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Shed The Ghosts Of Christmas Past: Honestly
See Your Voice Over Career Stumbling Blocks

December 19, 2012

By Deb Munro
Voice Talent & Coach

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is upon us yet again.

Whether you celebrate or not, this time of year is a turning event for many. It is the time we create goals and reflect on the past.

Unfortunately, many of us dwell on what isn’t, instead of focusing on what could be. It’s so easy for us as a society to blame, make excuses and focus on the negatives that set us back.

I tend to focus on the positive - and this isn’t always easy. There is always something or someone getting in the way of our success. Most importantly, that "someone" could be you!

So I encourage you to reflect on what you’ve done this year to create success for yourself and to flesh out what has held you back. 


Many of us hold finances accountable to our progression. 

Whether it’s investing in coaching, demos, equipment, marketing or branding, we are all forced to put in a ton of time and investment into our craft. Many truly can’t afford to invest further to obtain more productive results, but isn’t that the same as saying, I can’t afford the schooling to be a lawyer, so I’m just gonna wing it? 

It’s interesting that if we pursue an established career or trade, we make whatever efforts we need so that we can accomplish the degree or certification that allow us the ability to draw an income from that profession.

Yet with voice acting, people assume that all they need is a voice and some equipment and they will just make it work.

If you're in that camp, you are just winging it! As a result, you may not be seeing the success you were hoping to obtain. 


So, are you blaming the industry for your lack of progress? Or the Pay-2-Play (online casting) sites? Lack of time to invest? Your finances? 

If you can’t afford to progress, have you considered that this may not be the right industry for you at this time?

Talented people who have sacrificed the finances, time and more to succeed are indeed the ones most likely to be hired.

My intention is not to turn you away from the industry. It's to  keep you realistic in what you expect from this industry.


If you truly want to succeed and create a full time income, you must put in full-time hours.

How many hours a day do you spend auditioning? Marketing? Finding new clients? Training?  Invoicing? And more.

This should be a full-time job. Voice over is not an industry where you can just wing it, find long-term success by always happening to be at the right place at the right time. 

Voice acting is the rawest form of acting - you literally have to be that good - and in today’s market, you also have to be that good at business.


Make 2013 the year you get rid of everything that has stood in your way. Fight the odds and take huge risks to make this happen. 

The Mayan calendar ended this year, and many feared the world would end. But I went to the Mayan Riviera myself recently and studied the Mayan culture to learn what the prophesy really meant.  It was explained to me that this a time for re-birth. A time for change. 

Our society is taking for granted their lives and their importance in it. It’s time to stop procrastinating and time to be productive. 

Quit reflecting on that which stands in your way and find solutions for tomorrow. Today is a time to celebrate! WE ARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT.

Every year is an opportunity to change and grow, so let’s start the new year right. Here is to a most successful 2013!
Deb Munro is a leading voice talent, coach, and owner of Chanti Productions, in the Vancouver, B.C., Canada area. She offers private voice over coaching by phone and Skype, and workshops on voice acting, business and demo prep in many Canadian cities.


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Comments (4)
12/19/2012 at 11:48 AM
Hi Deb,

What a great post – people need to hear positive messages like this! My success in the pharmaceutical business was always predicated on seeing myself succeed in my mind’s eye. I could actually see and feel in great detail what success would feel like and I’m convinced that holding this vision was key to driving my career.

Now at the age of 62 I’m off on a new path in voice over. Most of my friends and all of my family are incredibly supportive but there are plenty of naysayers out there who think I’m dreaming. Guess what? I am dreaming, but the dream is so vivid that I know it will come true. Fact is acting and a VO career is what I really wanted to do after college but I took the more mainstream money route. While I did OK I’ve never been truly happy or passionate about what I did for a living. A couple of bad deals and a major setback a year ago made me realize it’s time to do what I was meant to do.

Money is extremely tight right now but what better place to invest it then where I know it will get a great return – in me! It would be easy to look back at the last 30 years and feel bad for what might have been, but that would be playing the victim card and would miss the point of how important a positive attitude is.

I prefer to feel blessed that I spent the last 30 years doing sales and marketing. I know that my business career will actually be an asset because I realize that how I market my VO business will be as important as my talent. I’m not predicting I’ll become a household name or a millionaire, but I know I’ll make a good living at VO – I can see it.

Merry Christmas!
Ken Budka
12/19/2012 at 11:16 AM
Thanks Deb - I appreciate your style and positive approach. There is always room for improvement no matter who you are or what level you operate within this industry.

What resonates within your article is the spotlight you shine on simple things that can hold us back, excuses we all make in one form or another and a reminder that everyone makes them and needs to re-focus from time to time. And you managed to do all of this without calling anyone a wimp, an idiot or a that's a class act worth following.

Happy holidays!


Jim Conlan
12/19/2012 at 10:16 AM
Thanks, Deb, for re-focusing on these important career points. One of the most common comments I get from new students is, "I don't care if I make money, I just want to get a few VO jobs." Unfortunately, I don't know a way to do voice overs "part time." You're going to put as much effort into getting a few jobs as into becoming a full-time professional.

P.S. Is that a Santa-Chef hat? Where can I get one?
Rebecca Michaels
12/19/2012 at 3:56 AM
Nice and inspiring words - as well as true words, Deb! Thanks!
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