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J Michael Collins, Co-owner of  the Voiceover Atlanta Conference speaking at the conference

ETAG Founder, Lynda Lee Smith, was excited to catch up with J Michael Collins, Co-owner of the Voiceover Atlanta Conference, to discuss Georgia’s entertainment industry and how the growth has impacted the voiceover industry, which supports almost all aspects of the entertainment industry. The 2024 Voiceover Atlanta Conference was just recently held March 7-10, hosting 1000 attendees.

ETAG: Georgia’s booming entertainment industry is all the buzz, but often the “supporting” events like the Voiceover Conference get missed in the economic impact data. How does the voiceover conference support the industry boom, while also directly impacting the economy through the hospitality industry?

MICHAEL: Atlanta is one of the hottest spots for voiceover work with 8-10 voice agencies located in the metro area. There is also a great deal of independent work here as well. Atlanta specifically has become known as one of the top 5 places to be in the nation for voiceover work and that is a change from 10-15 years ago. Voiceover demand creates jobs far beyond the traditional entertainment industry,

supporting not just film, television, and commercials, but also distance-learning training, corporate training, e-learning, audio books, and language conversions, just to name a few.

Voiceover is its own economy and continues to grow year after year. The Voiceover Conference attendees came in from allover the world for five days at maximum capacity of 1000 attendees. That equates to 5000+ hotel room nights when you include both speakers and attendees. We partner with Delta for air travel and bring in attendees from over 10+ countries, including as far away as Australia. It is safe to assume a percentage of the international guests stay over beyond the conference for additional hotel room nights. The conference is an economic engine – hotels, dining, entertainment, and rental cars is estimated at $10M+ economic impact to Georgia.

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The Voiceover Conference attendees

ETAG: How long have you been in the voiceover industry and how has the opportunity in Georgia changed over the last two decades?


MICHAEL: I have been in the industry since age 15, starting in radio. By the time I graduated from college I had a full-time voiceover career. Initially I was

in the D.C. area. A little over a decade ago I started a voiceover training company.

In 2015 my company became a sponsor of the Atlanta Voiceover Conference and then after COVID we purchased the conference. We have been facilitating it for the last few years . Our company, JMC Demos & Coaching, teaches around the world and hosts voiceover retreats.


ETAG: Can you share how voiceover acting contributes to the overall entertainment industry including video gaming, film, television, commercials, music, as well as anime? How has Georgia’s tax incentive impacted voiceover? What would change if the tax incentive diminished?


MICHAEL: The film and television tax incentive has a definitive impact on voiceover. It used to be NY and LA only, and now Atlanta is one of the top cities. More voice actors are moving to Atlanta permanently – including some big names in the video gaming world.

Unlike film and television, voiceover is not contingent on geography. The opportunity for participation from any geographic location allows talent to participate in the industry no matter where they live, including rural areas.

ETAG: What are your expectations for growth in the next decade?


MICHAEL: It is an interesting period right now. There are more calls for voiceover work than ever before. Every aspect of the industry is growing. Commercial voiceovers have a huge demand for talent.


Animation and anime are experiencing huge growth, especially in the Atlanta market. A.I. is having dramatically less impact than was initially expected and job growth is strong as buyers gravitate towards authenticity and human actors. Corporations, institutions, and governments have a constant demand for talent. Our conference has sold out for the last two years. We have received great support for this conference from the Atlanta Mayor’s office and we expect to continue the conference for years to come as Georgia continues to be a huge supporter of the industry.

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