VORG #33 april-may-june 2001

Part Two: The Eagle Has Landed

Faxes flew, overnight delivery services were put to optimum use and emails expedited information across the county as Los Angeles Voice Actors submitted their applications and audiobook CDs for the pre-approval process to attend the Audio Publishers 2001 Job Market held February 6, in New York City. This was the second Job Market sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) specifically for the purpose of finding qualified voice talent to read the multitude of material the industry needs to have recorded.

The APA Job Market affords those actors selected the invaluable opportunity of not only auditioning for Audio Publishers, but also meeting one-on-one with each Publisher in attendance at individually scheduled interviews. Last year’s Job Market was the “test flight” for the APA Job Market “space craft.” It launched the program and more than proved its viability with one third of the acting talent in attendance booking jobs. This year’s was ever better. Adjustments and refinements were made to the “flight schedule” and the momentum and energy generated by the performances given by the 35 actors selected (22 came from L.A.) kept the APA “ship” soaring effortlessly throughout the afternoon’s interviews. Actors were also given the opportunity to “schmooze” with the Audio Publishers at a cocktail party following the day’s activities. And the number of bookings??? The list to date is as follows: An L.A. voice actor booked a job within 20 minutes of his audition. It recorded the following Monday. An L.A. voice actress had three jobs offered to her by late afternoon. Another L.A. voice actress is recording two books later this month. Last year’s big winner (a female) and yet another L.A. voice actress each impressed one Audio Publisher to the degree that they were given carte blanche as to which of that publisher’s upcoming Spring or Fall titles they wanted to record.

It’s just the beginning, folks. As one who booked commented, not only is this the best way to get this kind of work, “it’s the only way.” In the past five years, the growth of the audiobook industry has increased exponentially, now generating over two billion dollars in gross annual revenue. As I wrote last quarter, if you possess the acumen for this type of work, the audiobook world is a viable medium for the voice actor to consider as an adjunct to his or her voiceover career. Women, in particular, have a good shot with this industry operating at close to a 50/50 ratio, men to women.

The next APA Job Market will be held in 2002. Gee, Orwell didn’t predict beyond 1984; Kubrick, 2001. It’s up to you to predict your future in audiobooks for the eagle has definitely landed.

- Laurel van der Linde, UNDERGROUND AUDIO