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Changing The World With Your Voice

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 24, 2009

Comments (8)

Rainbow water dropWant to help change the world?

You can do so through the kind of projects you take on in your voice acting career.

Discover 3 factors that determine how you contribute and find out why they are so very important.

How Can Your Voice Change the World?

Each day, you are given opportunities to record scripts for projects, and you can pick and choose which are more suited to you and decide whether or not they appeal to you.

Let's examine the factors that go into whether or not you audition or embark on a project, and if that project is "right" for you. What's also interesting is that these same factors are critical to achieving your goal of helping you to change the world with your voice.

The 3 Factors Are:

1. Qualifications
2. Vocal Range
3. Personal Beliefs

1. Qualifications

Some projects come with specific requirements such as you must have access to ISDN, speak a particular dialect, or be able to deliver the audio and meet a client's deadline. Most of this is obvious, but it is important to ensure that you are equipped to fulfill the nuts and bolts of what is expected of you as a service provider.

2. Vocal Range

If you are honest with yourself and know what you are capable of doing as a voice over artist, this shouldn't be very difficult to ascertain. If your strengths lie in certain areas and you know your comfortable vocal range, make sure that you audition for projects calling for your voice type and only present clients with styles or pitches you are comfortable voicing or replicating for extended periods of time.

3. Personal Beliefs

While this may not be a critical point for all people, I think it is very important to only take on work or audition for projects that align with your morals, ethics and beliefs. How can you make sure you do this? Ask yourself, "Do I feel good being associated with X company, cartoon, concept, etc.?" before stepping forward and making a commitment. An audition, even if it's only an audition, is still a commitment of sorts so be careful to apply only for jobs you actually want to do.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Whenever you choose to honour your values, you are being authentic, credible, and have a greater purpose for what you are doing or contributing to.

Do you remember what Polonius said in "Hamlet"?

"To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

In the same vein, if you truly believe in what you are saying and speak with conviction, the read will come across with indisputable veracity and be of untold benefit to a prospective client and to your customers.

Each decision you make affects you and those around you. Just as a raindrop lands on the waters and causes a ripple to spread, so do your actions, making an impact on those around you and on others beyond your community.

How Is Your Voice Changing the World?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Dmitry Mordvintsev

Related Topics: beliefs, cartoons, change the world, Hamlet, ISDN, Polonius, Truth, voice acting, voice overs, voice talent


Comments


    This article should take us all back to the original question...'Why am I doing this'? As the old acting joke goes, 'What's my motivation?' I'm reminded of the scene in the classic western "The Magnificent Seven" as Yul Brynners character talks about the motivation of the gunfighter--everyone assumed that the reason would be money and lots of it. But as the conversation continued we find out that money was just one of many factors that would make one man live that life.
    My particular motivator is the desire to leave a legacy of joy, laughter and goodwill and I can do that whether I'm making faces into a microphone or being the cheerful "best foot forward" on a companys IVR. Of course, the ultimate dream is to be paid for doing what you love! And while we are all in business to make a profit, there are other ways the contribute...special pricing for special projects (PSA's perhaps), flat rates for small businesses that need lots of work.
    We can all help somehow...

    Posted by:

      Hi Stephanie,
      Great article. I discovered years ago when I started in radio, that I needed to be me and not try to be someone else. I learned things from Imus, Rick Dees, Dr. Don Rose, but I could not imitate. I like auditions that allow me to be creative and put my twist on the script or how I feel the copy should be presented. I feel this allows a VO talent to really bring the copy to life, instead of trying to make sure he or she sounds like so and so. I see so many audition request that say for example "need a Morgan Freeman voice" or " Sean Connery". I know there are some talent that can nail those requests, but if its borderline...I say hold off and take on just the auditions that allow the real you to come out. Thanks again Voices.com for all you do for the VO's in the world.
      Randy Anderson

      Posted by:
      • Randy Anderson
      • July 25, 2009 10:53 AM

        Stephanie..

        So true about the morals/beliefs! In the last year I did a spot for a candidate who was not in my party of choice. I thought, "what harm can this do?" Wrong! Months later, after his election, he's in the news for some financial misconduct. Folks may not connect my voice with him as it was a short campaign, but something inside me made me very uncomfortable! Note to self: stay away from candidate vo jobs unless you support the person or issue!

        One other item...last fall I negotiated with a client in Europe to do an audiobook. I never bothered to ask what the book was about. When the script showed up, I realized the subject matter was totally opposite of the way I live! I sheepishly apologized to this gracious man and told him I couldn't do his book....he understood and I think we parted as friends. 2nd note to self: know the content of the script/book before you accept the gig!

        Some may say it's all just business. I say my work is part of who I am and what I believe. How can we change the world if we promote any belief that is floating around?

        larry

        Posted by:

          Right on, Stephanie! Thanks for bringing attention to point 3. Your timing with this post is perfect. Just this past week I've been thinking a lot about what I can do with my VO career that will make a difference in the world. Sounds like a lofty goal, but it can be as simple as just staying true to your personal beliefs --or as big as donating your time/talent to a good cause. Thanks!

          Carly

          Posted by:

            Good advice Stephanie. I have learned not to take every script that is offered to me. I will certainly try them all, but send only the ones that are within my style. Either way its a learning process everyday.. Thank you again for the opportunities at voices.com.

            Posted by:
            • Brian Uveges
            • July 26, 2009 6:25 PM

              Excellent points made here...thank you

              Posted by:
              • TJ Galvin
              • July 26, 2009 7:04 PM

                Good point, Stephanie. Remaining true to oneself is sometimes difficult when you’re trying to get by in these rough economic times.

                After accepting a job over the phone from a nice sounding producer who had found my voice on my mikekirby.ca website, I began to record the copy with my engineer and good friend David. After listening back to a good take, David asked me if I really wanted to be involved with this thinly veiled money making scheme that smacked loudly of Ponzi .

                “What happens if you are recognized doing this piece of poop? You could lose a major account being associated with a less than honorable project.” said David.

                Up to that point, I hadn’t paid much attention to the content, trying to make it sound exciting and worthy of investment, but hearing David’s words and after giving it some thought, I gave the producer a call and asked him to be relieved of the project. He wasn’t angry with me so much as unhappy because I felt his ideas were considered less than forthright. But he did agree, after some heated discussion, to replace me.

                In future, I must pay closer attention to what I endorse using my God given voice talent. Thanks to my friend and moral compass, David, for making me take more responsibility for the work that I accept and, in this case, turn down.

                Be selective, my friends, and you can then be proud of your work.

                Mike Kirby

                Posted by:

                  Once, about 10 or 12 years ago, when I was working at a really "edgy" radio station in Central Florida, the production manager tasked me with cutting an ad for a "men's body shampoo salon". I'm no prude and I didn't think much of it as I was producing the spot. Quite a few of our sponsors were...umm..."gentlemen's clubs" and adult toy stores. I figured this ad would run on a late-night schedule for a couple of weeks during our "relationship show" and that would be that. Well the spot ran for MONTHS! The more I heard it, the sleazier it sounded and the more I regretted that it was MY voice on the commercial.

                  The spot finally got pulled after this particular business was discovered to be nothing but a front for prostitution and was shut down.

                  OOPS.

                  Today, there are certain things that I will not touch. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but a theoretical example might be cigarette commercials, if they were still permitted on radio and TV.

                  I also could not voice an ad for a political candidate for whom I would not vote.

                  At the end of the day, you have to look in the mirror and feel good about who you are.

                  Posted by:

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