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VO4TA: Sunk Costs

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at


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VO4TA: Sunk Costs


In economics and business, a sunk cost is a cost that has been incurred and cannot be recovered.  


What are the sunk costs in voiceover?


Classes are sunk costs. If they are great or if they are bad, they are an expense of time and money.


Demo reels are a sunk cost. A reel that shows you in the best light or that makes you sound like an amateur. Either way that is a sunk cost.  


Other kinks of promotion. Websites. Meet and greets. Pay to play - (let’s be real about it, unfortunately that’s what it can often be.)   


Cost of living expenses. Being where the action is. New York? LA? Chicago (where the housing market is more forgiving - but the opportunities are fewer.)  


Fees. Managers. Consultants. Commissions. Advisors. Accountants.


All sunk costs to build the business of your service (and acting is a service business) are specific and very real no matter if you succeed mightily or fail miserably.  


Question: What mistakes have you made with the money you have already spent? Because frankly, if you haven’t made mistakes  - you are not playing the game.


Further Question: (maybe a tougher one)

Are auditions sunk costs? Tough one. Maybe it depends on your attitude about them. Some of the best actors I’ve known see auditions as another opportunity to act - and make them extremely valuable for that reason alone. But is that still an irretrievable cost? But is that a sunk cost of time rather than money? Well, you don’t get paid to audition….  


So, if sunk costs are inevitable - what will I now do differently?  


The shame is not making the mistakes, but not learning from them. And to learn, you have to look.


Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at  


He will tell you that his undergraduate education felt like a an irretrievable sunk cost.


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This is a personal weblog.  The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own and are not those of any of my employers.


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