Let’s say, hypothetically, you come from a business background and always wanted to transition to voiceover. Let’s say you’ve been doing a bit of “fact finding” and finding a lot of contradictory information about this business. Not the least of which, will any one tell you honestly if you can cut it as a voiceover?
Careful what you wish for. There are plenty of people of varying degrees of expertise who are more than happy to quickly tell you “you can’t”—sight unseen, without ever testing your mettle.
What you really need to know is whether you’re applying yourself or not. You need to know what you should be doing and how to apply yourself in nearly any situation in this field. That’s proper coaching, provided the experienced source offering the advice is offering more than just their subjective opinion.
Ideally, your coach/demo producer is in this industry for the long haul and you are too. But, if you’re asking, “Will you tell me whether or not I can join this very exclusive club called voiceover?” then maybe you need to ask yourself something else, such as, “Do I want to be in this industry?” Because NO ONE has the right to tell you whether you can or cannot have a career in this business—or any other for that matter! It’s elitist. And, to be perfectly honest, you don’t have to take that form of browbeating from anyone. Ever.
Granted, a great many people are not all that forthcoming with information in this industry, and hold their cards very tight to their chest. It could be that they’re afraid you may discover how little they actually know about the subject. Or maybe they view you as a threat to their livelihood. Perhaps they’re laboring under the misconception that there is “not enough quality work to go around” and you might cut in on their business. To add to this, what if you know something they don’t? What then?
Frankly, there’s plenty of room in this industry for everyone—provided you’re trained and make yourself available to the work. In fact, there’s been more than a 2000 percent increase in the amount of voiceover being produced annually than there has been in the last two years. This can be attributed to the rapid expansion and consolidation of media through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, cable, network, Internet, interactive games, ADR (looping), animation, commercial and corporate/industrial, e-Learning, and various forms of new media. This explosion of media has become commonplace in today’s entertainment industry—all of which require voiceover of some capacity or another. To add to this, the demand for corporate presentations and the necessity of continually updating various content, in order to effectively and professionally forward brand message and represent various industries on multiple platforms, has become a given. They all require professional voice talent who are trained, reliable and available to deliver their best in order to properly embody a successful vocal brand.
So, when it comes to voiceover, there’s no shortage of work. There is, however, a great shortage of business savvy, on both sides of the production equation. There’s a shortage of professional production experience and insight, too. And there’s a terrific shortage of voice talent understanding what they are responsible for, what’s needed from them before, during and after a session, and what the talent can honestly expect from the industry as a whole.
As for you: the truth is you’re the only one of you. No one does what you do quite the way you do it. This is the greatest attribute you can bring to the table and defines your value as an artist. Your point of view, your expression, your personal twist—these are the factors that make up the human element that makes you relatable and can’t be replicated with an algorithm. Which is why you are honestly and truly irreplaceable, provided you continually make yourself available to the work and those who may have a demand for what it is you do best.
Copyright © 2016 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.