It Pays to be YOU

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I think one of the most difficult things in voiceover for me, and I know this is true for a lot of you voice actors out there as well…Finding your own voice.  A lot of aspiring voice actors say, “Hey, I can do voices.  I should make a good voice actor, right?”.  Wrong.  Voice over isn’t just doing silly voices.  I happen to do silly voices for a living, but that’s not the case for every situation and every voice actor.  Versatility is key.  When I first started in voice over, I had the habit of always trying to sound like somebody else.  I would watch TV and say, “I want to try and sound like that guy because he’s good in that commercial.”  But, the reality is a client/producer/casting directors, etc. will hire you for as a voice actor because you’re YOU.  Nobody can imitate YOU.  You might be saying, “Yeah, but I can sound like that celebrity in that commercial.” And that’s a great skill to have, but 9 times out of 10, they’ll just hire that specific celebrity for the job anyways. 

You should focus on doing YOUR voice and doing it well.  Can you read commercial copy?  Can you do an authoritative read?  Can you do a guy-next door? Can you do a girl-next-door read?  Sexy? Confident?  Can you sound like someone you’d want to have a beer with at a bar while they tell you a story?  Can you put ALL of these different types of reads together in one package as YOU?  Because if you can, THAT is going to sell you as a unique voice actor, and a successful one at that.

It took me years of trial and error and the help of coaches and mentors in the voice over world to realize this.  Now, I want to share it with you in the hopes of you becoming successful MUCH quicker than I did.  I can’t stress this enough.  Be YOU. 

The secret to all of this comes down to a collaborative effort between you and a great voice over coach.  Don’t feel that you have to reach out to the biggest and best voice over coach.  I’ve reached out to quite a few and didn’t jive with all of them.  I finally found one that is zero BS and wants to genuinely help my career grow.  Do the same.  Treat it as an interview.  Give your background and where you want your career to go. 

That’s all I have for today.  If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share with a friend to inspire them to become a voice actor.  We’re all in this together.  Let me know if you ever need anything!

Love, peace and chicken grease!

Joe

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