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'Luck' In A Voice Over Career
Comes To Those Who Earn It

April 25, 2014

By Christian Rosselli

Voice Actor

We often hear success stories in the voice over business that involve being in the right place at the right time.

These are stories about the fortunate few who have gone on to make six- or even seven-figure salaries and achieve a massive amount of recognition for their talents. The stories are pretty much same ...
  • A top agent just happened to be waiting in line at Starbucks and heard the voice actor speak, pulled the talent aside and now that person is the voice of Mega Channel and all the Super Network's promos. Or,
  • The network's long-standing voice was out sick or on vacation with his/her family. The network had an emergency job, hired someone else, and now the network likes the new voice better and fired the previous voice. The new voice "lucked out" and got the biggest break of his/her career. 
Yes, sometimes it's circumstantial. Sometimes it just happens. And we never plan for it.  

But a great recent quote from actor Peter Dinklage brings new thinking to mind:
"I hate that word 'Lucky.' It cheapens a lot of hard work. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an artist and turning down a commercial where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in. So I won't say I'm lucky.  I'll say I'm fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them and they found me."
This is the best quote on the subject that I've ever heard in a long time, and it couldn't be more life-affirming. What you don't know about the person who got that big break is that they were also working their butt off to get in front of the right people. 


Voice over success is anything but overnight.

Sometimes success comes from creating opportunities for ourselves, our agents (even though they might discourage it), our business partners, or our colleagues. 

Sometimes success comes from cold calling, emailing new and old clients a few times every couple of months, maximizing your presence on social media, reading for a new casting director, attending a popular voice over networking event or creating one yourself.    

In today's world of voice over, you've got to be a mover and a shaker. It requires a lot more work than being the voice of Chevy in 1992 and just chillin.' 

Sometimes it boils down to planting seeds anywhere and everywhere, and watching them grow over time.
Christian Rosselli is a voice over artist based in New York City who specializes in commercial, corporate and industrial narration, promo, explainer videos, and award show-live announcing. He has worked with a wide variety of companies including AT&T, Bic, Boeing, CA Technologies, M&T Bank, Premio Foods, Ruby Tuesday, Tiaa-Cref, USA Today and many more! He is also an avid photographer, coffee drinker, and jazz connoisseur.


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Comments (11)
Johnny George
4/26/2014 at 1:43 PM
Very true. No such thing as luck. It is earned with hard work and allowing opportunities to be seized once seen. I just gave my son this attitude pep talk recently as he was trying to decide between 3 jobs in his field that presented themselves. You have to take a long look and judge what best suits you and your future. You have to keep your eyes open because your path that God guides you on is only that. A path. You have to be able to make the determinations when you come to those forks in the road and choose wisely.

We earn opportunities. Grab only the right ones for you and that sets you up for that "luck." Heck, I was an overnight success. It only took me 35 years to make it happen.
Ricky Prior
4/26/2014 at 12:01 PM
This is a great article, which points on some hard truths ...or "Rude Awakenings" as my mother used to say to me! I recently started devoting more energy and passion to my craft, and learning what it takes to be heard is so much more than anything "In-Studio." You've got to meet people, even though your face may not be seen by the masses; this is "out-of-studio" work!

So, THANK YOU Christian Rosselli! This goes on to help us newbies to keep us on our toes! :-)
Joe Cipriano
4/26/2014 at 11:01 AM
There is no doubt that you make your own luck, but I disagree with this idea that you EARN luck. Luck comes to anyone!! For some it glides by like a whisper, for others they seize it.

I always say that you have to work at your craft every day, improve your skills and gain confidence in your abilities so that when luck comes your way, you're the one ready to take advantage of it. Luck is at the intersection of opportunity and preparedness.

You don't earn the chance to get lucky, you work hard to be able to take advantage of luck.

My neighbor, Chuck Fries who has produced hundreds of movies said to me,

"Cip, let me tell you about success in Hollywood. Success is 90% luck and 10% a LOTTA luck"

It makes me laugh when someone says there is no such thing as luck, because I've been one of the luckiest guys going!

Lynne Darlington
4/25/2014 at 4:44 PM
As my late cousin Randy Pausch (Author, The Last Lecture) said, "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

Years of hard work, effort and talent may someday put us in the right place, at the right time. When that time comes, if we have not prepared for that moment, we will not be able to take advantage of the luck, or opportunity.
Mara Junot
4/25/2014 at 10:59 AM
Great article, Christian! You're absolutely right. For luck to be more than a fleeting taste of success, it requires a whole lot of elbow grease along the way.

Thanks for the contribution!
4/25/2014 at 10:47 AM
Ah-ha, no such thing as luck, only results of a previous action or inaction.

Tell me when someone was 'lucky' and I'll tell you why it wasn't anything to do with luck.

People who win lotteries are not lucky, they just happen to have picked the same numbers that were selected. It's probability, not luck.

I could say that my dad was unlucky to die from skin cancer, but it was probably due to lack of education about the sun's damaging effects on DNA and overexposure to UV radiation without adequate protection that caused it - not bad luck.
4/25/2014 at 9:53 AM
You're so right, Christian. And even in those rare and wonderful times where luck IS involved, it does you no good if you don't have the preparation to follow through. Doors may open for you from time to time, but you still have to be able to walk through them on your own and carry on. Success is no accident!
4/25/2014 at 9:40 AM
Loved this article.
Randye Kaye
4/25/2014 at 9:18 AM
So true! In this world of supposed "instant" fame, it's easy to rely on things like "luck" and visualization....nope. It's not enough! Thanks, Christian!
Chuck Davis
4/25/2014 at 8:22 AM
Well said, Christian! We make our own luck. There's nothing like being "an overnight success…20-years in the making."
Debby Barnes
4/25/2014 at 7:20 AM
"Sometimes it boils down to planting seeds anywhere and everywhere, and watching them grow over time." Well said, Christian. No doubt, this is what the everyday VO 'garden' looks like. Good on VOXtra for spotlighting you and your reality-based blog! :)
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