In reply to a thread on Facebook about a freelancer being contacted for a job:
So this guy just contacted me out of the blue about some programming for a project.
I told him that I don’t do that anymore, but asked him what his budget was, to see if I could refer him to some of my contacts.
He mentioned hourly rates between $18-30. I told him that my contacts charge around $75, and wished him the best of luck with his project.
He responded with a long tirade calling me rude and the worst negotiator ever.
It’s their attempt at guilting us by making us feel like we’re “stuck up bitches” for asking what we believe to be a fair wage.
Example: My favorite was a man who approached me very early on when I started doing VO, years ago. I still had a full-time job and was just starting to take classes and tinker. Because I was still learning, I was happy to do whatever just for the practice, it wasn’t how I made my living yet. This particular casting guy would give me spots to do in Spanish, which was great practice for me since I don’t get to speak it often enough. The spots were for large corporations, like Wells Fargo. He would pay me all of $15 – $30 per spot, tops. Not including Paypal fees. You read that right, $15-$30. Again, I didn’t mind it at all, I just wanted access to the copy for practice.
After a couple of years when I felt ready to start establishing myself, I gave him my new rate, said thank you very much for your time and I understand if you cannot afford me. He sent me the most wretched email, telling me “You’ll never make more money than I pay you for any spot.” Isn’t telling someone they’ll never find better the definition of an abusive relationship?
I guess I should be glad my agency and all the clients I’ve worked for since don’t know I’m only worth $30. Lucky me!
I’m so used to voice actors yelling at me for selling myself short but I DO WHAT I WANT WHEN I’M READY. I certainly have a bottom line now, and if I do work for free it’s because 1) I can afford to because I’ve made my money elsewhere, and 2) It’s a favor or a passion project for someone who deserves it. My time is worth something. It’s worth something to me, therefore it will be worth something to anyone else who wants a piece of it.
But back then, like any good entry level person, I wanted to eat up all the experience I could. People get upset when you realize you no longer have to settle for less. Again, like in any abusive relationship.