This week on The TL;DR Voice-Over Blog, I offer you a unique chance to gather meaningful encouragement and insight. About now, you are probably thinking that you must have clicked on the wrong blog, since “meaningful” and “insight” are not exactly common features here. I understand your confusion, but let me explain.
To add respectability and actual value to this space, I have pushed my creative abilities to the limit and crassly resorted to using the words of some very talented people who are not me. Following is a list of quotes from the blogs of other voice actors, whose content I am using without bothering to ask their permission out of fear they would say no, knowing they understandably might not want to be associated with me or my blog. It’s easier to ask forgiveness, right?
Who are you looking at?
I know, you are sitting there thinking I am a lazy, plagiarizing ne’er-do-well without any creative inspiration of his own. Well that may be true, but before you grab your torches and pitchforks and throw me under the social media bus with your flaming comments, take this into consideration: I am also shameless. Plus, I worked in an opportunity to use ne’er-do-well in a sentence. How creative is that? Admit it, you never thought of it!
The quotes that follow are from blogs I read, and in many cases are written by people I know. I want to do these people a good turn, but I do often get real value from their words, and I think you will too. That is my true motivation. I hope by sharing their blogs with you, you might find a helpful insight or have your spirits lifted with encouragement. Plus, I hope this exposure will instantly make them all exceedingly successful, in turn causing them to be in my debt forever. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (I’ve been practicing my evil laughter for Halloween)
The name of each author is a link to their blog. Go there. Read stuff. Comment! Feel free to dig around—but do clean up after yourself before you leave.
“A real human voice from a real human person, teaching you something or telling you a story or bringing a character to life – that’s priceless, isn’t it? Humans love humans, and they always will. We’ll never grow, or technology-ise ourselves, out of that need.” —Sumara Meers
“Stop making excuses for those who don’t respect you enough to pay you a decent fee. Unless you’ve seen their balance sheet, you don’t know what they can or cannot afford. Know your bottom line. Add value. Don’t compromise so easily. Negotiate. Dare to say NO to a bad deal. Study the art of making the sale. It’s part of being a pro.” —Paul Strikwerda
“There’s no guarantee that we’ll hit it big in our lifetime. But you can get good at what you do, and you can love what you do.” —Michael Apollo Lira
“Advertising companies know if you want to reel in a buyer, use a joke for your bait. ’Cause, let’s face it—commercials aren’t really what audiences tune in to see or hear. That’s why the best advertising is concise, clever and tend toward the comical.” —Kim Handysides
“Laughter is the best medicine, gratitude is the best approach, and zaniness is the best policy.” —Joshua Alexander
“The herd mentality in voiceover today is all about figuring out how to incorporate AI, voice models, voice clones, into your business plan. Who will be the first movers who get out ahead of this trend and capitalize on it? Who will be harmed? Not me. On both counts.” —J. Michael Collins
“To be a successful voice actor today, you have to take charge of your career. You must learn how to develop and grow relationships over time, and a massive amount of them . . . you have to learn how to start, nurture and grow those relationships from scratch.” —Paul Schmidt
“Be the talent who actually wakes up the overworked employee who is taking their mandatory training on their lunch break, by offering an authentic, empathetic performance. Trust me, course developers . . . don’t like listening to and editing boring content any more than the end users like taking it.” —Carrie Olsen
“You know the saying ‘Results may vary’? It’s used in marketing to cover the client’s ass from people who buy a product, and then come back pissed off that the hair growth formula they bought didn’t work like it did for the actor in the TV commercial (who was obviously wearing a toupee). Well, voiceover should really come with that caveat too.” —Billie Jo Konze
“Working successfully at a voice over business means being a freelancer with a lot of DIY marketing and bookkeeping, in addition to having enough skill and experience to provide the perfect “take”. Setting a goal . . . is important in order to move forward . . . I see [goals] as a catalyst for change.” —Natasha Marchewka
