes there are people who will come on and they'll say, ‘I'm a professional, I'm booking like everywhere else. My agent gets me work. All these other people are like, why can't I crack the nut here on Voices? What is it about voice? What am I not doing right? I'm auditioning for all this stuff. Clearly you can see I went to this prestigious institution. Clearly you can see that I've been doing.’ Yes, I see you've worked hard, you've got lots of credits. You have a great client base. I'm sure you're making hand over fist on your own, and you're figuring out, ‘why am I not succeeding here?’ So obviously, Voices is not unique in this. I'm sure there are other online casting platforms where talent of that kind of caliber are saying, why am I not succeeding here? But I can get my own work. What would you say to those people?

Gina Scarpa:
Well, I mean, one thing I've learned from I don't know how I ended up being a Voices coach, but it is a lot of, I spend a lot of time talking to people about casting sites, their profiles, and how to best succeed on them. And one thing I noticed, I guess I could say it's true for Voices, and just in the world of voiceover in general, is sometimes people don't pay attention to the business and marketing side of Voiceover. And the way that comes into play on Voices is your ability to optimize your profile, to get the kinds of jobs that you should be getting. And there are so many things that people tend to overlook sometimes, it might be not having enough samples, not having those samples properly tagged, not saying the correct accent that they have, or what is popular, like saying general American and North American and things like that. But sometimes it's literally just a matter of that. And I have helped a lot of people turn their profiles around from being like a 60% to 80% VoiceMatch most of the time to always 90% and 100%, to getting more opportunities that fit them better because they optimize their profile. Some people just think that because they have experience or a good voice or a decent resume or even an impressive resume, that that just automatically means they're going to succeed anywhere they go. And that's not necessarily true. There's a whole other side, too, I think, doing well on Voices, that has nothing to do with your auditions, and it has to do with your ability to optimize and get yourself the right kinds of jobs. I feel good about so many, I mean, almost everything in my job feed every day. I'm always like, yes, these are great, but it was a lot of work to do that. And I think sometimes people ignore the marketing side or they shy away from it. They say, I don't understand optimization, I don't understand SEO. So that seems intimidating. And it's really not. It's kind of simple and straightforward once someone explains it to you.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yes. And not everyone is like, it doesn't come easy to everyone. Like your talent. The ability to read into voice is very different from the ability to market or to code or to whatever. And certainly the profiles there's SEO involved. And obviously, the better your profiles are optimized, the more searches you'll show up in, the more jobs you'll match for, the more demos you have, the more real estate you'll have on the site. And now that we've got Project Marketplace. There are more ways you'll be able to be found by people. It really is more than just about the voice, Gina. Honestly, my heart has been breaking for years and years as I hear these professionals who are making things very much about their voice and not about their business. And so I was speaking candidly with you here and everyone else who's listening, obviously, now.

Gina Scarpa:
Speaking candidly with everybody. Everybody.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. And it just makes me sad. Like clients won't tell you they're not obligated to it's not in their contract. They don't need to tell you what it was that they passed you by. But with a coach, a coach can help to sort this out. Something like Gina could help with that. But honestly, all the professional voice talent out there on Voices who are auditioning right now and you are not seeing success, please see a coach, look into your profile, check your JobMatch scores, and if you could be optimizing that, see how many demos you've got uploaded, how well you've tagged them, contact [email protected] I've said it before. Just please reach out to the team, because everyone here wants to see you succeed, just like the casting directors, largely, that's what their role is, a casting director out in the wild, what they want more than anything is to see the talent that they have come in and read for them to do well and to get the best possible performance out of them. At Voices, we want everyone who has signed up on this site to feel that they are prepared and equipped and they are confident in what they are presenting to the world on their profiles. We can't do it for you…

Gina Scarpa:
If I could look at everybody's profiles and optimize it for them, I have my degree in marketing, I would.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
But yeah, you have to do it yourself.

Gina Scarpa:
And sometimes people say, oh, I only have a demo. Okay. But that demo has five or six different characters or spots on it, right? So split it. Go into your demo and take each let's say it's your commercial demo. Take each spot and make it its own file and upload each of those individually. Because I'm going to assume, I'm going to hope that if you work with a good demo producer, that every spot is a different side of you. It might be your warm and caring side or your sarcastic and sassy side, or your really informational side. And now we're opening up a whole new world of keywords for your profile instead of just this one demo that does a little bit for you. But when you take that demo and you split it into six files and your demo. Now we have seven samples that are covering a wide variety. And now we're starting to do some work here and get you what you're looking for. I mean, Kyle Flynn, who is my account manager and an employee of Voices and awesome. Brought up a really good point the other day. He was doing a workshop for some of my students, and he was saying, you work in this genre. Right? You work in medical. Okay, well, you need to show me that you work in medical. Show me that clip of you working there. Use those keywords. You need to be able to demonstrate the work that you do as well. And just simply throwing up one demo and saying, here it is, world. It's not enough. There's a lot of work that you need to do on the back end of your voice over career to really elevate it and give it the longevity that so many people want.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yes. And shout out to Kyle. And I know Evans got the reading room, too. And there's different webinars that go on all the time. And there's so many resources out there. People will only take the time to go and use them. And there's so many free resources, too, like

