How Do I Get An Agent?

How Do I Get An Agent?

“How Do I get An Agent?” is one of the most common questions I’m asked, along with “Should I go with a big Agency or a small one?”, and “How do I know if it’s a good fit?”.

There’s so much to think about when it comes to choosing Agent, Getting an Agent, and even how to get IN FRONT of an Agent in the first place – especially if you’re brand new to this. While I can’t give you everything here, I can give you some of the key points – from the point of view of someone inside the Agency.

As part of our new Special Guest Voiceover Teaching Series, we brought in Larry Reiss, from my Agent’s Office – Arlene Thornton & Associates. Arlene has been my Agent for the better part of 15 years and Larry has vast experience in casting, engineering and directing, and has been a part of my life for a long time now as well.

The following is a snippet taken from Class #31 of my Teaching Series. At the time of this publishing we have 34 classes in the archive, each a couple hours in length, and the most recent ones include some of the biggest legends in this business! Check it out here if you’re interested!

Ok, so here’s some GREAT tips Larry gave our students that night – your sneak peek into a class:

Ask A Voiceover Agent!

Should I go large or small when it comes to choosing an Agent?

A larger Agency will have a larger list of clients. As someone who worked on the other side of it – in Casting – I can tell you that sometimes a cap will be put on submissions, so if the opportunity goes out to 10-15 agencies and they can only send back 3-5 of their best, you have to think about where that might leave you if you’re with a bigger house and on a long list of talent.

Another plus to working with a smaller agency is there’s less likelihood of being passed over in other ways by a bigger name celebrity. Smaller houses are more willing to invest their time in their talent to help them to grow and succeed. It isn’t that the larger houses don’t care it’s that they have a large talent base – potentially a lot of big name celebrities they represent, and they’re often expected to drop everything when those guys walk in.

Steve: That’s happened to so many of my friends! You can easily get lost in the shuffle as they put more of their attention on a given celebrity.

When you go with a smaller house it’s possible your name will get in front of more casting directors a little bit more, and many times casting directors want to spread the wealth.

What do you guys typically look for when signing a Voice Actor?

Ideally, someone who has a demo, since that’s what we’ll use as a marketing tool to get them out there to casting places. We also want a unionized actor, since we’re a franchised Agency and 95% of our work is union projects.

That’s not to say we won’t work with a non-union actor or someone without a reel, but these are huge pluses if you want to obtain good agency representation.

When you’re listening to a Demo, what are you typically looking for?

We’re listening for truth. The truth of who that person is. We don’t need to hear all the ways that a person can sound like other people out there. Don’t try to be all things to all people, it’s not necessary.

Plenty of people are known for their range, but there’s also a lot of great voice actors who’re known for their ability to convey an emotion. That might make you think “Well, isn’t that gonna be a boring demo?”. Not necessarily. You might be someone who can do sarcasm really well, that’s you in truth, but you also might like horses, or be in a rock band, so there are multiple ways you can flesh out a demo, ways that convey your uniqueness and who you are.

I know from experience that a casting director doesn’t want to have to think “Can this guy do this?”. They want to hear you doing it, being it. So represent you on your demo. Whatever that sounds like, and trust that there’s a place for you.

Steve: Yes, finding your unique voice. We’ve talked about that a lot in classes. The you that you are when nobody’s paying attention. That’s what sets you apart, so don’t go trying to be someone else.

What is the role of an Agent in this relationship and what do you provide for your clients to help them get hired?

First and foremost the job of the Agent is to procure opportunities, to get auditions, and then the other side is to secure the work and handle the booking aspect of it.

We don’t just sit around and wait for auditions to come through the doors, although they do all day long, we market our actors. When we get a breakdown from a casting director we pitch whoever we think is best for it, and most of the time they’ll listen because we have pretty good relations with everybody. They trust us, it’s a relationship built on trust – that we’re only going to send them somebody that is right for the job.

What do you expect of your clients?

We need to know where you are. What you’re doing all the time even if its just meeting a friend for lunch. Invariably that would be the time when we book you to go out to an outside casting director, and if you can’t make it – remember there may only be 10 or so slots – then you may lose your chance at the slot entirely.

