I have written about this more extensively but I want to start a real conversation about talent development. Obviously anyone can comment, but as my questions lead to other questions, feel free to email me as well if you do not want to share your thoughts publicly. Anyway here goes.
OUR PREDICAMENT AT ACM
More and more recently, we at ACM have been reliant on a handful of great coaches out there to keep our clients sharp. I have always been an advocate of good coaching as a means to stretch an established talent’s skills, but more often today basic coaching is needed to groom younger talent (men and women between ages 20-35). The reason for this evolution? Young talent is no longer getting enough at bats from their primary agents and no longer being developed like they used to.
How does this manifest for ACM? Over and over we receive demos from younger talent, and whereby ten years ago there were plenty of great men and women to consider, the opposite is true today. In fact, we receive only a handful of submissions each year that we believe have the potential to take advantage of ACM’s opportunities and expertise.
EDUCATION IS THE SOLUTION
At some point there will be a legitimate voice-over academy offering talent an education that hones individual skill. For decades these were acting schools, both at colleges and universities, and well-known conservatories. In fact, that may be the future, but right now they don’t exist for voice-over.
Instead, there are institutions, such as Edge Studios, which appear to do some really nice work. My only problem with Edge and similar institutions is I just don’t know who they are. That may be my ignorance or hubris, but in general I have a direct connection or a connection once removed from almost every successful agent, talent, producer, and engineer in the business.
Another thing I understand is that some of the best and most dedicated teachers do not necessarily have great educational pedigrees. You can see this over and over with acting coaches who are well known in the industry but also appear to have neither the credits nor educational background to be as well thought of as they are. Regardless, it seems to me that there should be a way for talent to learn from the best-of-the-best like the students at a good law or business school do.
A VOICE-OVER JULLIARD
I guess what I’m proposing is to possibly have a voice-over Julliard comprised of top tier teaching and professional talent. If so, what would it look like? This is really what I want to know. Please let me know what classes you think would be offered, where it would be located, who would be in charge, how much it should cost, etc.. I will likely share all your thoughts in a future post but I wanted to get the conversation started.