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Career Change? How Your Past Education Can Help Your Future in Voice Overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 16, 2009

Comments (10)

Female chemistWeren't born in a studio nor raised behind a mic?

I've got some great news for you!

Today, you're going to discover how your unique life experiences and prior occupations can infuse a wealth of knowledge and value into your voice over business.

Sound good?

Find out how your background, including degrees and experiences from completely unrelated disciplines, can help you in your voice over career, right now at VOX Daily.


Education Matters, No Matter How Diverse or Unrelated

When I was reviewing a profile on our site, I noticed that although the gentleman had a lovely selection of demos and had filled out nearly every field, his education field was incomplete.

Considering his finesse and obvious desire to really make a go at Voices.com, it surprised me to find nothing listed as to what his education was which brings me to my point:

Even if you started out in an unrelated field, it would be better to list that information than to leave it blank.

Why's Your Past Education Important and How Can it Help?

Someone could be looking for a voice artist with your particular background. I've seen it happen before with many people.

One gentleman in particular had a background in Art History and curated exhibits at museums, also dealing with antiques. If someone were to search for a voice artist who was already familiar with names of the great painters, how to pronounce them and so forth, they'd likely hire that voice actor over someone else given their expertise in that area of study.

Similarly, you may come from a medical background and be happy as a clam pronouncing difficult terminology from the world of medicine, pharmaceuticals, or science. When a word has more than 4 syllables or is in Latin, someone with your background could rock the project and give the client full value, never mind save time having to learn correct pronunciations and frustration when revision after revision is requested.

Closely related to the above is the practice of Law. There are some very interesting words and jargon in this discipline that would be Greek to people who weren't lawyers or judges. Think about it!

Lastly, maybe you came from a skilled trade and your area of expertise is quite defined, making you a great catch for technical narrations and presentations within a particular industry.

Being knowledgeable about industry jargon is an invaluable asset and could very well make or break getting a gig.

I could go on and on about how you can make any career or field of study serve you as a voice actor, but we've got to stop somewhere, at least for today.

How Has Education Helped Your Voice Over Career?

Looking forward to your comments!

Best,

Stephanie

P.S. If you've got some work to do on your profile, click here to log in and update your Education field so that people can find you (and your special skills) in the search results :)

©iStockphoto.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

Related Topics: background, career change, education, how to, industry, voice acting, voice overs, voice-over, voiceovers


Comments


    Thanks Stephanie... although I'm not "officially" a member of voices.com yet, I immediately went to my free profile and updated the education field!

    Your posts are so helpful!

    Posted by:

      Hi, Stephanie! As I wrote in a blog post extolling the virtues of a day job, whatever you are doing today will prepare you for what is to come tomorrow. Walking out of an employer's door doesn't mean that the knowledge is forgotten; you take everything you learn with you.

      In my case, I earned a MS degree in computer information systems and have over 20 years of experience in the IT field as a programmer, then LAN/WAN/e-mail administrator. I can perform technical scripts with complete authenticity because the subject matter has been stamped on my brain. I do consider my intense IT background to be a competitive advantage for e-learning scripts and marketing materials geared toward an IT audience.

      I include that information in all my on-line profiles and on my own site. Thanks for pointing out that Voices.com profiles have an education field; I have now added my educational background in that box as well.

      I appreciate your writing this article. Our educational backgrounds are just one more way that we are unique!

      Cordially,
      Karen Commins

      Posted by:

        I recently booked my first documentary on Voices.com - for Sustainable Harvest International - in part because of my degree in Agriculture from the University of Minnesota.

        Posted by:

          A really useful reminder that we all have transferable skills.

          Posted by:

            Mornin' Y'all,

            Not only my formal education has helped my career, but the lessons I learned as an undercover police officer have served me well too. I developed multiple 'characters' while serving in that capacity and had to reach a certain level of competency simply because any critiques I might receive could be lethal.

            Ran

            Posted by:
            • Ran Alan Ricard
            • January 17, 2009 8:31 AM

              Three degrees in biology and 2 decades experience working in natural history museums has definitely enhanced my authenticity when it comes to science narrations, e-Learning, and much more.

              As the talented Rowell Gorman recently pointed out in his blog - every experience is grist for the actor's mill! http://voices2go.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/no-experience-truly-wasted-for-an-actor/

              Mary

              Posted by:

                Thanks so much, Ms. Ciccarelli! This is a real morale booster because it seems as if every time I'm looking up someone's filmography and history, they almost always seem to be from an acting family, or related to someone famous, or raised in California/New York. Thanks for letting the other people without the luck to be born into a famous family know that we can do it too and it doesn't matter if we haven't had fancy coaches since the age of 3. As long as we've got the aspirations and work ethic, we can work our way into the industry as well! :)

                Posted by:
                • Elana Sara
                • January 19, 2009 9:39 AM

                  Great article, Steph!

                  Posted by:

                    Hi my name is Fiona.

                    Thank you so much for your emails.

                    I am so very interested in your adverts as I feel I have a vocation in this area. Also just reading your latest e mail, I am a medical secretary. I have also worked in the ambulance emergency dispatch and call taking for may years and write children's stories and poems love reading aloud.

                    Fiona

                    Posted by:
                    • Fiona Cockram
                    • January 20, 2009 10:13 AM

                      Thirty-four years ago, I graduated with a BA in French, thinking of the commercial interpreter / ambassador market. Unfortunately, I got hooked on broadcasting with college radio. Worked in mid and major-market for almost 20 years; then 10 years at ad agencies; and owned and operated a recording studio for 15 years. 10 years ago, a client asked me to record some foreign language work. I have since produced (not voiced) in 57 languages for them. The knowledge of how language works, and an affinity / ear / sensitivity for working with non-English speakers, allowed me to create this sub-specialty. At one point it comprised 70% of my production work.

                      studiobnh@comcast.net

                      Posted by:
                      • Joe Biedrzycki
                      • January 22, 2009 6:29 PM

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