We understand that most voice actors do this as a supplemental part of their income, and certainly they have other things going on, but just let us know so we can work around it.

Steve: This is where keeping a Calendar comes in guys, I always stress that Voiceover is a Business and you have to treat it like one.

Be able to take direction, and change direction.
Don’t be too married to your intention. You’re going to go with what you want to do first, we know that, but we’re going to be looking for other things too. It’s like a game of catch, and until we throw back and forth we can’t really know what tricks and spins you got. Everybody is unique, and there’s a process of getting to know you that we have to go through, in order to know where and how to represent you. So be open to change.

Steve: Yes, and Larry is really great at tossing you new ideas. Say “Yes” to being exercised! Go with it and you may discover something really unique about yourself that you weren’t aware of. Flexibility is key.

And lastly – have a good attitude.
They’re going to hire someone they have a pleasurable experience with, and they’ll probably also hire those people back for the same reason.


For more amazing insights into this and every other aspect of Voiceover, check out Steve’s Voiceover Teaching Series here!

Contact us if you have any questions! We’re here to support you and your career!

Integrity and Taking Responsibility

Integrity and Taking Responsibility

Attitude and Work Ethic in the Voice Acting Business

You’ll figure out quickly when you decide to learn voiceover that the voiceover business and the entertainment business in general can be wildly unpredictable. At times it seems like an endless marathon of hoops you have to keep jumping through, just to get noticed, let alone to thrive. This may seem counter-intuitive, but all of that has to begin and end with you.

Your attitude, your work ethic, your level of dedication, your willingness to play. Giving yourself permission to have fun, acknowledging that you don’t know it all, being willing to keep doing it even when it gets hard, and it will. Remembering to cheer others on when they get the part and you don’t. Continually taking risks and being open to colossal failure, while being open to learning amazing lessons from that.

All of that begins with you.

Integrity – Your Word Matters

In general, most of us expect people to keep their word and do what they say they’re going to do. What you’ll learn in voiceover is not unlike what you’ll learn in life. The simple fact is that just like in life, people in this business are going to let you down too. They don’t always do it intentionally, they may mean the promises that they make, but then they get busy and forget, or plans change. Perhaps they end up giving the gig to somebody else after they promised it to you. Or they don’t make time to help you when they said they would.

Rather than expecting others to be in integrity at all times, bringing it back to you is where your power truly lies. One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and in it he suggests that the first thing you can do is to be impeccable with your word. Your Word. No matter what other people are saying or not saying or doing or not doing. You can’t control that stuff, you’ll never be able to. While you don’t have control over that, you do have control over you.

You have the power to take personal responsibility for what you put out there in the world and how you react to things in the world. If you make a promise, just keep it as best you can, whether it’s to yourself or to somebody else, and even if you slip up, just keep circling back to you and what you can do.

If you make a declaration that you’re going to learn voiceover, keep that promise to yourself, and if you signed up for  voice over classes with me and you haven’t watched all of them, get in there!. Watch the class archives and do the exercises and read the newsletters.

If you say you’re going to be at an audition, show up on time and be prepared. Read the copy in advance if they give it to you in advance. Do your homework, study the craft and keep yourself healthy too. Pay attention to what’s going on in your body. Don’t overexert yourself. Do your warm-up exercises before you get there. If it doesn’t go perfectly, at least you’re putting yourself out there. You’ve kept your word with yourself and with everybody who’s in that process with you.

Don’t Take Advice Personally

If you don’t get the job or things don’t go as you expect, that’s ok, and if somebody says something that makes you feel bad about yourself, for whatever reason, you don’t have to let that have an effect on you. You always get to choose.

When you do this work, when you choose to do this work, you’re going to get all kinds of opinions from all kinds of people. People you know and love, or not, casual acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers. They’re all going to be offering their opinions. Even if it is personal, which many times its not, you don’t have to accept that as your truth and act on it or react to it. You get to choose.

Take Responsibility

The essence of Responsibility is having the Ability to Respond. You get to decide what you’ll do with all input that comes your way. That includes everything you read in these blogs or hear in classes with me!

