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Is Voiceover really for you? Read this first.

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

November 21, 2006

Comments (7)

Yesterday, I read one of the most honest, no-holds-barred blog posts from a professional voice talent about what people who are not making ends meet in the voiceover business should consider regarding the future of their career. Want to read it too?

Over the weekend, Bob Souer posted an insightful and forthright article entitled Packing it in? written for readers who are in the business of voiceovers but may not, for a variety of reasons, be the best candidate to do so.

Bob clearly states that there is more to a career in voiceover than merely speaking into a microphone. It's a sales and marketing job that demands your full attention, dedication, talent and resources.

In the closing paragraphs, Bob poses a few hard hitting questions that every semi-professional or amateur talent should ask, not only for themselves, but for their family and others who are dependent upon them as well.

If you have any feedback on this article, you are welcome to leave comments on our blog at VOX Daily and on Bob Souer's blog.

Read "Packing it in?" here.

Best,

Stephanie


Comments


    I work at a voice over school (Voice One in San Francisco) and have seen over a thousand hopefuls attend classes. Most don't attend more than the $25 Introduction class. Some have a lot of talent but most are ordinary folks who have a pleasant voice and have been told they should go into VO.

    What all newcomers do not understand is that being successful in this business has nothing to do with having a good voice and everything to do with knowing how to act. We say this to students time and again.

    Acting is the most difficult profession known to man. Sanford Meisner used to welcome new students by telling them this and joking that when they decided to become actors, they took a vow of poverty. Acting isn't talking - it's behaving. And learning to behave in a believable manner under imaginery circumstances is extremely difficult. That's why the folks who do it best are paid huge sums of money.

    While it's true that sales and marketing get us the work, we must have talent and that takes time to develop. And to think that we can develop it without guidance is sheer arrogance.

    Those who stay the course do make it. They may not knock Don LaFontaine off his perch but they do make money in this field. But not until they understand that success is a relative term. We do this because we enjoy being in a small, hot room with no air flow. We do it because we'd rather be doing it than anything else in the world.

    The article mentions acting and singing classes and I have to agree. Most of the folks that I know who are good in this field are either singers, stand-up comics or actors. But we can't deny folks their dream. We can only inform them that making it a reality could be a long process. But if they stay the course and work diligently at improving their craft, they make wake one day to find that they are living their dream. And what price is too high for that?

    Posted by:
    • Dave Menashe
    • November 21, 2006 10:25 AM

      Stephanie,

      Thank you for the link and the gracious comments in your post.

      I think Dave makes some very cogent points in his comment here as well. I especially agree that marketing alone will not guarantee success. Talent is required, without a doubt.

      At the same time, talent alone won't guarantee success either. Training one's talents, marketing, and persistence. All three are required.

      Be well,
      Bob

      Posted by:

        Great post!

        As I just commented on Bob's blog (GREAT blog BTW):

        It’s about continuing to learn new techniques & improving your skills….gee…could this actually be a “job”?

        It is, but as many VO's will attest to (me included!): a lot better than working for a living! ;-)

        Liz
        --
        Liz de Nesnera
        "Voice Tracks Voiced Right!"
        Reservoir Road Productions
        973-610-2019
        lizden@gmail.com

        Posted by:

          Stephanie,

          NO question! It's a business like all other businesses.

          If you don't understand marketing, either learn it or go back working for someone else. Working for yourself doesn't mean "when you feel like it." If you're not putting in 60-70 hours a week into making it happen, it won't happen.

          SO, its up to the individual and their own work ethic.

          Thanks for the great blog post!

          Dan L.

          Posted by:

            I have been quickly advancing in the world of voice work and I couldn't be happier. I will share that the road that I have gotten to it has been slightly different going by ya'lls stories. I started by interning at a radio station and then learning production. Weekly commercial spots / reads / spec spots for sales clients, you learn really quickly (even if it is considered the McDonald's of the production industry) you still wind up recording and hearing / seeing your voice and bad habits as they form, like I said. You learn quick.

            So, I am enjoying the ride and the work, and continue to hope that my voice stays in demand over here, so that I can continue to build myself and keep doing this as a "job".

            Posted by:
            • Jenna
            • November 30, 2006 3:16 PM

              Bob,

              Great article!

              No question voice-overs require not only talent, but it is also a sales and marketing job!

              We work for ourselves...we are the BOSS.

              May I also add we get pretty good at collections (for our payment) and become rather proficient in the technical/computer knowledge end of the biz.

              We chart our monthly numbers from one year to the next, set monetary, and budgetary goals.

              Nothing like being the President/CEO of your own company striving to produce the best vo possible!

              Posted by:

                As someone just learning about the biz and considering entering the VO world as a profession I found both this post - thanks Stephanie - and Bob Souer's post refreshing.

                I think a lot of people expect to get into it and instantly have doors open and success but the reality is that's just not going to happen. It's a job and if you're not ready to work at it and put in the hours, you're not going to go very far.

                And the gut wrenching truth is even if you are ready to work at it or have been for a while you still may not have much success. You have to want it and at the same time it has to want you.

                Posted by:

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