Frequently Asked Questions: Seekers
— From Voice Over Seekers Who Want to Hire Talent
How much do you charge?
For commercial voiceover, rates definitely vary depending on the broadcast market and medium: TV, radio, Internet. For narration projects like voicemail and corporate videos, I generally charge .40 per word or a $40 session minimum, whichever is greater.
Are you a union voice over talent?
No. Though AFTRA and SAG offer their membership as a whole considerable support, they have less influence in the voiceover markets I derive most of my work from.
What is voice over accreditation? Are you accredited?
Accreditation in voice over has been around since 2007 and is a peer review process which vets performance and technical skills for the delivery of voiceover. I have been an accredited voice over talent since 2007 and my certificate number is 07007.
Do you charge the same for Spanish voiceovers as you do for English?
Generally yes. On projects that require a lot of technical jargon, I may charge more for Spanish.
Are you a native Spanish speaker?
Although I was born here in the U.S., Spanish was my first language. I learned English by the time I was four years old. I’m fluent in both Spanish and English and speak both languages every day.
Do you provide translation services?
Only as part of a voiceover project I am hired to do and only on short form projects. I would never undertake to translate an audiobook for example. I also prefer not to do medical translations since those are highly specialized and technically sensitive texts.
How do you deliver a completed project?
Some clients ask for email attachments and, if the file is small and in a compressed format, I’ll do that. But generally, I upload audio files to either a client’s FTP site or a project folder I create for a client in my own FTP site. There’s no additional fee for delivering files by email or FTP.
Can you deliver audio files in any audio format?
I support all standard audio formats and codecs for compressed and uncompressed audio: .wav, .aiff, .mp3, .aac, mp4, .au (PCM, A-law, µ-law), etc.
Do you speak with a regional dialect in English or Spanish? Do you have an accent?
Both my natural speaking voice and voiceover delivery are essentially neutral, or rather neutralized but clearly American. My English is non-regional North American English. Similarly, my Spanish is non-regional American Spanish as opposed to European. Neutralized languages choose the words and pronunciations that can be most broadly understood by speakers of a specific multinational, multicultural language like Spanish which is spoken in over 21 countries.
Can you do a Castilian Spanish dialect?
Yes. Half my family is from Cuba and half from Spain, so I grew up hearing the dialects from both hemispheres. My grandmother had a very pronounced Castilian accent.
What’s the difference between American Spanish and European Spanish? Is it just the way Castilians pronounce “c” and “z”?
Definitely not. First, European Spanish isn’t just the Castilian dialect though that’s the most common. An often overlooked difference is in word choices. American Spanish borrows from North American English. For example: “cell phone” would be “celular.” And European Spanish routinely borrows from British English and French. For example: “mobile” would be “móvil.” Also “s” in European Spanish often sounds a bit more present because the placement of the tongue is further from the lips, slightly behind the bottom teeth. It’s subtle but can be noticeable, as are other variations in pronunciation.
I see you accept credit cards through PayPal. What if I want to pay by check?
My company accepts payment by check, but only from well-established businesses in the U.S. or individuals who are personally known to us.
Do you charge late fees?
My company has a late fee policy, but we have yet to implement it thanks to our reliable clients. A late fee covers administrative costs in chasing down payments. It’s important that clients understand that my company retains copyright on all voiceover audio files we produce until the project invoice is paid in full. There is no permissible use of my unpaid voice over services.
Do you provide volume discounts?
Only on guaranteed volume. We can negotiate a price and a volume threshold. If the volume falls below the threshold for a particular period, the full rate would be charged. A contract setting forth these details would be required.
Do you have a phone patch?
Yes, but I don’t use it. At present, I’m not available to do live recording sessions at all. On short commercial projects with specific production direction, I can provide multiple reads. The bulk of my work is business narration that doesn’t require live direction.
Do you have any acting experience?
Yes. I was a performing arts major. I’m trained in acting, voice, singing, and improvisation. I’m a former member of Florida Actor’s Equity and was privileged to receive some training from Josh Logan many years ago.
Do you provide any pro bono voice over services?
Only voluntary pro bono. I try to be available for good causes whenever possible and I provide discounts or even fee waivers on occasion for charitable non-profit organizations and some non-profit children’s projects like Holiday Magic CD. Great fun!