The Big Game Of Voiceover
On this eve of the “Big Game”, I’ve been reflecting on the similarities between voiceover and competitive sports. And tomorrow as I watch the game I’ll think about decisions my home team, the San Diego Chargers made over the years, and about certain players; namely Peyton Manning, who we could have drafted, but instead took on Ryan Leaf. That move took years to overcome.
And then we had Drew Brees as our QB, and we let him go when he became a free agent. Brees went to New Orleans and is making sports history. Tomorrow, both Manning and Brees are playing each other in the BIG game. Both have a direct connection to our home turf.
What does it take to play in the big game of voiceover? What’s the connection? Sure, the cost of entry is low and the competition is stiff, but one can still play. And some will win.
So…..What about career decisions? Decisions made while auditioning? One predicament after another. Kinda like life!
But what does it take to be in the big leagues of VO? I know the answer to this question is relative. “Your mileage may vary.” For some, it may be their first paid gig for $50 from some voiceover marketplace posting, For others, they may be wondering, what will it take to land a class A national spot, or an ongoing network promo gig, You may know some folks who are even there, who may also have a direct connection to you, through past work experience, or friendship, etc. For some, this career is just a game, or a part-time crap shoot. For others, it’s high-stakes where many are banking on the next nugget, and the approach is clear and methodical..
The reality is, all business is cyclical. And of course, you win some gigs, and you lose some. Sometimes business is up and you feel like a voice machine, you’re hot, you’re booking tons and working all the time. But when work is slow, you start to wonder if things will ever pick up. So what’s up with this land of voiceover OZ?
How do you break free from the crowds at the bottom and rise to the top? How do you turn off the chatter going on everywhere all the time? How do you shake off the self-doubt when you’re on a losing streak and not booking?
Look to the winners. To be on top of their game, winning athletes work hard, despite their losses and push forward to increase their wins. So must the voice actor put a ton of work into what he/she does. Most do this quietly and expertly. The winners have learned to trust themselves.
Be a perfectionist about your game ( nobody else’s) and be thoughtful about your business plan. Always know where and how you can improve your own game. For me , it’s all about getting consistent , challenging voice coaching. I find I book more, the more I work out with my coaches. I find I am always in a state of becoming more of who I am before the mic. There is always something to learn.
Learn from your mistakes, keep working out, and move forward. Keep your goals in sight. Athletes get stronger when they work out because they are exercising muscles, essentially fatiguing and breaking them down, only to build more muscle fiber, which in turn makes them stronger.
There may be distractions, diversions, roadblocks, and detours along this yellow brick road, so be aware.
Remember, there’s no place like goals!