La Belle Province

Just back from a few days in Montreal and an investigation of the voice scene there.  I knew going in that L’Union des Artistes (UDA) is strong but my sense is that there is some non-union work kicking around.  We met with some studios, a couple of production companies and of course several voice talents – both English and French.  The poutine was tasty (www.restolabanquise.com), the city always delightful and who is going to argue with The Hilton’s policy of two free drinks in the hotel bar for each night you stay?!

It was encouraging to hear some potential clients say they do get request for non-union voices but there is not really a single source where they can go to find them.  When putting together a roster in a new city, the goal is to find talent who are experienced but don’t already have relationships with every producer in the city.  Otherwise, what does an agency bring to the table if producers and talent already know each other?  Having said that, it is easier for a studio or production company to have one number to call for all talents vs having to keep track of every individual talent’s cell phone and current demo.

We met with some great talents: a full mix, from French speakers only to English only to bilingual.  I was amazed at the many hats some of these talents wear – beaucoup de chapeaux!  In addition to doing freelance voice work, one talent also manages a boutique hotel, another has his own event management company, and a woman we met hosts a morning radio show every day and still works 9-5 at a University (but of course she will still make time for voice over jobs!).  It still remains to be seen how much English work there is in the city but we aim to have a small but deliciously talented roster of English voices to satisfy any client’s palate.  I’m looking forward to developing a Montreal-based roster and am still putting the word out there for more non-union voices located there.  Don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Will update further on Montreal plans in this space.

P.S.  I did take 8 years of French in school and can get by in both Quebec and France but I did enjoy sitting back and letting my co-worker Sarah banter with the French only talents.   I could always pick out key words like “les clients”, “voix”, “non-union” and of course, an agent’s favourite, “commission”.

Share

Tags: , , , ,

6 Responses to “La Belle Province”

  1. Karl Gerhardt Says:
    April 17th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hi Roger! I hail from the US and have been living in Montreal since 1999. I’ve gone the route of theater (college) to modeling to improv (troop) to film to behind the camera. Improv was where I realized I have a (raw) talent for voice work. I have had three paid gigs in Montreal, and I would love to do more voice work, as well as refine my talent. I am non-union, though I am with a Montreal modeling agency that owns 20% of my soul (ha, ha). Apart from reading your blog, which is awesome, btw, what would you suggest to a voice worker wanna-be, who will give 100%. Thanks, Karl

  2. Martin Giroux Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    It’s very cool that you are considering a roster of montreal based talents. I have not yet attained the professional level but I intend to do so in a near future! I’ll be following this blog closely!

  3. Robert Lassner Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Roger,

    I’ve recently retired. Had I collected a dollar for each of my previous business contacts who suggested over the years that I go into tv or radio voice-related work, my current retirement would be a hell of a lot easier.

    Located in Montreal, first language English, adequate French. Travel a lot to Washington, DC (daughter) and Boca Raton Florida (snow bird).

    Thanks for the info. Any direction you might be able to provide would be appreciated.

    Regards
    Bob Lassner

  4. Paul Vasconcelos Says:
    August 6th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Bonjour,
    I have read your ‘La Belle Province’ piece and found it very interesting. I would like to get involved in the Voice Over industry, I have been told over and over that I should be a radio host or DJ due to my voice. I have done some free work for companies I was employed with, such as Phone greetings and instructional videos. I would love to be added to your Montreal roster, am fluently Trilingual, French, English, Portuguese. Do speak some Spanish and a little Italian. I would be very grateful if you can contact me and guide me as to who can help me out with this career.
    Merci beaucoup

  5. Roger King Says:
    November 24th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Robert, Hi Paul: Sorry for the delay. Just reading these comments now. They were caught in my spam folder. Please both of you, send me a demo: roger@pnagency.com

  6. chad Says:
    May 10th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Roger
    After many years of hesitation I am finally making a serious move towards voice work. I’ve been told all my life that I “should be in radio” and whatnot and, indeed, I like working with my voice, having had an radio show and having worked dictating academic texts for cash. Now, I want to get serious. Now, I don’t know where to start! One issue I have is that I live in Montreal and I have an accent when I speak in French. English-language opportunities aren’t abound here–but I do go to TO often…. I would love to hear from you if you have the time.

Leave a Reply