What’s in Your Voiceover Toolbox?
So, what’s in your “Toolbox”?
Not the hammers and screwdrivers and circular saws (tho I LOVE that stuff), but the critical tools you need for Voiceover, and for life?
As with any gig, creative or otherwise, having the right tool for the job can save you incredible amounts of time, stress and money. The thing is, you have to assemble them, learn to use them, and take care of them!
What Tools do you need for Voiceover?
In terms of Voiceover, what tools do you need besides golden pipes?
A decent microphone?
Some nice headphones?
A quiet place to record?
Some skill and training?
Absolutely! But there’s something even more fundamentally important…
Tool #1 – Patience
Patience may be the tool you use more than any other in this business.
Patience with yourself when you’re just not nailing that character or scene or accent or pronunciation.
Patience with not getting enough auditions.
Patience when you have too many auditions.
Patience when people don’t keep their word.
Patience when somebody else gets the gig.
Patience when money is tight.
Patience when people try to take advantage of you.
Patience with contracts and legaleze and business stuff when all you want to do is create. Patience when you don’t seem to have enough time to devote to your art.
Patience with kids, friends, family and pets, when they demand your attention and you’re not getting your stuff done.
Patience when research is taking too long.
Patience because the thing you thought you were great at is suddenly hard and going to require a LOT more work!
Patience is perhaps the least talked about thing required in everything you want to do to improve your life! So stick that one in your belt and start working with it now.
Tool #2 – Gratitude
Another critical tool you’re gonna need for Voiceover – or for general well-being in ANYTHING you do, is Gratitude. It’s so important that I created an entire class on it! I practice gratitude every day, at least twice a day – when I wake up and just before I go to sleep – and many times in between. Even if I’m not feeling it. Especially if I’m not feeling it!
Even if everything seems like crap, find something, anything, to be grateful for, and energetically this will put you back on a path toward achieving what you want.
It can be a slow process sometimes. It may even seem ridiculous to force yourself to create something to be grateful for, but when you focus your attention on gratitude – the ultimate expression of positivity, amazing things happen.
The more you concentrate on what IS working in your life, the clearer the path becomes to achieving what you really want.
Tool #3 – Service
The third insanely underrated tool is Service. How are you being of service? Like any profession should be, Voiceover is a service business. We do what we do because it (hopefully) affects people in a positive way. I didn’t learn this until several years in, that doing (what I thought were just) stupid voices for cartoons, actually resonates with people. A LOT of people! Worldwide! And sometimes that helps them get through really tough stuff!
Like anything you put love and attention-to-detail into, somebody is going to benefit when you do good work.
Using All Your Tools
I’ve held terrible jobs throughout my life and even in the most menial work I’ve strived to do my best. If I had to clean animal poop, (I still do), I’d make the area as clean as I could. The health of the animals depended on it.
When I serviced fire equipment, I knew that my work could possibly save someone’s life. Even when I worked in the stockroom of an office supply store, I did the best I could to make sure when the other employees came back there, they could find what they needed. It could make a huge difference to them and to their customer for projects I couldn’t even imagine.
Do Your Best
The ripple effect of a job well done is incalculable! It’s the same in Voice work. What we do in a padded room with a microphone potentially affects thousands of people with every project. If I can come prepared and do my best to make everybody’s day a little easier while recording – from the receptionist to the engineer to the writer or director or producer – not only will they want to work with me again, but it may have been the only good experience they’ve had all day.
If I do a good job… if I go in with the intention of being of service… I’m helping someone to realize a vision. Something they may have dreamed about their entire life! Not to mention the end user’s experience – the fan, enjoying this work for years to come.
What I do in the studio today could help them cope with the sickness of a loved one, or make someone feel like they’re not alone in the world… This level of service quite literally changes lives for the better.
Use Your Tools Daily!
You can hone and use these tools every day of your life. You may not always be aware of the effects the masterful use of your tools has out there in the world, but if you stock your belt with them and use them anyway, I promise your life will be exponentially more fulfilling.
Now get out there and build something beautiful!
You want to see all of these tools in action – and how they can affect your life WAY beyond voiceover? Here’s one of the most inspirational men on the planet. If he can live a life of Patience, Gratitude and Service, so can you and I. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4HGQHgeFE