Several people made me aware of a Twitter thread discussing voice over training curriculums, in which my name came up.
Melissa opined that she’d heard “really good things about him” but that she’d also heard “he’s great if you’re an actor, but I’m just interested in audiobooks.”
Time for some tough Melissa love.
Hope this helps!
Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me
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Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe
How To Be A World Class Complainer
The False Nobility Of The Struggle
Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change
Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating
The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired
Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!
Don’t Confuse Price With Value
The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon
10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.
The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions
Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers
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Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths
How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The Problem In Every Commercial Script
The Job In Every Commercial Script
The Secret In Every Commercial Script
Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.
Helping Make Resolutions Stick
ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly
Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?
Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”
Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer
Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others
Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like
The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator
My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips
What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well
Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops
Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New
Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management
How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)
A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself
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Making Your Links Irresistible
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The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME
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How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever
Killing Customers With Kindness
I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About
How I Answered Voices.com’s Inquiry
Turning Mountains Into Molehills
Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package
Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.
The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment
What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com Isn’t One
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You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard
There Is No Failure, Only Feedback
Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?
73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears
If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP
Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info
One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS
The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff
Voices.com Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy
For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought
Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap
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Oh, absolutely! I guess I’ve always known I was an actor at heart, from the days when in grade school it felt so natural to be on the stage in class plays, playing lead parts, and feeling the audience react positively to my performances. But as to VO, the light that *it* was acting, too, dawned on me after many years of doing radio commercials and industrial voice tracks, when I went to my first “voiceover boot camp,” and realized that the other nine attendees, though some had nice voices and good intentions, were…lacking something. And by the end of those two days, I fully understood what it was: they weren’t natural actors. (Now, lest anyone think I’m saying only a ‘natural actor’ can be successful, I’m definitely not saying that. Honest, hard work is certainly far more valuable towards success than mere innate talent. ‘Nuff said.) Anyone planning on doing any form of VO, or as you said, David, *performing*, must be prepared to reckon with becoming an actor. Without that, you’ll just be a smooth reader with a nice voice—and probably underemployed.
Oh, and the other nine from that boot camp? As far as I know, they’re still waiting for their first paid job.
Most definitely I am an actor. Like David W.’s comment above, from childhood I too loved to act, be on stage, loved to read out loud and give characters other voices, etc. As an aside, I have listened to audiobooks that were hard to listen to, because it sounded like the narrator “didn’t realize he or she was an actor”. Painful. Melissa, embrace your inner actor!
Have to agree with a lot of what David Wandelt said. I too had a lot of fun being in plays during school. Got started in radio in my Junior year of high school because it allowed me to BE an actor – to be someone else other than who I was.
This has carried over into my audiobook narration. Carrying the listener along with vocal shading, pace and tone of the written word as I tell the story the author has put down on paper. That’s definitely acting. Being able to speak the written word in a coherent fashion is a start, but acting is THE baseline – no matter what the performance.
You said something similar to me when I emailed you in a panic about my first on camera audition. I said I wasn’t a serious actor and you said I was. I have to say that I took a certain comfort in your words. They were reassuring. They made me feel better. I kept repeating your words prior to the audition, including “you got this.” And, well, I got it. I got the part. Thanks for the video David.
I have never considered myself to be an actor. An actor has a need to be on a stage or in front of a camera, right? I can’t think straight in those situations. Keep me back stage or in a small padded room with a microphone and I’m fine.
After 75 + audiobooks if you want to call me an actor, fine, I can accept that but I won’t like it. Too much pressure to perform and too many questions about why I am not a part of the local theater group.
I prefer to call myself a storyteller or audiobook narrator. It keeps me more relaxed and ready to press “Record.”
@Tom J: That’s a fair statement, Tom. Not all storytellers are a good fit for all forms of delivery. But if you’re creating and delivering characters directly from the printed page, you are, in my humble view, no less embodying the definition of an actor. On the other hand, if it helps you to think in terms of simple storyteller or narrator, who am I to spoil that? —DW
…and, with apologies, I see that I missed a key word in your post: “need,” as in, An actor has a *need* to be on stage, etc. I do think there’s a certain driving need in performers, perhaps for expression, perhaps recognition, but I wouldn’t say it necessarily has to be in the kind of setting that might give one stage fright. You are giving me “food for thought,” for which I thank you.
It took me a few years to get it. In fact, until I saw this, I hadn’t realize I had accepted the fact that I’m an actor. I find that a bit startling as I also do community theater, which is DEFINITELY acting. I just had my voice over stuff in another category. Now – not so much – it’s all slices of the same skill set. So – TAH DAH – I’m an actor that does voice over and theater and what have you!