Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Why Do You Rock the Mic?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 19, 2009

Comments (10)

Asian woman singing in a recording boothWe all have our reasons for doing what we do.

Maybe it makes you feel alive, like you're contributing in a positive way, or simply feels "right."

There must be something in you somewhere that drives your passion as professional.

Have you ever stopped to think about what motivates you to be a voice artist and where your energy is derived from? Why do you record voice overs?

Add your comments and join in the conversation!

Oh, Happy Day!

Last weekend, I heard some of the most wondrous voices literally rocking the mics, full of passion and absolute determination.

Where was I?

At a church service listening to the Toronto Mass Choir under the direction of Karen Burke! Every bone in each singer's body was jumping, jiving, and giving it up to God with all the resources they could draw upon.

One could tell right away that what they were doing was electric and had a definite purpose, contagiously spreading their enthusiasm throughout the congregation with the clapping of hands, shouts of joy, and songs of deliverance.

Now, these are people who know what they're called to do!

After listening to their songs and a stunning rendition of "Oh Happy Day," I got to thinking about how they were indeed rocking their mics, and then my thoughts turned to you.

Is This How You Feel When You're Recording Voice Overs?

Do you get a sense of freedom, purpose, and a calling to be more than just a person behind a mic, but a person behind the mic with a mission?

I'd love to hear why you chose to be a voice over artist and what motivates you to work in this industry.

Comment below!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/archives

Related Topics: booth, industry, Karen Burke, Toronto Mass Choir, vocation, Voice acting, voice artists, voiceovers


Comments


    Very thought provoking article. First of all there is a definite freedom that I personally enjoy. My physical appearance might make someone pass me by for a visual role--but behind the microphone, I can be anything!
    Secondly, My desire is to leave a healthy, positive legacy for my grandchildren and everyone elses--a smile or a bellylaugh. A body of work both memorable and hilarious at the same time. Yeah...it's corny but I AM an old guy ! Please don't mistake me for being flippant, because we should all be open to minister to the needs of others whenever we can on a daily basis --and as voice actors, we have a unique platform from which to share the good. Just wanted to share my gut motivation on why I LOOVE to voice!

    Posted by:

      I definitely get a sense of calling when I'm behind the mic, to the point where I wonder why on earth other people around me don't see the fascination of it like I do. What's wrong with them?
      I decided to become a voiceover artist because of my 12 year old son. He loved to hear me reading bedtime stories but, for a few months I had stopped reading to him because he was listening to Jim Dale narrating the Harry Potter books on CD. One evening he decided he would like me to read the next chapter because he missed snuggling up and, in his opinion, he believed I could read the story just as well as Mr. Dale, especially using the character voices (this is the opinion of a 12 year old, remember). When I'd finished the chapter he touched my face and looked me straight in the eye and earnestly told me that he thought I should do this for a job! I should be reading stories for other children to listen to!
      I left his room realizing that he was right! I absolutely LOVE reading aloud to other people, especially to children. I had regularly volunteered at school working with children in reading groups and I knew that many kids just cannot de-code the written words on the page to bring a story to LIFE! Those little squiggles and markings next to the letters don't mean anything to many readers. They just scan the text and read the words, in a monotonous tone, without feeling or understanding of their meaning. Listening to a good narrator, bringing the story to life while a child reads along, following the text can actually be life-changing for some children. They suddenly realize that the little dot, or the period, means that the sentence has ended, the comma caused the reader to pause slightly, the speech marks indicated a character was speaking, the question mark means they are asking a question which means the tone of voice changes.
      How fantastic is that? To be a part of a life changing event like that? For a child to suddenly discover that reading is actually meaningful? Even if just one child learns the importance of de-coding that text, it's totally awesome to know that I could possibly have helped that become a reality!
      Bringing stories to life is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Reading for sight impaired people is especially satisfying. They're always enthralled to hear a good story. When I'm behind that mic I become the completely real ME! I was meant to do this. For years I worked in an office, in customer service, then I became a primary school teacher, teaching a computer class (it wasn't my ideal teaching medium) and all the while I knew I was destined for something else.
      I followed my son's advice and pursued a career in audiobook narrating but I realized very quickly there's way more to it than that. You don't just read books, you become a voiceover artist and read ALL kinds of literature, from a voicemail messages to a script from a videogame. It doesn't matter what it is. Even if it's boring old corporate training audio, I just know that whatever I record is going to make someone very happy or it will help them in some shape or form. That is a very, very satisfying and rewarding feeling indeed.
      Why wouldn't you want to be a voiceover artist? That's a stupid question isn't it? Well no it's not. The greater percentage of the population actually HATES reading aloud, with a passion! I have always liked to be different and not follow the other sheep in the world. I've found my passion after a long, hard search, all thanks to little Bobby Hewitt (who, incidentally, is now 5'11" and will be learning to drive soon, but that's irrelevant).

      Posted by:

        Because it's hard. You gave to learn a whole new set of skills- technical, vocal, business- and yet, if you keep at it- you get better. There's also the pleasure of getting through to people- telling them a story which intrigues, entertains, or informs them.

        Posted by:

          Doing Voice Overs places me on natural high, simular to the exhilaration I recieved when I took ballet & jazz. As a former Concierge, promoting Service Partners' products and services, my voice moved the products into the hands of customers. The Mic allows me to give life, introduce and provide the product and service with a personality. So, if a customer never thought about purchasing they will after hearing my voice.

