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If I Don't Believe in My Own Voice...

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 13, 2009

Comments (15)

I believe written on a palmWhat happens if you don't believe in your own voice?

Will anyone else?

Find out what a couple of industry professionals have said about this here on VOX Daily.

What Happens If You Don't Believe In Your Own Voice?

Moments ago, I received a contribution to the VOX Talk podcast from a mystery announcer (you'll have to wait until the show comes out!) that poses these questions:

1. Are there other voice talents who don't believe in their own voices while at the mic?
2. Could the fact that I have doubts mean that others will not believe what I'm saying?

I replied that yes, there are people who do not feel comfortable in front of the mic in the early stages of their career, and also, if you don't believe in yourself, it will certainly be harder to convince anyone else to do so.

Devote Yourself to the Service of the Words

One of the greatest voice over talents and my friend, the late Don LaFontaine, once said:

"If you are going to be successful, you have to have veracity and honesty - if you can fake that, you've got it made. Your heart needs to be fully behind what you read. Devote yourself to the service of words and you're halfway there."

When asked what the other half was, he would simply say, "Wait until I die". With his passing in 2008, you can now take his advice in full and run with it.

The bit about faking it was said slightly as a joke, and as you see when you read on, Don encourages you to put your heart completely in the service of the words to be convincing and truly authentic.

Sometimes it's hard to take the first step on your own and guidance is appreciated if not a necessity. If you haven't read Rodney Saulsberry's Step Up to the Mic, I strongly recommend that you do. Rodney's words will lift you up and help you to recognize your potential as a voice over artist, even if you've been around the block and have a healthy client list.

Once you believe in yourself, you've got to become empowered and self-motivated. For a quick dose of advice in this direction, be sure to listen to Nancy Wolfson's podcast on Voice Over Experts called "I Am Enough".

While you're inspired, here are 5 more excellent podcasts that will help you to navigate these waters as you prepare to believe in yourself, find your voice and get work:

Marc Cashman's Finding the Music in Copy
Cynthia Songé's Debating the Signature Voice
Gary Terzza's 5 Tips for Getting Voice Over Work
Pat Fraley's The Almighty Playback
Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskin's The Myth of Rejection

Those are just 5 out of 75 podcasts available to you for free through the Voice Over Experts podcast series that at Voices.com. Listen to Voice Over Experts and VOX Talk (58 episodes thus far) in our podcasting center.

Do You Believe In Your Own Voice?

If so, I'd love it if you could share how you came to believe in yourself. If not, you're welcome to include your thoughts as a comment and find encouragement through the experiences of others.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Claus Mikosch

Related Topics: Believe, Cynthia Songe, Don LaFontaine, Gary Terzza, industry, Joan Baker, Marc Cashman, Nancy Wolfson, Pat Fraley, Rodney Saulsberry, Rudy Gaskins, Voice, Voice Over Experts, Voices


Comments


    Hi Stephanie!

    I like to think that I believe in my voice. I'm certainly confident whenever an audition or recording session comes up. I believe the thing that helped me come to believe in my voice was my first ever voice over role. It was a fanmade English dub of a radioplay from the "Fruits Basket" anime series. I got the part of Kyo Sohma. After hearing myself in the finished production, I was so proud of the work I had done. Even to this day, I think of that as one of my best performances. So ever since then, I've had complete confidence in myself whenever I audition or record for anything.

    Dan "ConVito" Conlin

    Posted by:
    • Dan Conlin
    • January 13, 2009 1:14 PM

      My experience is about the opposite of the other Dan's. While I get plenty of positive feedback from clients, and have for a long time now, it is very rare that I am perfectly satisfied with something I've done. It always sounds so much better in my head, ya know? This can lead to a lot of frustration and self-doubt. I have learned that I have to cut this off and move forward in a kind of faith that "I really can do this".

      I think that some self-doubt for an artist is a natural thing, and each of us has to find his own way of dealing with it. If I were not my own worst critic - if I never had any self-doubt - I wouldn't be as motivated as I am to improve... and that's a good thing.

