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Newcomers: Love The Career Journey
To Carving Out Your OWN Niche
By Heather E. L. Farrar
Voice Actor
I cruise the message boards of Facebook, Voice Over Universe, and several other social media web sites where there are other voice-over talents, just to stay connected beyond my own voice-over world.
It is a daily ritual to keep a pulse on others, and what is going on.
Within the daily communications in each of these sites there are also the web sites that help to uplift the daunting overload of information out there with good solid information, such as VoiceOverXtra - one of my personal favorites, which I look forward to for email alerts about news and new how-to content.
This keeps me focused on the purpose to my means.
To many just starting out, as well as those who are having to re-invent their careers in voice-over, the pulse of your direction is to remain connected to the voice-over community.
In my case, I find inspiration in communication via these sites.
There are times when it is intimidating - especially when I get into conversations with people who are really pretty amazing - I mean people who are established, working,  and who have made a recognized name in this business!
In one such conversation, the course was between four of us via Facebook: two who were established voice actors, and another who was struggling with his position, as to where he was currently in his career.
The established voice actors lent good advice - to stay focused in getting the best coaching possible, which is always great advice - and to stay the course.
The one struggling held a sense of loss of accomplishment. Even though he had listed many items of success to his credit, and many years in doing them, he was struggling with that “golden” goal.
I am not “established” in any sense as far as voice-over goes, as I count my blessings through learning with each word spoken and each job completed well.
But I have a sense of being “established” in what I do; mainly because I looked for what was in my own back yard, and made myself available.
So many voice actors, through what I am reading in these various voice-over social media sites, want to be the next Don LaFontaine.
When I was at the VOICE 2007 conference and Don was so eloquently speaking to us, the question was posed to him, “Do you think there will ever be another Don LaFontaine?”
His answer was, “No … because the arc of my career could never be duplicated.”
And he is right. The entire conversation that night was very prophetic!
What YOU can do as voice actor is your OWN calling to meet a need as an individual, to your own rise and circumstances - and that may take some patience!
The goal of any voice actor should be to grow, learn, yearn,sometimes burn, and then grow some more.
It may take working at something else while you do this, but work toward YOUR goal none the less!
You might become a veteran of this great art. Statistically, though, the gain will be:
  • being in this art and working in it, using YOUR best talent,
  • keeping your goal in mind, and staying the course, and
  • making your OWN place - carving out YOUR niche in it.
Understanding how the ego works, we know that it can be considered a shortcoming if one does not attain the ultimate goal - such as becoming that amazing high-paid announcer, promotional or trailer voice, or voice of so & so.
Bur remember that there is something to be proud of, and settling deep within the soul, in knowing you are working in the field you love as the best you!
If you've got “golden” goals: GO FOR THEM!
Even if the steps are small, maybe even insignificant at times, the act itself should be the reward; the journey honorable and learned with the realization that even by attaining that “golden” goal, you never really arrive; there is yet more!
As long as your passion is driven for the sake of being a player in the game, loving the journey along the way - despite the many pits and roadblocks - then, you are taking the right steps toward those actions to a fulfilling career in voice acting.
You are establishing the steps on your own ladder to a higher place as a voice-over artist. And there is no one else with your specific voice!
Remember to aspire higher, gain the best education possible, stay healthy, practice daily, stay connected, and never let yourself down by EVER giving up!
Heather E.L. Farrar is the owner of Quillsongs Media and Publishing, a company dedicated to “Documenting life through the power of words, beauty, art, photography, music and film: voiced in intelligent contemplation." She holds a BA in Mass Communication and is a prospective MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.
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Comments (6)
4/26/2010 at 3:53 PM
Great article. I especially like the quote " Stay the goal". Look forward to more inspiring articles. Best wishes in your endeavors. Dave
Rick Stageman
4/26/2010 at 9:15 AM
Great advice. Thank you.
Chris Coulter
4/25/2010 at 8:30 AM
I was very inspired by this article. As a newcomer to voice-over work myself, I found a lot of good information and insight in it.

Two years ago when I started officially seeing myself as a voice actor, my plan was to attend conferences and workshops in 2009 and get my demo made during that year as well. Unfortunately I was sidelined by a major injury in January of 2009 and I was physically and financially unable to meet that goal.

I've participated in several free teleseminars and one low-cost webinar, and I've been practicing my cold reading skills. As of last fall I became able to get out of the house and I now volunteer as a talk show host on my local radio reading service for the blind. This gives me an opportunity to be in front of the microphone in public, and to get feedback on my voice and my presence in front of the microphone.

Some of my talk shows are archived on the web site of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, which is

Thank you for publishing this article. It has certainly encouraged me.
Lofty Fulton
4/23/2010 at 6:18 PM
Right place, right time for a truly inspiring article. Thank you so much, Heather.
Cheers, Lofty Fulton
Derek Chappell
4/23/2010 at 12:53 PM
Your insight is much farther along than most in this business, whether they be long-term veterans or short-term newbies. With your attitude you will do just fine, wherever the journey takes you.
Thank you for sharing. -Derek Chappell
Jim Dunn
4/23/2010 at 12:31 PM
Hello Heather,
I agree. Goals are important for me to get to that next level. I understand that I can't do everything at once or become instantly great at everything I try to accomplish. It takes time. I imagine it being a particularly boring ride if all of my goals were easy to attain. I never drive to perfection, but occasionally park along side it when my efforts, training, and talent magically come together.
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