Gina Scarpa:
Randy's YouTube videos. I watched David's webinars that he did about the Voices project. Listen, personally, I feel when it comes to Voices, there are so many different resources that you're giving people that other sites don't always give. There's a YouTube channel, there's podcasts, there's webinars, there's blog articles, there's so many things. And the question is to the talent, are you doing your part in it, too? Because, again, just showing up and reading and hoping for the best is not going to work across a lot of areas of Voiceover,

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
tremendous progress can be made with very small changes. Back to what you said about take the demo you've already got. Place it up. It's like when you have a big Spider plant and you're like, I want many Spider plants. You just kind of take little samples off of it and you have more plants than grow anyway. Kind of a gardening example. Nonetheless, you can take something that you already have.

Gina Scarpa:
Exactly.

Stephanie:
And use it, repurpose it. We do this with content all the time at Voices. And from what you've said. But I want to be a little specific with Voices because that's who we are. But from what you've experienced and observed, is there something unique to Voices for talent who are looking to book their first job? Are there any little, like you've mentioned, VoiceMatch (JobMatch)? Obviously, that's important. What is it that can help on Voices specifically to get that first job?

Gina Scarpa:
One thing I really like that you've been doing for a long time is really that visibility of where clients are in the process of whether they're hiring, they're deciding it's completed, whether they listen to it, whether I'm shortlisted like having your statistics and being able to look through that, all of that. I feel like it's so nice to have that kind of transparency. That's definitely helpful. I also feel like the user interface. Okay, whoever does your UX is great because it's super easy to use and I feel like I'm able to fire through auditions a lot faster on voices than pretty much anywhere else. So to me, I can just get through them so quickly just because of the way it's like I have the template, I can just upload quickly. I don't know everything about it just feels like a very efficient process for me as a voice actor, so I don't want to rush through everything necessarily, and definitely newer talent might want to take a little bit more time with everything, but now I feel so comfortable that I just will jump in and knock out a bunch before I need to go into a session or do something else. So I definitely feel like that the user interface makes it a lot easier to be able to identify quickly what the client is looking for, get the audition done, get it uploaded, and then go back and check on it and see how you're doing. If you notice that you haven't even gotten short, never mind booked, you're not even getting shortlisted, then you definitely, definitely want to go back to coaching. But let's say you are getting shortlisted a lot and you're just not booking it. It might be just tiny little nuances, little things that need to be adjusted in your read, or it might be you're right there, you're right at the door and you just need to wait for someone to open it and give you that opportunity. But if you see you're getting shortlisted, you're doing something right, you're in the final running right, and that should give you that vote of confidence. Like, wow, I noticed I'm getting shortlisted a lot on explainer videos, so maybe you want to prioritize those whenever you see them come up in your job feed. Start with those because you notice that you're doing very well there. And there might be things that you're really passionate about, but you're just not doing well in that. And it's not that you shouldn't do it, but you might want to start with the things that you're strongest at. That's what I do. I start with what I think I most write for a lot of times, and then if there's time left over, I'll be like, oh, that sounds kind of fun. I'll go read for that.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
That makes a lot of sense, Gina. So not everyone listening is new to acting or to getting work on voices, but that said, someone may find themselves booking for quite a while and then all of a sudden they hit the slump. Now, what do you recommend someone does in that case?

Gina Scarpa:
I actually just did a workshop on this and I really enjoy talking about it because I think a lot of times when people get into a slump they feel powerless. But I feel like it is a time to be very actionable and very proactive and try to reduce the time of the slump. I mean, it's inevitable. Don't listen to everybody on social media that acts like they're booking left and right every other second. Every single person goes through a slow period. Even the best voice actors, even celebrities. I mean, there's just times when you have downtime. So there's a lot of different things you can do on the Voices platform itself. It's a great time to do what I was saying earlier, which is take your demo and split it up or start uploading it individually. You have some projects that came out lately. Great. Go find them and upload those as well. You have projects coming out with Voices, with clients this summer. Have you started creating your projects yet? Have you started thinking about that and what you're going to charge for things? Well, here's an opportunity. It's a little slow right now, so you can focus on those things. And that way you have it all ready when it rolls out for clients. You have your projects ready to go. Your profile is optimized. You've got a ton of clips up, right? So we're doing a lot of work so that we don't see that in the future. Other things that you can do, update your website. Maybe think about doing some more coaching. Maybe there's a demo you've been interested in doing. You could do some direct marketing and reach out to clients. Social media marketing. There's so many things you could do. And I feel like a lot of times those things are like, I'd love to do those, but I'm just like so busy right now, I literally can't think about it. Sometimes the slump is like a little gift to be like, take a step back, look at your business, look at your career and say, okay, what can I do here that would help me in the future? And I promise that if you do those things during slumps, you'll probably see a decrease in time of how long it lasts. Maybe it's a month or two this time, but maybe next time it's only four or six weeks, and then the next time it's only two weeks, and then it's only a week sometimes where you're just, oh, like, I'm kind of slow this week. That's weird. But there are so many things that you could do and you finally have the time to do it, which is great. Have you reached out to your clients from the last year, checked in, said, Hi, notice a new project that they did? I could go on about this all day long. There's literally like infinite possibilities.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yes. And something that I thought of as you were speaking just now, Gina, was that sometimes the talent are having issues because one of the online marketplaces has made a change in how they do something. So I would suggest also that you stay on top of what those platforms are doing. The same thing is happening right now with Project Marketplace. This is a tremendous opportunity for people. It's not just another category of demo or a job that could be posted. This is like, get your shop going, have your projects listed, because this is so much more than just, oh, I think I should make a new demo to match this new voice style that people want. This is a whole other opportunity. But if you're not taking advantage of that and say another online casting site does something different of their own accord, that helps talent to book better and you're not following what they're doing and you're not adapting to it, then that could also explain why you're in a slump.

