The Art of Risk

by | Career Advice, Voice Over

How many auditions does the average actor perform to nail a single job? How many times do you “put yourself out there”, and see nothing come of it?

Good question. Obviously the answer varies, depending on so many factors, which would be difficult to quantify into a solid statistic.  It is the question  as well as the answer that makes me wonder.

In general, it would be safe to assume that you are in the majority if you take the risk of performing on any level, you run a risk of not booking the job more often than not;
Risk of failure. Risk of rejection, Risk of “de-selection”. Think about the Oscars. So many actors auditioned for the films and just so many got the job. Only so many many films or actors were nominated, and just a few select won the “golden ticket”.

Being in this business is like the supreme roller coaster ride of your life.  If you wanna ride, better strap yourself in. You may have exhilarating highs one week or one day, and have all the air let out of your balloon the next. 

In voice-over acting, we are at a grander disadvantage. At least on a film or video shoot, you’re interacting with other human beings. Not so in voiceover, unless you enjoy the rare occasion where you’re booked into a studio for a double or an ensemble gig. Even so, many times you end up perhaps with just the director, and or the engineer to record the session.

So most of the time, we work in a very isolated environment, and take our daily risks. We operate in a vacuum, and in so doing, we risk it all. We spill out our best, (we think), and can still fall flat on our face.

Working through this  “art”  of the process is challenging at times. It can be quite painful, to risk and lose, as it can be incredibly heady in getting the recognition or landing a gig. 

When we suffer losses, we must train ourselves to place them into perspective. You do this any way you can. But it helps to have practical training and experience to weather them. Where we can get into trouble is when we allow our emotions and ego to take off on a self-absorbed”pity party”. Many of us do this because we are actors, we are competitive, and have  innate and trained sensitivity, combined with a healthy ego. For those who can’t get this aspect of it simply give up.

That’s when it’s time for a break from the business.  Really, take a break! Keep doing things you love and surround yourself with people who love you, and get back in touch with what truly matters.

Know it’s not your fault that you’ve been rejected, ignored, dissed, overlooked, under-appreciated, low-rated, or the latest industry buzzword, “de-selected”. Don’t let this stop you.

It’s ok to take the risk, while giving permission to others not to hire you for whatever reason that is not in your control. All you can do is control your own performance and spill it out there.

And next time, take the risk and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.


  1. Great article Bobbin! Thank you for sharing 🙂



  2. Stephanie,
    Your kind words are appreciated. And a huge THANK YOU for putting this up on your VOX Daily Blog!


  3. Yes, how many auditions does it take to get a job? It used to be 20, so I’ve heard. Seems like now, we have to do more than audition. We have to find new ways to get voice over jobs like connecting with as many people as possible, maybe through social media. I write a blog and produce a podcast for, maybe this is the new way to do business, through New Media.

  4. GREAT post Bobbin!!!!!



  5. I agree that to an extent, social media should be a component of getting v/o jobs, but only if you are spending your time wisely. But  I do occasionally get sucked up in the frenzy to be all places sometimes. I admit it can be a drain of my time and energy. Balance is key, as well as keeping focus on the overall business plan.

    I enjoy your blog. Thanks for dropping your comment here.

  6. Bobbin,

    I saw that Liz had linked to your post through her blog. Really excellent thoughts here. I think, though, the it’s just as important to keep perspective on the times when we book work as when we don’t. We’re never as good or as bad as we think we are.

    Be well,

  7. Bob,
    Wise words. Perspective is critical. Especially if we alow ourselves to get swooped up into our business to the extent we take ourselves too seriously.  This post was intended to honestly help other v-o’s feel better about what they are doing, and to keep striving to improve and work our craft while not allowing negative influences drag us down. I’ve received quite a bit of “thank yous” about this one.
    All the Best,

  8. Good posting…And so true. After a while of auditioning 190 for me in February – you wonder if your just wasting time. I suppose a good way to look at all this auditioning is the more you do – the better you become. Trying new ways – different inflections…different pacings. I suppose if anything in order to keep all this positive, we should look at it as practice to land that perfect national gig.
    Just remember choosing a voice over is someone’s opinion. Peace. Ed V

  9. Bobbin,

    Thank you for an insightful article. Great stuff! I have been experiencing more “de-selection” lately because I’m trying more often which is great. As some great thinker once said, every “no” is one step closer to “yes”!

  10. Bobbin,
    I also saw the link on Liz’s blog. Good stuff. Funny, I was having the conversation with my business advisors yesterday, who aren’t familiar with the VO biz. They were astounded at the number of auditions I do in a week, and wondered how I had time to do anything else, not to mention the resiliency of being rejected so often 🙂 It’s just the nature of the biz, and you can’t let it get to you. The conversation did make me think that perhaps I should be more selective in the auditions I do, because they do take a lot of time during the day.

    Just linked to your blog.


  11. Joe,
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. There should be no penalization or ratings given by the shopping mall sites for an audition. Either you have the voice the client wanted or not.
    Ratings should ONLY be given after the job is done.

  12. Kitzie,
    Love the name! I appreciate your thoughts, and for stopping by. We have a great v/o community!

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