Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's Just Reading!

"It’s just reading! Anyone can do it! Grab a mic, plug it into your computer, press record and ta-dah….you’re a voice actor!” We could spend hours listing off all of the different myths and misconceptions that we hear and read about our line of work on the Internet every single day. Just like the person who thinks the entire pool is completely shallow, you realize just how deep the water of this industry can be the farther you go into it.

From the surface, sure! It may seem like one of the easiest jobs that you can have. The truth seems to get overlooked within these myths and misconceptions, because it is much harder to make a living doing voiceovers than many people think. Think about all of the planning, training and execution that is involved – all of that takes not only time but money as well.

The person that says, “It’s just reading!” has clearly never had to handle a grueling medical narration or even be the sole reader for an audio book that is over 350 pages. Too many people just think that all that we do is pick up a script, step in front of a microphone, read the script and then collect a check. Don’t get me wrong; I would absolutely love it if that were the case but it’s not. It takes a lot of work to train your voice to be able to have the endurance, versatility and quality delivery that is required in order to complete the average project. Once the recording phase of each project is complete, many people seem to forget about the review and revision stages as well, which take even longer than the recording itself.

One advantage and common saying that is true about this business, though, is that it is not very intense on the physical side because you are really not required to put forth any physical labor in this line of work. However, the mental exhaustion alone can completely drain you much quicker than you might think. I absolutely love my job primarily because you can have a lot of fun doing it. You just need to make sure that you are realistic about what to expect from this career, especially if you are in it for the long haul.

Even the A-list celebrities that are hired to do voiceover work for multi-million dollar movie and video game franchises admit that it was much harder than they thought it would be. Having to basically stay in character as you record sometimes for hours at a time can be strenuous for anyone – especially if they make their living doing this on a daily basis. Many voiceover professionals have studied this art for countless hours, polishing their craft daily so that they can continue to be successful in a competitive market Acting, improvisation and voiceover coaching are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the quality instruction that we receive behind the scenes both in and outside of the studio.

As is the case with any business, we also are responsible for the marketing, advertising, accounting and administration side of our jobs on top of everything else. Becoming a voiceover professional is truly rewarding, enjoyable and can allow you to eventually fulfill your dreams of never having to punch someone else’s time clock ever again. However, it is imperative that you always remember that it is much more than just reading.


Leah Frederick said...

Preach it!

Patrick Sweeney said...

Nicely stated Terry. I couldn't agree more!