          Karen Woodbury (KMarie)

          Posted by:
          • Karen Woodbury (KMarie)
          • September 20, 2009 4:46 PM

            I definately feel a "calling" to work with a mic. I've been in radio for 10 years and also serve as a song leader at church. I am passionate about these things and feel the same kind of passion when working in voice acting. I love the experience of losing myself in a part as I read a script and the excitement of a job well done when you nail that part just right and to the clients delight. Voice acting can be challenging and a lot of hard work, but I love every minute of it. The more I learn, the more I grow and the more I feel that sence of calling that I'm doing what I am supposed to do with my life.

            Posted by:

              Voiceover. My drive and my passion. I love what I do. It's the only way to do great work. I create and learn every day. It's not only a business, but a matter of the heart and head, and it just gets better as the years go along.

              Posted by:

                Hello and good morning to you!

                I thought about what I am hoping to accomplish in this business that I'm getting into; to earn a living is one thing, but a person can earn wages working in a variety of employment categories. To say that one category is better than another, well I guess that's a matter of preference. If your employment provides your level of income that you have need of, and makes you happy; that seems like a "win - win" situation.

                I listen to V/O artist's from TV, radio and on the internet. Some are very good, and above my level (and I try and incorporate
                the positive things I see from their work); and some aren't so good. I also recognize some bad things that they do ( and try and stay away from that sort of thing in my own work). I recognize that a person who really listens from both sides of the mic can really learn a lot. Things like: how not to sound monotone; how not to sound bored; and a host of other calamities being expressed on the airwaves. I hear what I liked about this or that V/O, and try and incorporate that in my routine as well.

                I also realize that if the person I just heard on that commercial can audition for that part, and get it (and sound terrible as they did); I need to do better than what I just heard unless I be critiqued in a negative fashion as well. I listen to myself before I send an audition out, "Is this my best work I can do"? "What can / should I do better"?

                When I started into this business I used a portable voice recorder so I could hear what I sounded like when I would play back just everyday things that I would experiment on; and then I would critique what I heard. " I could do better on enunciating my words; I need better energy in this area; slow down - this is not a race, be confident - not intimidated @ the mic".

                So you ask the question "What motivates me to do what I do on-mic"? When I hear poor workmanship, advertising products
                or services on the airwaves; and I know in a very real way, I can do better than that person did. That motivates me to prove that, by doing better than they did.

                Posted by:
                • Daniel Martin
                • September 21, 2009 11:09 AM

                  Well, I'm just getting started in the world of voice overs and I fell in and in love unintentionally. I was narrating a video for a friend and everyone seemed really suprised and pleased with my voice, saying I sounded like someone from the Discovery Channel (hopefully someday I WILL be one of those voices).

                  I used to be really passionate about the performing arts in high school but because I am a pretty shy person I sort of let go of that dream thinking I just didn't have the personality to be an actor. That is until I first stepped into a recording studio. I feel totally at ease and can "let go" and be the voice for whatever kind of project is at hand.

                  So for me, doing voice overs has in a way re-ignited my childhood dream of being a performer. I love the atmosphere of the studio (I find a soundproof room to be strangely comforting and so soothing) and in many cases I get the chance to be the voice for some really important causes in my native country of Colombia - like charities seeking funding from overseas investor, for example.

                  So that's my story and I am so excited to see how the rest will unfold. I have been really lucky to develop an impressive portfolio in under a year and I hope to have many more years of voice overs in my future....

                  Cheers!

                  Posted by:
                  • Diana
                  • September 21, 2009 11:41 AM

                    Hi Stephanie,

                    What a great question. If you will allow me a few moments I will tell you my story. The reason I love this business is because it is literally in my blood and spirit, and would not want to do anything else. I have been doing voice over since the age of 5! I like to tell people that I was "born to do this". My father was a radio announcer for 40+ years, so you could say I was raised part time in a studio. I could not think of a happier time than going to the radio station with him and watching and learning from him. I was on the air myself at 13, and even then I had started to build a customer base as I would record voice overs for clients that needed a child's voice. I am 42 now, and lost my father last year. But I dedicate everything I do in this business to him. He is and always will be my inspiration. I could go on, but I am sure you are very busy. I am a member of voices.com, and enjoy it very much, great site! Keep up the good work, and thank you for your time.

                    Have a great day!

                    Regards,
                    Joseph Andrade

                    Posted by:
                    • Joseph Andrade
                    • September 21, 2009 12:48 PM

                      I think what I love about voice-overs is the puzzle-solving aspect of taking someone else's words and ideas on a piece of paper and recreating all the complexity required to fully communicate those ideas out loud to other people.

                      Good communication can go a long way toward solving most of our problems and I like to feel I'm doing my part to clear the waters a bit. Even working on an industrial script or elearning projects requires great skill to inflect correctly to really explain the concepts clearly and make the points hit home.

                      Even on the smallest jobs I take pride in discerning the ideas the writer is trying to convey and then verbalizing them so that the listener truly understands the writers intentions. Voice over artists are the intermediary between the writers and the audience and our skill makes the projects truly come to life.

                      Posted by:

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