March 7 is "National Be Heard Day" so here are a couple of ways to try to get your voiceover business out there to be heard more.
Sites like IMDb & Spotlight might be worth the time and effort, to find leads and potentially more auditions.
These two portals are essential to actors wishing to showcase their portfolios to potential casters. IMDb more so in the US and worldwide and Spotlight in the UK, but did you know that both could be just as valuable to Voice Actors?
Some of us are aware of and use IMDb (which stands for Internet Movie Database) as a way to curate our work. Particularly gaming and animation, but it has many layers to it! Including a database of agents and production studios.
It started out as a film fan page in 1990 created by British computer operator Col Needham but was bought in 1998 by Amazon (although he is still its general manager). They are touted as the #1 movie website in the world. Millions of actors, directors, and producers are listed on it.
IMDb doesn’t have a main voice actor category per se, but as actors, we can still showcase our voice work in video games, animation, documentaries, podcasts (added in 2021 for both series & episodes), and even award shows (Some SOVAS Noms & winners can be listed). Even with one credit, you can have a free IMDb page (no picture & limited functionality though). Some credits are given automatically when a video game or animation is listed, but sometimes they must be applied for. Agents use IMDb frequently to keep their talent’s profiles up to date. As voice actors, we can use IMDb like a second website and a portal for lead generation. IMDbPro is the paid IMDb version and gives you more options for displaying your talents, as well as offering some limited VO casting calls. There are also discounts available for the pro version if you are a member of SAG-Aftra or Spotlight.
There has always been a bit of interest about whether the IMDb STARmeter means anything, as it is an internal system created by them. According to an article in Actors Connection, this is what the numbers mean:
The lower the STARmeter number, the better:
200,000 & less indicates regular working actors.
3,000-5,000 are actors you might have heard of.
2,000 and less are well-known actors.
900 and below are stars, celebrities, and top directors.
(The article also has a section about improving your STARmeter)
So having a number below 200,000 shows potential casters that you are being cast regularly and are likely a trustworthy pick.
Another platform to consider as a working professional is Spotlight, which was originally founded in 1927, as a directory. It has some similarities to IMDb as it is a place for agents, performers, and casting professionals to showcase their work but is smaller with about 70,000 performers listed. Branded as the ‘Home of Casting’, it however does not have a free option like IMDb.
In the UK, if you are applying to be on an agency roster or if agents are touting you to work for clients, your Spotlight profile is often what is used. Since it is a professional casting platform there are a diverse range of professional guidelines for applying and being accepted. Membership is open worldwide to those that meet the specific criteria although it appears to be more UK-centric. Spotlight profiles are not publicly searchable, so you must have the link to see specific profiles. As a member, you are provided with a unique link you can share to give people access to your profile. Many members like myself have a link on my website. Spotlight also offers news, webinars and discounts to its members.
All something to consider if you are looking for other ways to 'Be Heard'.
To Keep up with all of Ian's Blogs & News Subscribe Here.