I urge you guys to take responsibility for your life and for your actions. Start with you. When you decide to learn voiceover, you also learn about your life. Take responsibility for your reactions and just know that you have a lot more control over that than you think, and for your art. Remember to take the time to squeeze every bit of juice out of this journey that you can, because it really is about the journey.

And lastly, remember those Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions, And always do your best.

Get a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four AgreementsHERE!

Marketing and Voiceover Jobs

Marketing and Voiceover Jobs

Long before we had the internet, if we wanted to get a job in voiceover we had to market ourselves the “old fashioned” way. At the time I got in it was all about submitting cassette tapes, and not long after that it went to CDs, which you did if you wanted to get noticed. We all paid A LOT in postage for mass mailings, it kinda sucked and it was expensive to do. I still remember going into the duplicator with my little cassette and having them duplicate 200 copies of it – and then mailing them out by hand. It’s a whole lot easier these days.

One of our colleagues, a voice actor named Wally Wingert, played John from The Garfield Show, and the Riddler in the Batman Arkham series and a bunch of other really great stuff. He had a bobblehead made of himself and he sent them to every casting agent and studio in town – you can still see these things sitting on people’s desks! It was kinda genius and people remembered him for it.

It’s still important to market yourself these days – probably even more so, because the talent pool has increased exponentially. It used to be a small group of people who did this kind of work, now everyone’s got a home studio, its global, and honestly – it’s tough for the new kid on the block looking to get a voiceover job to get looked at or even listened to. You’ve got to be proactive with this stuff.

Fortunately, you guys have the internet. YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. There are so many ways to get your stuff out there quickly and efficiently to a worldwide audience.

As I’ve mentioned before in my voiceover classes, if you’re marketing yourself please make sure that you are doing it honestly. If you book a voiceover job be prepared to use your entire skill set and don’t misrepresent yourself with characters that you can’t recreate, perform or sustain. That’s really important because it will bite you in the butt afterwards.

You are the product, you are your brand and you are what you were selling. So, you need to know who you are, what your strongest assets are and what makes you different and marketable. There are a lot of people out there. You need to know your stuff so you can accurately convey it to people who are in positions to hire you. This is why I stress the importance of figuring out WHO you are. If you’re ready for marketing it’s a good idea to start the branding process, and it’s a good idea to start it early. You can begin with the creation of a logo. But before you do that, you must figure out how you want to represent yourself.

Originally, the only thing I was interested in when it came to a job in voiceover was animation. So, my logo was fun and playful and cartoony. I put the logo together myself, and soon after I started creating postcards with that logo. Before I had a lot of characters I would just do a blank piece of paper with my mug on it and some catchy little thing on there. My first tagline was: “The Right Voice Choice”. I used variations of that logo on everything: business cards, cassette covers for my demo reel, announcements, and at that time I printed most of my materials on fluorescent green cardstock so that it stood out in a pile of other stuff on an agent’s or casting person’s desk. People remembered it. People still remember the fluorescent green guy! I drew the little animated mouth myself and I even type set every element by hand and I cut out the individual letters with an exacto knife and physically glued them together before I took it all to the print shop. They didn’t have digital printing back then, so everything was manual.

You guys have the advantage of creating professional-looking branding and logo materials very inexpensively online, and because they’re digital they’re easy to manipulate and resize and repurpose. We didn’t have that luxury, I had to get it right the first time. I had to get the specs from the print house, and I had to cut those things out and it sucked!

If you’re ready to begin this process of creating a logo, I would recommend that you look at samples to get some ideas. There are sites like wix.com or freelogoservices.com, logojoy.com or Fiverr. I’m not endorsing these sites but browsing through their logo creation tools will give you an idea of what’s possible, especially if you’re not a graphic designer.It’ll help you to hone in on how you want to represent yourself creatively and stylistically.

When it comes to websites which I taught in Class #24 of my Voiceover Teaching Series, you need to take control of how you’re presented out there in the world very early on. That way you can evolve it on your own terms. You don’t want other people deciding who you are, that’s how you get pigeonholed, and that’s also how you get overlooked.

Once you get the logo in place, you can use it on your website and all your printed materials, and you can make branded letterhead for your email correspondents. I still use that same logo, just used a different variation of it, it has carried through my career.

