It’s 2017 and I’ve decided to do my very best to add VO related articles to my blog 3-4 times a month, primarily on Sundays.
I encourage readers to subscribe if what I have to share is of value. If not, no worries.
As a kid, I wanted to be famous. I won’t lie. The 1980s was just such a magical time for me when it came to movies and cartoons. I wanted to be part of it all. Then the 1990s came and the magic slowly began to fade. When the 21st Century arrived, it wasn’t about wanting to be famous as much as being part of amazing projects. And as time passed the thought of being famous sounded more like a nightmare.
Every day, the media shows what it’s like when intrusive paparazzi stalks well-known actors, YouTube stars, and even their children! Anything they say, anything they do, anywhere they go and anything they wear in public is judged. They’re on display like animals in a zoo, and why? Because they appear on a screen for the entertainment of others. That’s fame today. And the viewers who idolize and obsess over them are forgetting there’s more to life than illusions. This can happen in voice over too. Sooner or later people want to know what the person behind the voice looks like, how they talk in real life when they’re not in character, or if they can talk to them in person at a convention. The latter is what I hear about the most. And when I meet young people who tell me why they want to “get into” voice over, that’s one of the top reasons. They never talk about committing time to acting classes, performing in theatre, reading out loud every day to improve their speech, attending VO workshops or participating in improvisation workshops, or networking with experienced VO talent. They want to be the next “so-and-so”. They want fans clamoring to take their picture or asking for autographs. They want to make LOTS of money and fly all over the world attending conventions to feed their egos.
I know more than enough voice actors who enjoy the fame that comes with the work. I however, don’t have a legion of fans, but I do have lots of friends in the entertainment industry as well as lots of colleagues, a great client list, working relationships with creative people — hardworking agents doing all they can to help me – – and a great deal of support from admirers inside and outside my family. Everything mentioned above is what I value far more than fame. It’s respect.
Fame doesn’t make you a great voice over. It doesn’t guarantee more work. It can eat away at the soul, turn people sour against you, and in the end, isolate you from all that’s been good in your life. A handful of people in the world understand how to treat fame with humility. You only need to watch YouTube, or visit celebrity gossip sites to see how the rest handle it.
If you want to be a voice over, ask yourself why. Is it to achieve fame and fortune or respect and creative employment?
If it’s the later you must work hard at your craft, listen to professional wisdom, take criticism whether it be positive or negative, practice daily, network, keep up with changes in the industry, have patience when things don’t go your way, and appreciate others whether they help you or not.
If it’s the former, then nothing I can say in this blog will help you. Just google “How to be Famous” and see what comes up.