Working in the recording industry is both exciting and financially rewarding. You are working in a profession you’ll enjoy for many years to come.
Lately, you have been thinking about joining AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). There are definite advantages to joining the Union however; joining too soon can create problems in your blossoming career. Should you join now or wait a while longer?
Here are some important considerations you need to think about before joining the Union. Your answers will help you determine if you’re ready to join AFTRA now or, should wait a bit longer.
First, let’s go over an average Union voice over artists profile (we’ll call her Stacey) and see if you are ready. Compare the profile below to your present career experience. The comparison will reveal just how close you are to stepping up into the union wage network.
Stacey is actively marketing her demo to local radio and television stations. Her blatant self promotion has led to a good bit of interest and quite a few really great jobs. The jobs in her portfolio showcase a variety of markets and voice over styles. She has learned her particular vocal strengths for her market. Anyone reviewing Stacey’s portfolio or hearing her demo, knows she can do the job.
Stacey has a stable of regular clients and is well known as a respected and sought after voice over artist. Her name is getting passed around as someone who can perform high quality voice over work, every time. Producers that normally hire union artists are contacting her. Stacey’s skills have grown from being a newbie voice over artist to a professional with a steadily growing portfolio of work.
Does this profile describe you? If it does, congratulations! You’re a very good candidate to make the move to Union V/O professional. On the other hand maybe this profile isn’t you…just yet. You need more experience before venturing into Union territory.
Here is a checklist of 10 key points you need to consider in evaluating your readiness to join AFTRA:
* You have acquired a substantial amount of jobs in your portfolio.
* Your expanding portfolio and demo showcase a variety of voice over styles.
* You’ve discovered your natural vocal style and your niche market.
* You have worked for some well known companies and/or producers.
* You are known for a particular style of voice over work.
* You are receiving recommendations from producers within your network.
* You are gaining a good bit of work by referrals.
* You are contacted for work by agents who hire union voice over artists.
* You are attracting companies with higher quality jobs and larger wages.
* You have developed your skills to a level equal to V/O artists making union wage.
Making the decision to join AFTRA defines a turning point in the path of your voice over career. The transition in taking that next step will go much easier when all your professional stepping stones are in place.