You can also make thank you cards using your logo, I used to do that all the time. If you have a live audition with a casting person or an agent, send them a handwritten thank-you card. I still do that. They’re appreciated because most people don’t write anything by hand anymore. Just don’t send more than one! Don’t want to overwhelm them. One nice, short, sweet little thank-you is cool to write, and have your logo and your branding on that. If you have a color that’s associated with you or a pattern that that you like, or something funny or interesting, include that in your branding.

Even if you haven’t really gotten started professionally as a voice actor, even if you haven’t had a single voiceover job yet, you can still do charity events. You can read for kids. There are all sorts of things that you can do. And you can use that stuff to print on your flyers and business cards and hand them out at the end and at networking meetings.

I have a little Facebook community group that was created precisely for the purpose of letting like-minded people connect with each other and to network with each other. I don’t get to participate in it as much as I’d like to because I’m so busy, but the group kind of took on a life of its own, and we have a very strong anti-bullying policy in there, everybody is accepted. It’s free and it’s called the Blumvox studios community on Facebook. So, if you don’t know about it, please check that out, some great resources in there. www.bvsfb.com is the link. Find other groups like that, either in your town or city or online. They’re great ways to meet people and to potentially get voiceover gigs!

There are also professional associations like SAG-AFTRA, the Union, which offer lots of free classes and mixers to their members, but even if you’re not in the union yet there are tons of things like this available all over the country and many of them are free. You’ll need to do your own research to find those where you are. It’s great to do those in person, and great to network.

It’s critically important just to be nice to everyone, as a policy. Just get used to doing that, and if that’s not your normal way, work on that! You’re building your reputation in this process and you never know who will be promoted to casting, or a directing position in the future. I’ve worked with several people who are directing now that used to be receptionists.

If you don’t know how to create a resume or bio, or some way to have headshots done, get online and start researching. That information is abundantly available and nobody’s going to do it for you. Again, this is a business and you must be proactive and take charge of your own career from the very beginning and get used to doing that because it never ends. I’ve had an agent for years and years and years and I do most of my own leg work to this day.

A huge part of your career in this business, like I mentioned before, is about the relationships you build and the referrals that can result from the relationships. So, you really want to be mindful about how they begin. A lot of my work comes from referrals these days. I still have to audition for voiceover jobs, but at least I’ll get the chance to audition because they’ve had a good experience of me in the past or somebody else has and referred me. Even Engineers have referred me before. So build those relationships, I’ve mentioned these in other classes I teach too. I was able to get some auditions because I had a good first impression with a receptionist and they needed somebody. If they have three people on the list, and the receptionist says, “well he was nice”, they may just say “okay, bring him in first”. Do not underestimate the power of great relationships in the referral process.

Again, please remember to be polite and respectful in all your interactions, including social media. Make sure that you do your homework, know who you’re talking to in advance, if possible. Follow up without being a pest, and never, never, never, never, never, please, never come from a place of desperation. It just never helps. That kind of thinking can sabotage you, before you even get started. If one resource doesn’t work out, or even if you blow an audition or an initial meeting with somebody, don’t take it personally, it’s okay. We all make mistakes and learn from them. We must trust that other opportunities will come. If you’re in this for the right reason, just do your best and be ready when those opportunities do show themselves.

Think about how you want to be represented out there long-term before setting up your pages, and don’t do stuff on YouTube that might embarrass you later, or sabotage your career later. Don’t do negative things where you’re spouting off on someone, try not to do that from the very beginning, if you can. Just be careful about what you’re putting out there because it’s out there forever.

When it comes to getting some of your first voiceover jobs, Social Media can be used as a massive calling card and an unlimited resource for networking. Pay attention to what’s happening out there  and do your research on it. There’s so much that’s happened even in the last year. It’s increased exponentially, the opportunities that I’ve seen casting-wise for voice actors on Twitter are great.

I am NOT an expert in social media. I don’t have time to become an expert on social media, and we’ve made unbelievable mistakes along the way. Painful, super expensive mistakes. I pay people to help us with it now, but there’s a ton of stuff you can do immediately that will cost you nothing. I built my voiceover career, without any help in the beginning. I did a lot of it on my own so I know that you guys can too.