Gina Scarpa:
Yeah, that's a really good point. I mean, sometimes people just get immediately frustrated, angry or dismissive about change, and they're sort of like resisting it. But whether or not, regardless of how we feel about things, industries or sites are going to change and we need to adapt and roll with it. When it comes to Project Marketplace, when I'm talking to people about it is what I say to them is I want to be at the forefront of the change. I want to be one of the first people with my project set up. Well, first of all, so that I can see what it is and how it works for me, but also that I can coach and advise people on it. But that was like the first thing when you announced the Project Marketplace, anyone in my coaching group that was on Voices, we immediately got into a Zoom call, and we talked about it. Then I had Kyle come in and talk about it with everybody. Then I had people take actionable steps to be ready for it. So there was, like, a lot of preparation going into it. And I said, instead of being worried about it, why not just try it and see if it works for you? But I do feel like sometimes in general, people can be frustrated when a change comes up because they're set in their ways and they're used to doing something a certain way. And we need to be very, I think, adaptable in this industry to be able to have that longevity.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Thank you for that. And before we go, I want to just ask just one more question. After someone has booked their first job, a major celebration is like, for sure in order, right? Because a lot went into this, as we've just talked about. There's so much to think about and a lot of work to do. So once the initial excitement is through, how can someone use that momentum to book even more jobs?

Gina Scarpa:
Well, you definitely want to get a great review from the client, so you want to be easy to work with and deliver high quality files, be open to their direction, respond quickly so you can get that five star review. Again, it's always great when the project is public facing in any way, whether it was a commercial or it's non-broadcast, but it's on the company's website or social media channels or even if it's not public, they're willing to give you the file or the clips that you can use it because there's so much you can do with it. Obviously, you can use it as a clip, a demo on Voices. You can post it across social media. You can email it out to clients. If you've been trying to get in with an agency for a while and it's not really going your way, it's a great reason to reach out to people. You don't want to just email people and say, ‘hey, got any work for me?’ Or like, ‘hey, can I be on your roster?’

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah, don't do that.

Gina Scarpa:
Yeah, but some people do that. They just reach out with an ask like, hey, can I have this opportunity? And it's like instead it's like, hey, I hope you're doing well. Just wanted to show you this thing that I booked recently. I was really excited about it. I hope you're having a great summer. When I do that, when I'm sharing my projects, I don't ask for anything in return. I'm not like, I'd love to hear what you think about it or I don't know, can I be on your rush or something? It's just sharing it and showing people that you're active, you're busy, you're doing things, especially on social media. Something like Twitter has such an active, supportive voiceover community. I feel like whenever I post anything, voice actors come out of the woodwork to hype me up about it. And we do that for other people, too. So if you're not really utilizing the voiceover community on social media, I really encourage you to do that because they're such great people. I've made so many great friends, and you can get a lot out of it just from a marketing perspective, too. Add it to your website, update your resume. There's so many things that you can do with just one. You say you only have one project, but that one project can do a lot of work for you.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Nicely said, Gina. I agree. Oh, my goodness. We are at time. I want to thank you so much for joining us. And Gina, for those of our audience who don't yet know you or aren't following you yet, what's the best way for them to find you?

Gina Scarpa:
So you can find me on my website, which is Voiceoversbygina.com, or my studio site, which is positivevoicesct.com. And I'm also at Gina Scarpa on social media, on Twitter, on Instagram, Facebook. Yeah, I'd love to connect with you.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Perfect. Well, thanks again for coming on the show, Gina. We'll be sure to have you on again.

Gina Scarpa:
Yes. Thank you so much. I always loved talking to you, Stephanie.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
And that's the way we saw the world through the lens of voiceover this week. Thank you for listening and for sharing your valuable time and energy with us. A special thank you to our guests, Gina Scarpa for the encouragement and for giving you more tools to grow in your voiceover career and advice that you frankly won't find anywhere else. So if you enjoyed this episode of Vox Talk, let me know. Email me at [email protected] or message voices on social media with your thoughts and also if you've been wanting to start auditioning on voices and this episode has inspired you to join as a Premium member, let me know and I'll give you a special promo code just for Vox Talk listeners to help you with your first year of membership. I'm your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli. Vox Talk is produced by Geoff Bremner as always, we'll see you next week.

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
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