Via Playgoer, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a feature on how bread-and-butter industry voice-over jobs are leaving for the global market, and it is straining the local theater scene:
"The market for industrial films and corporate videos is bad. Commercial work is way down. All the things that we generally do to cobble together a living has been affected, so it's harder to live the same middle-class dream as other Americans."
It's a common complaint from the rest of the labor market that globalization means increased competition as it becomes possible for anyone in the globe to do your job.
However, I also spotted this rather chilling Soundcheck debate about virtual orchestras. Subject line:
From Broadway theaters to opera houses and Hollywood production studios, digital orchestras are providing controversial alternatives to real-life musicians. The most recent example concerns the Broadway revival of West Side Story, which will soon lose half of its string section for a synthesizer.
The debate was about even parts artistic (the synthesizers don't sound as good! you're robbing them of the real orchestra experience!) and labor (musicians jobs shrink!).
My first thought, as I watched the video, was -- wait, why does this process still need people? Can't we build a robot to do the job of picking a box up, scanning the code, and putting it on another rack?