I encourage you to get out there, get going and please don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do this work because of where you live. You can do this from pretty much anywhere, if you have an internet connection.

So that is my marketing pitch for YOU! Get at it, go after those voiceover gigs, and build the career you want!

Voiceover Training – “Making Friends With Your Voice”

Voiceover Training – “Making Friends With Your Voice”

During our first Blumvox Studios Team Meeting (nearly two years ago!), when we were deciding how best to deliver Voiceover Training to the world, we collectively came together and said that we wanted to create a newsletter to support our students. We had no idea what it was going to look like or how it was going to unfold, but we did know that if we said yes to the Vision, it would happen! Each one of our Team members has been writing a monthly column for almost a year now and we’ve dedicated ourselves to being real, authentic, genuine and honest. As a result, this has given us the ability to build our foundation of BVS from the Heart up.

“The Voice Monkey Dispatch” newsletter is my favorite part of Blumvox Studios. We wanted to create a place for you to come and chill with us, read with us, laugh with us and even cry with us. There’s A LOT of work that goes into each issue, and you get the newsletter for free when you become a student of Steve’s Voiceover Training course. If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can find the info here.

We decided as a Team recently that we’d like to make some of the VMD content available to the general public. The following is an excerpt from our March 2018 issue of the VMD, entitled “Making Friends with Your Voice”. While some of you may not relate (yet!) to the voiceover actor making friends with his voice, you MAY relate to the experiences of those of us on his Team. Over these next few months you’ll see some of our Team “voices” here in the Blog, and we hope that you’ll get as much benefit from them as our Voiceover Training students and VMD subscribers have. I’d like to thank those of you that have been with us since the beginning (The OG!) and would also like to thank those of you that are new to our community. You have given us a platform to share ourselves with you and it’s been a true honor. Here we go!

Making Friends with Your Voice. – Trina Watton (President, Co-Founder of Blumvox Studios)

As I reflect on Making Friends with My Voice, which is such a huge part of Steve’s Voiceover Training, I must admit that it has been an extreme challenge for me throughout most of my life. I felt silenced as a child and learned that I couldn’t speak up for myself without getting in trouble. Over the years I had created a soft, high-pitched voice that was full of fear. You could hear it in my breath before I’d even speak because my abdomen would be trembling. Being soft spoken was my way of disappearing and staying safe. It caused me to hold my breath a lot and I’d often forget to breathe to the point of passing out. It was an unconscious behavior of mine. It was as if somehow in that breath, if I let it go, truly let it go, the whole world would fall apart in front of me.

Having lived a good portion of my life gripped in fear and anxiety, my “inauthentic voice” began to take its toll on me. Maintaining this persona and hiding my pain literally stopped oxygen from flowing freely throughout my body. I became stagnant, stiff, irritable, angry and just plain miserable. I’d heard for years that everything starts with the Breath. I’d heard for years that we ARE our breath. I’d heard for years that in order to heal, it was time to become One with our breath. Years of avoidance taught me that I wasn’t ready to embrace those truths until I was ready to deal with my pain. I knew inherently that it would change my life because it meant coming face to face with me.

When I finally began to breathe conscious breaths, making it a focused daily practice, my world changed drastically. It became brighter, clearer, joyful, more purposeful AND my world didn’t fall apart! You wanna know the best part? My voice began to change. It changes all the time! The deeper I get into myself and breathe slow breaths using my abdomen, the deeper and more rich my voice becomes. When I’m feeling courageous and ready to explore the next layer of pain breathing only through my nose, the stronger my voice becomes. The more I embrace my joy with deep purposeful breaths, the brighter my voice becomes. I’ve learned through the years that I don’t laugh enough and that in itself is a breathing practice. My inauthentic voice still comes up from time to time and in those moments, I embrace it! It’s an opportunity for me to check in with myself, get quiet and ask “what is it that I’m afraid of and why am I withholding my truth?” With stillness and patience, my breath always gives me the answer.

