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Passion, Persistence And Planning Will
Make Your Voice Over Dreams A Reality

October 19, 2015

Note: The author's passion for voice over led her to create the annual Mid-Atlantic Voiceover Conference, which this year's "Get Inspired" theme features educational opportunities with many top VO professionals, networking, and fun, November 7-8, at the Westin Dulles Hotel in Herndon, VA. Details:

By Val Kelly
Voice Actor / Executive Producer, Mid-Atlantic Voiceover Conferences

You’ve been told you have a great voice. You’re a talented actor, you love working hard, and you’re determined to live out your dreams.

Does this description fit you to a tee? Great - me too.

So here’s the thing: what are you going to do about it?

The VO industry is flooded with talented people. What can you do to make yourself stand out and ensure your success in one of the most competitive industries out there?

Passion, Persistence and Planning!


Being passionate about this job is an absolute essential. You have to LOVE what you do SO much that you're willing to work 24/7 to make it happen.

Agents are not just going to knock at your door and tell you how talented you are. You have to work your a** off for what may seem like ages to even get recognition that you exist!

When I first started my VO career back in 1999, I went in with the idea that even though everyone said it’s not an overnight industry (meaning you won’t become famous overnight), I thought I would be the exception.

Yet I soon realized that they were not kidding.

No matter how unique your voice is, or how talented you are, you still have to pay your dues - so to speak. Tons of actors have been in the industry for years and they have all had to do the same thing. They are famous and successful now because they worked hard at the beginning, made good connections, and continue to work hard.

You have to let your passion drive you. You may have to wait tables, work three or four other jobs while you’re auditioning on the side, and it may take years.

But if you love what you do, it will not seem like work – and that is the key!


Persistence is essential.

Get out there to networking events to meet people in the industry. At every event you attend, pretend like every person you meet is the one who could open that golden gate of opportunity for you because you never know who they really are or who they know.

Not everyone you meet at these events will be a name you recognize - but when you Google them later - you may see that they are someone who could really help you in the end.

You really have to have people on your side - you cannot make enemies, because that will really hurt your career. People in this industry talk, and if you get a bad reputation, it's very hard to fix.

Go to as many of these events as you can. Most voice actors love to socialize! Get in there with your amazing, eye-catching business cards in hand and give them to everyone you meet, even if they don’t give you one back.


I recently attended a networking event and was one of the only people who had my business cards with me. It’s crazy, because business cards are a great way of getting your name and your brand out there.

Make sure your cards are durable and demonstrate your brand, but also have your contact info on there in a clear way so that it’s not hard for people to get in touch with you after.

Follow up with everyone you meet in an email, a Facebook message or on some form of social media. Let the person know that you’re happy to have met them and that you hope to stay in touch.

Don’t give up! You will have many more "No’s” in auditions – especially at first, than you will have "Yes’s.” But if you love what you do, you just have to keep going – because eventually the passion that drives you will help you to start landing all of those auditions!


Lastly, be a person who plans ahead.

Look at your calendar for the year and decide which networking events you would like to attend. Set a budget for yourself and then put the money aside and commit to those events.

If you wait until the last minute to do everything, you will miss out on amazing opportunities that could’ve opened up doors for you in your career.

"Dream, believe, become.” There is a world of VO opportunities out there, and only you can make those dreams become realities.

Now get out there and make things happen!
Val Kelly is a bilingual, French/English voice actress who began her voice over career in 1999 after being told her entire life how "cute" her voice is, and that she should do something with it. So she did. Her specialty is voicing characters for cartoons, talking toys, apps, video games, children's e-learning, and radio and TV commercials. Her clients include Hasbro toys, "Hungry Howie's Pizza Place," "Roam and Wander," "Mymoonah," "The Foreign Candy Company” and many more. In addition, she is Owner/President/CEO/Executive Producer of Mid-Atlantic Voiceover, LLC, which presents the annual Mid-Atlantic Voiceover Conference - this year, November 7-8 at the Westin Dulles Hotel in Herdon, VA. For details about this year's "Get Inspired" conference, please click here or the link below.

Voice Actor Web:
Mid-Atlantic Voiceover Conference:

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Comments (3)
Mark Smith
10/21/2015 at 1:19 AM
Very well said, Val. If you are doing something you like, you will never feel like it is work. One must always stay positive and be persistent in achieving their goals as a Voice Over Artist. My cousin always told me when I embarked on my journey in Voice Overs that "Pleasant Persistence Lowers Resistance." So continue to network, believe in yourself, and attend those seminars! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks at the Mid-Atlantic Voice Over Conference. Last year's was great and I know this year's will be even better!
Howard Ellison
10/19/2015 at 6:01 PM
Marooned in my corner of England, all networking and 'green room' chat is across the web. There is no agent within a hundred miles of Devon. But I would say to others located an ocean away from the famous USA epicentres of voice, don't be deterred. As Val says, love what you do and keep going - above all keep learning, know yourself, and you will arrive in good places.
Kendall Brown
10/19/2015 at 4:00 PM
Great article. It serves as a reminder of what must be done to be successful in this industry. Thank you.
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