Voice Acting Is Not About Your
Voice: It's About Your Client's Story
By Bob Souer
There are lots of folks who think that voice over work is all about the voice.
Sure, there’s an element of truth in that idea. When we audition, many times the final choice the client makes is based on whose voice most closely matches what they’re looking for; but be careful how far you carry this idea.
To think that a specific kind of voice is the “perfect” voice for our work is just silly.
TAKES ALL KINDS
People with all sorts of voices are doing well ...
Small voices. Big voices. Deep voices. High voices. Smooth voices. Squeaky voices. Voices that rasp. Voices that sparkle.
When I meet someone new, someone who isn’t involved in voice over work, he or she will often say, “you have a perfect voice for that kind of work.”
Which is really nice, but not really true.
In fact, with the kinds of things I see on many auditions these days, mine is exactly the opposite of the kind of voice they’re looking for.
DIDN'T BOOK JOB
It happened recenlty when I went to the first audition I’d done outside my home studio in nine years.
The director at the audition session said, “Nice voice, but you sound kind of announcer-ish. Can you be more conversational?”
I did my best, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for, especially since I didn’t book the job.
WHEN WOULD I SLEEP?
However, as with most things, there’s good news with the bad.
Sure, lots of people aren’t looking for my voice, but some people are. Enough people are.
And really, I couldn’t do all the voice over work in the entire world. I don’t know all the languages. And even if I did, I’d never get any sleep.
TELL THEIR STORIES
I love working with every one of my clients. I love telling their stories.
Some are short. Some are long. Some pay lots of money. Some pay less.
But every one is fulfilling and interesting, and I can hardly believe I get to do this work for people. It’s so much better than working for a living!
ENOUGH WORK IS THERE
As a voice talent, know that even though you’re not right for every job, you will be right for some of them. Enough of them.
If you need more training to be right for enough to make a living, then get more training.
If you just need to practice more to get to that level, then practice more.
FOCUS ON CLIENT
Keep pushing forward, one little bit at a time, every day. You’ll get there.
And remember, it’s not about your voice, it’s about the story your client needs you to tell.
Keep your focus on the story, on what your client needs. The rest will take care of itself.
ABOUT BOB ...
Bob Souer has been a voice actor for over 25 years, helping an array of faithful clients tell their “stories” through commercials, narrations, podcasts, e-learning, promos, imaging - you name it. He also posts a highly informative daily blog about voice acting, The VoiceOver Boblog.
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