Breath is life. Breath is strength. Breath is real. Breath is revealing. Breath is courage. Breath is honest. Breath breathes through your voice, your mind, your body and your soul. Breath can hinder you or highlight who you are. It’s up to you how you choose to breathe.

I’d like to invite you to embrace your breath. I have a very simple exercise I’d like to share with you:

For a minimum of five to ten minutes per day over the next 30 days, I’d like you to write down what you notice about your breath (I highly recommend using a journal for this so you can keep all of your writings in one place). Notice if it’s short, hollow, winded, fast, limited, gasping, frustrated, pissy, resentful OR happy, excited, intentional, fluid, slow, creative, purposeful, etc… Start with your breath and see where it takes you each day. Feel free to bring your voice into it. Allow yourself to create different sounds for the feelings you’re experiencing and give them a voice. Your unique sound has messages to share with you and the more time you spend with this exercise, the more you will uncover AND discover about yourself. Please be kind to you during this journey. This is not a space for judgement. Just as you learn when in voiceover training with Steve, you may just surprise yourself and birth a new character or two along the way. <3

May we breathe into our authentic voices together…

With Love,


Confidence and Self Care in Your Voiceover Career

Confidence and Self Care in Your Voiceover Career

Confidence and your Voiceover Career

So early on in our voiceover classes, and literally every time I talk to folks that want a voiceover career, I talk about building confidence, looking stupid and embracing it, and taking care of your voice physically, by warming it up and cooling it down. That’s because It’s all related, and the connecting thread is your well-being. I know. Dang it Steve, you’re gonna dig in again, aren’t you? Yeah. Might as well get used to it.

Work on Your Health

Your health – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – can affect your ability to perform. In life, relationships, work and yes, even in your voiceover career. Simply put, when you feel good, you’re better able to express yourself.

When I suggest to my students to let go of the fear and judgment they’ve been carrying around (in many cases it’s not even theirs!)  and going back to that childlike place inside where it was ok to be dorky, I’m simply encouraging them to work on their health.

Play and Your Voiceover Career

When you forget joy and forget to play and let fear run your life, it can manifest in anxiety, anger and sadness, and sometimes even physical pain or illness. Let’s go back to the sandbox analogy… when you see children playing in a sandbox and one of them is sick… unless the sickness is so bad the kid physically can’t function, that child is gonna play uninhibited with as much joy and energy as he/she/they can muster. It doesn’t matter if there’s a river of snot pouring from their nose, or if they have a cast on their arm, or they’ve got a diaper full of doody – they’re gonna use every bit of that playtime they have before they have to go take a nap, or clean up, or go eat, etc.

Unfortunately many of us lose that enthusiasm for play as we get older and start becoming self-conscious. We focus on what isn’t working or on what others tell us is OK to feel, based on their ideas and often, their fears. When you stop playing, you stop living.

Looking for Joy

I met a boy with ALS a few years ago. He no longer had any use of his body, and he couldn’t speak. His organs were shutting down and he could only communicate with his eyes, through a series of yes/no answers on an alphabet chart his father created. Even in that state, when his hero, Kari Wahlgren came to visit, he communicated that he was a huge fan of her work… he was excited to meet her and was bordering on flirty! He remembered, even under the most extreme circumstances – the things that brought him joy and it gave him something positive to concentrate on – when everything else in his life was a struggle for survival. His family told us that it improved the quality of his life and that of everyone around him.

Now that’s an extreme example, but the point is, no matter what you’re going through, looking for the joy, staying playful and finding the funny – only serves to improve the quality of your life and enhances the quality of everything you do and everyone you interact with. It’s an invaluable tool to staying healthy and happy throughout your career in voiceover. 

Voiceover is Physical

So how do warm-ups and cool-downs apply to this? Well, even when I’m doing something as potentially mundane as a warm-up exercise, I look for the fun. If you’ve tried the warm-ups and cool-downs I’ve suggested in other blogs here, you know that most of them require some pretty ridiculous faces and actions. They’re designed to help you physically loosen the muscles and structures involved in voice work, so you feel better. But they also help you unleash your inner dork so you’re less inhibited by fear!

