'If People Like You As A Person - And Believe In
Your Talent - They'll Go Out Of Their Way To Help'
By Rachel Wohl
Growing up the daughter of Randy Thomas, I was frequently asked if I would take on the voice-over profession myself. My answer was always a firm no.
I watched my mom experience the highs and lows of a successful career, and I always told myself that would not be me.
I did some work in the industry during some of my youngest years of childhood, but then rejected every voice-over opportunity that came my way through middle and high school (the now money-conscious, older me is very disappointed with those naÔve decisions I made back then.)
BACK TO VO ...
My business interests brought me to USC Marshall School of Business. I made it through half of college working normal internships and picturing myself in the C-Suite of a large corporation one day. But I soon realized that minimum wage jobs with limited hours only supported a college student in LA so well; I needed something else.
I remembered my voice acting background and decided to invest in a demo. "Let's see if I've still got it," I thought.
I compiled my best works: the voice of a teenager, pre-teen, young child, 30-something, and my awkward yet somehow convincing "sexy" voice.
I sent that demo out to every agency I could find the information of online.
WHAT I LEARNED ...
One thing that I found consistently in my voice-over journey was that if people - i.e. producers, agents, buyers and other talent - like you as a person and believe in your talent, they will go far out of their way to help you.
I was young and a newbie, but being genuine and generous to everyone I crossed paths with and making friends made this whole thing feel more like teamwork than cutthroat competition.
I'll admit it, this process was probably easier for me being a twenty-year-old female. Nearly every agency that responded admitted that their roster for early twenties females were scarce and they wanted to add me to their numbers, but I still needed to prove myself.
I finally picked an agency and the auditions began to roll in.
I was doubtful of what my future career (or whatever I was trying to accomplish in VO) would look like. All I knew was that I was spending most of my days doing auditions and editing, and I was falling in love with the craft.
As I started to book, I found myself focusing on and caring more about voice-over than anything else in my life.
Every email with an audition excited me, and every subject line reading "AVAIL" made my heart race.
Before I knew it, I was becoming my mom (whether I liked it or not).
EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO SCRIPT
It's two years now since I got back into it, and I still can't believe the opportunities that have come my way. Commercials are my focus, promo is my goal, and animation - well, I'm still working on that.
Whatever your focus may be, there is a possibility of success. You have to believe what you read, not just tear through as many auditions as possible each day without an emotional connection.
There is a place for you in voice-over, it's just up to you to find your niche.
Rachel Wohl is a voice actor who can be heard as the voice of Epson Technologies, CORT Furniture, internal use at Amazon, opening for this year's PGAs on NBC, USC's Marshall School of Business, the supporting actress "Tasha" on the app "Hooked" and lots more. She is represented by Atlas Talent. And Rachel and her mom, top VO Randy Thomas, are co-hosting the VO Mastery Promo & Trailers weekend retreat September 6-8 in Solvang, CA.
VO Mastery: firstname.lastname@example.org
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