how NOT to make it

notes from a working actor

The trials and tribulations
of Mike Vaughn

(this guy)

Admittedly, I receive promotional emails from so I can quickly peer over the fence to see what’s-what on that side of the voiceover world.

Most of the time I roll my eyes at the self-hype and promises of success to new/wannabe VO talent that seems to involve more paying for seminars and conferences sponsored by than it does any sort of proper training or real world advice. But to each his own I guess.  I see the email, I get the gist, I sigh, I delete it.

That’s been my experience for years now, but today’s email has me all like Popeye, with a “Dat’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!!!” Then popping a can of kale since canned spinach is risky these days.

Here’s the highlight from the email that sent me over the edge:

We have 10 speakers and panelists that are going to be there, including Joe Zieja! Joe is a voice actor, author, and veteran from the LA area. His voice has been in literally thousands of projects from video games to elearning – and on Saturday he’s going to teach you to knock out 2 auditions a minute (among other workflow tips).”

Did you read that? “Literally THOUSANDS of projects!”

That’s amazing because I’ve literally never heard of this guy.
Apparently, Hollywood hasn’t really heard of him either:

Yep… that’s his IMDB page with a whopping 12 credits.

Look, nothing against Joe here. He could be a fairly successful actor who has done 988 elearning projects that can’t be credited on IMDB and who might happen to advocate, aka: pay, for for all I know. The real beef here is trying so hard, albeit poorly, to make attendees feel like this is actual advice and not just a money grab from talent.

[side note… wouldn’t getting 2 auditions out per minute depend more on the auditions and the actor’s actual ability? No? It’s about a workflow? Oh, ok. Show’s what I don’t know.]

Woah, check out the event:

I’m not seeing any recognizable voiceover artist, casting, coach, or producer names in there, but then I did just get new Warby Parkers and it’s hard to see past my own vanity.

But hell, all it takes to attend this invaluable one-day event…. is ONLY $325!
(parking, lunch and starbucks not included)

Wow. A bargain, right?
Guess now I know where to learn how I can get my auditions turned-out in 30-seconds each! Take that stupid YouTube helpful instructional videos!

I’ll let the commenters below talk about’s more controversial practices of charging very high fees for improved access to the “bigger” auditions, and taking a percentage cut from the talent fee. I’m not a member, so I can’t speak directly to those issues.

Getting my ticket to SFO now.


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