Those exercises are designed to help you feel less restricted and more able to perform at your best throughout your voiceover career, and most importantly – to ENJOY THE PROCESS while doing so. All that plus they help you to avoid injury and to recover from stress after. Pretty good stuff for just making weird noises and faces, huh?

When you’re feeling better physically, and emotionally, your mental abilities improve, you’re more creative, your perspective changes and life just seems a little better. I’ll leave spirituality alone for now, because some people aren’t comfortable with that. But trust me, when you seek the positive, you’re already doing that work.

Be happy, be healthy and be a dork!

Love you guys!


Voiceover and the Importance of Trust

Voiceover and the Importance of Trust

We’re called upon to trust often in the voiceover business. Trust the process, trust that our teachers aren’t full of crap, trust that if we do the work, something will come of it…
Trust that we’ll be remembered when we’re great and not forgotten when we suck.
Trust that they will forget when we suck, but not forget us!

Trust that we’ve got a handle on the fear, so it won’t be in control when we get our shot.

Trust that we GET a shot! Let’s look at the definition of the word: 

trust |trəst|


firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

It’s tough to trust anyone these days. So with all of that swirling in our heads as we approach anything creative… whom do you trust? And how do you trust?

Starts with you, boo. In my Voiceover Teaching Series classes, we’ve discussed taking direction and cold reading (reading something you’ve never seen before out loud). So while it’s pretty clear that you have to trust your director, the choices you make based on that, begin with trusting your own passion for the work, the months or years of study you’ve put in, and that you wouldn’t even BE in front of a director if they didn’t think you were worthy. The hardest part of all of this is remembering that you ARE worthy! Even when you’re by yourself, practicing your cold reading, it requires you to trust your instincts in fleshing out believable characters with no preparation.

Trust takes practice. And people often lose trust when they feel betrayed by others. A natural, and necessary protective human reflex. But what about when we let ourselves down? What happens when we have a chance at something and we blow it? Usually we start beating ourselves up and tearing ourselves down. This isn’t a protective reflex, it’s an unnecessary but very common breakdown of our trust in ourselves, and it happens – even in voiceover.  When you make a mistake it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s an opportunity for a breakthrough.  You get back up, dust yourself off, and get your butt back to work. Take the time to learn from the mistake.

DO what you need to do so this mistake doesn’t happen again!  Then get back up with this new wisdom in your pocket. Just the fact that you GOT back up is a huge victory! If you can celebrate that you’ll be surprised at your ability to create something new and amazing from it. 

Here’s a little tale from the voiceover crypt for you. Many years ago, I read for the part of Goro for the Mortal Kombat movie. I did a great first audition. Even made it to final callbacks. I had to read live for a panel of casting and studio people in an on-camera type, intimidating room where they sat in elevated chairs looking down at me and running me through the copy. I freaked out inside. Still did a fair audition, but my inner turmoil turned into a big, dramatic huffing and puffing after the read, like I’d just lifted a car over my head. They mentioned that I probably wouldn’t be capable of sustaining the role for a whole film if one little audition made me that tired. I insisted I wasn’t tired, just invested in the role. I thanked them politely, then left devastated, thinking that I just blew the biggest opportunity of my life.

The next day, I got back up. I busted through the continuous internal beatings, re-committed to my voiceover career, and auditioned for a little anime show. Certainly not the same level as this movie, but it made me feel a little better. I probably booked it, I don’t remember, what I do remember is that I kept moving forward. Now, more than 20 years later, I get to voice Sub-Zero in the Mortal Kombat games. The full circle took a while, but apparently, I used some of that fuel from that mistake to build an entire voiceover career. I trusted myself enough to get back up and try again.

As I was reading this back just now, I realized I never found out who ended up booking that role, so I looked it up. It was my dear friend, the amazing Frank Welker. Pretty good company to even be in the running with – so early on in my voiceover career! They probably had an offer out to him the whole time and were just looking for a backup plan. If Frank had declined the role, I actually may have still been in the running. So all of that anguish… all of that self doubt… may have been completely unfounded anyway.

Believe in yourself first, guys. You’re capable of so much more than you can ever imagine. Fail magnificently, and trust that you can grow from it. So excited to see what you bring to the party!

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