I just finished reading the latest book from Joshua Alexander, “Voiceovers: A Super Responsibility: Exploring the Incredible Responsibilities & Privileges of Being a Trusted Storyteller”, the third of three books collectively known as The Super Voiceover Artist Book Series.
It needs to be said that to read a Josh Alexander book, or in this case a series, is to choose to allow the author to take you on an, shall we say, unconventional journey. Well, to be honest, it is more of a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride kind of scenario with unexpected twists, turns and a liberal sprinkling of… oddities.
What it isn’t
Let me back up. Maybe I should start with what this book isn’t. This is not an instruction manual. It isn’t a how-to-get-from-zero-to-a-million-dollars-in-a-year kind of sales pitch. It isn’t offering advice on how to build a professional studio for under $100 or telling you what microphone to buy. So, what is it?
What it is
If Josh has super powers, or at least a super suit, then I think he is at his best when he wears the cape of encouragement. To me, this book is all about encouragement. Encouragement to not give up hope, to take the time to enjoy the journey and to give yourself grace for your human failings along the way.
There is also encouragement to take your role as voice talent seriously, to take responsibility for how and what you promote, and to go beyond just reading scripts to an awareness of the responsibility you bear to your clients to always give your best.
In typical Joshua Alexander fashion, he does give invaluable advice and professional tips, like how to avoid being a hokey-pokey voice talent, how to assemble a gazebo in the rain without reading the instructions, and for more advanced readers, how to become one of those flailing inflatable tube men. I’ve always thought those guys look so tranquil and fun. I can’t wait to get my career to that level… but come to think of it, I might have misunderstood his point on that one. I am easily distracted with bright colors and movement.
Other things you will find in no other voice-over book include:
- Apes reading philosophy
- How to know if you deserve to fail
- Dopamine addiction
- Multiple threats of hammer killings
- The many wonders of Shift-F7
- And encouragement to dunk your clients
A little different
Did I mention this is an unconventional journey? Josh always deploys his off-kilter sense of humor and personal vulnerability to tell stories with a purpose. The sum of which is that you get entertained at the same time you have an opportunity to learn a thing or two. “Edutainment” as Josh calls it. It may be a wild ride, but have no fear. It is worth the price of admission.
If after reading any of these three books you find you enjoy Josh’s sense of humor and encouragement, I encourage you to subscribe to his blog at www.itsthevoicesinmyhead.com for a regular weekly dose.