“Giving yourself permission to be great and to be the best that you can be is enormously powerful. Give yourself permission to try new things and to fail. Failing here and there will help you further develop yourself as a person and as a professional.” —Theresa C. Ho
“Align expectations within given restraints. And work from there. Forcing an elephant through a doorway leads to a shattered doorway. And one really pissed-off elephant.” —Laura Vendeland Doman
“The wits, finesse, and competition inherent in being a master thief are also necessary in being successful in VO.” —Tyler Robbert
“Even though they try to make a variety of different sounding AI voices, there is really no way to direct the nuance that some clients desire. When you take the humanness out of voices, you take away what connects us to our audience: human emotion.” —Debbie Grattan
“What I want to say here is don’t beat yourself up over what’s not been done, but rather reflect on what you did get done – big or small, voice over or not voice over, it really doesn’t matter. Those types of reflections, those types of acknowledgements, can boost your mindset and keep moving you forward at your pace.” —JD Gibson
“When you surrender yourself to judgment, it controls you. But when you let go of that judgment it surrenders its power over you. Only from there can criticism become a tool.” —Lisa Sultineau
“What makes a good storyteller? What is it that makes us hang on every word that someone says? What qualities do they have? I’m glad you asked! I think it can be broken down into about 5 traits. All these things added together can make somebody reading the phonebook sound interesting.” —Craig C. Williams
“If all else fails, try doing something positive for someone else. Find another VO artist or creative that may need your advice or just a chat, for an exchange of ideas. Volunteer as a mentor or just let someone know you are thinking of them, offering them a compliment or a bit of your attention. A little holla goes a long way. “ —Ian Russell
“I’ll never forget the day Bob Bergen told me I sucked . . . sort of. Bob, the longtime Looney Tunes Voice of Porky Pig and Tweety Bird is WAY too much of a nice guy to use that kind of language. He did tell me my voice over demos were not at all competitive and I should remove them from the internet quickly before I did permanent damage to my career . . . I listened. After all, who am I to argue with Porky Pig?” —Paul Stephano
“Think you’re too old, too young, too fat, too skinny, too SOMEthing to become a successful actor? Think again! . . . Too short? Check out Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame. Too fat? Check out Kevin James. Too old? Have you heard of Betty White?” —Gary Mason
“I distinctly recall Googling . . . [the cost of starting in voice-over] to find that aspiring talent had actually participated in clinical trials or donated their organs and plasma to launch their professional VO careers. While I admired the dedication, I was not a fan, raving or otherwise, of this approach.” —Aria Sivick
“Why would I want to be successful and grow my own wealth if I thought successful, wealthy people were greedy and selfish? . . . You can’t attract more of what you want if you subconsciously despise it. I had to rid myself of those blocks, and it wasn’t easy.” —Storm Watters
“. . . about six months ago, I did something crazy, something wacky, something that would fit perfectly into a midlife crisis playbook! I sold my property and, with the proceeds of the sale, bought my new home. Doesn’t sound that crazy, you say? What if I told you my new home is a 36-foot fifth wheel with no permanent address? It’s ok. You can call me crazy. I have.” —Jessica Mathison
“There is an eternal reward for those who sacrifice their time and sanity to read to the end of a TL;DR Voice-Over blog post.” —Anonymous
So there you have it. A wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the tremendous resource that voice-over blogs can be, without having to dig all over the internet to find them. You’re welcome. I hope you will follow some or all of these links, comment and subscribe. It is a painless way to support a fellow voice talent!
If you write a voice-over blog and I haven’t mentioned it here, please contact me and I will check it out. I plan to update this blog in the future so it can be used as an ongoing resource.
I also hope you will comment and subscribe to my blog (this one). I really enjoy the interaction, and I am pathetic and desperate. What? Did I write that out loud? What I meant to say is that I promise not to ever use your information for anything other than sending you notification emails when I publish a new post. Even if I am pathetic and desperate. Which I am not. Really. Quit looking at me like that.