      Posted by:

        Thank you for making me think.
        My whole life is based on the one word Believe. If you believe anything is possible. I guess thats why now I blessed with the look I have. I'm any only child I always played make believe with my imaginary friends they always made sure I believed in myself. So yes I believe in my voice and in myself so I can do service to the words.
        Ron Levine
        Voice Actor

        Posted by:

          Another perspective on "do you believe.." is someone who's been doing vo for 30 years (me) suddenly loosing his voice... gone for weeks at a time. My initial reaction, beyond being disturbed, was to try and take advantage of what was there and tackle spots that called for a younger. regular guy voice (after all I'd gone up over an octave & a half, and there was no "edge".) Didn't get much work. My voice suddenly re-appeared four weeks ago and I was elated...did some auditions I felt really comfortable with...but the results have been the same. I'll continue as long as I can...but the return of the "Pee Wee Herman" voice is bound to occur again... and at that point I will, indeed , have... doubts.

          Posted by:

            Thank you Stephanie, for again reminding us how important it is to believe -- in the words -- and in the gift of our voice. Blessings, G. Faith Klassen

            Posted by:

              Aaaaaaaaaaaaawesome, awesome advice. Thanks for posting this! :)

              Posted by:

                Thank you so much for sharing this, Steph.

                I play this mp3 for students DAILY. I love watching that Brain Grenade go off when they get that their own true brand is the most unique thing they can bring to the game. The calm truth of their personal style carries a value nobody else can replicate.

                What if the sound the buyer wants is YOUR TRUE SOUND and you give them something other than what you naturally sound like - wouldn't that MISSED OPPORTUNITY BE A SHAME - to BE what they want but to think so little of yourself that you ditched your SELF and gave them something that is NOT YOU when YOU is what they woulda wanted?!!! One of my favorite comments came back after playing it with/for a student, Ron, who was with me on Saturday. He gave me permission to share the reaction that hit him once he got home from his lesson. He wrote: "This is something I might play for myself before every audition for the REST OF MY CAREER. In 2 sessions, you've reignited my creative fires... to be myself." YAY, Ron!

                xN

                Posted by:

                  Thanks, again, Stephanie, for sharing this most valuable information with us. I truly look forward to my in-box each morning and seeing just which "nuggets of knowledge" you and the staff have drummed up for us.

                  I actually started up a regular e-mail relationship with Don LaFontaine, and even got one more message from him inside my in-box about a week or so before he passed away (I almost feel as if we became somewhat of "buds" for the six months or so we carried on our e-mail relationship). In fact, I still keep his last message to me and, on occasion, refer to it now and then--hardly believing that Don's no longer with us. Very sad, indeed!

                  Have a Most Blessed Day and We'll See You at the Top!

                  Rick J. Radecki

                  Posted by:

                    Thanks as always. Stephanie. I'm generally "a believer" and fully committed to what I am recording.

                    Posted by:

                      Great post. As a relatively new member, I especially want to thank you for the links to prior podcasts at bottom, which I may otherwise have missed without this focused act of inspiration.

                      Posted by:

                        I do think that believing in your voice is one thing. Getting others to believe in, or even notice your voice is a completely different matter. Last night, I went through the 20 or so jobs in my Voices.com inbox, filtering them on the requirements of the job. Unfortunately there were only 2 jobs left once I had done this, as most people were requesting US accents. I'm not pointing any fingers, but I am rethinking my marketing strategy.

                        Posted by:
                        • Mark Steele
                        • January 20, 2009 4:24 AM

                          A gig can get messed up real fast when paying too much attention to my voice....

                          Posted by:
                          • John Bigl
                          • January 20, 2012 1:33 PM

                            That question should be front and center in any v.o. class. stage and screen actors would never step in front of a camera or out on stage if belief in their looks and abilities were not secure it all times. A microphone can be very intimidating. Newbies sometimes freeze and stare at the mic, audition over. NEXT. Read books, different genres and speeds, standing in front a mic. Practice, practice, practice. You'll be fine.

                            Posted by:
                            • Jim Hull
                            • January 20, 2012 1:34 PM

                              Great advice Jim! Thank you so much sharing your insights. Did you find you struggled a bit with your confidence when you first started? If so, how did you overcome your fear?

                              Posted by:
                              • Ashley Hall, Social Media Manager at Voices.com
                              • January 20, 2012 1:35 PM

                                I was fortunate enough to work at a recording studio, it was a great way to practice. we recorded things like, " HOW THE COMPUTER WORLD IMPACTS THE GARBAGE INDUSTRY." Heavy stuff. Good schooling though. Oh yeah, I stopped freezing up on threat of not being asked to do it anymore. Great incentive.

                                Posted by:
                                • Jim Hull
                                • January 20, 2012 1:36 PM

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